Below are brief descriptions of our distinguished speakers. By clicking on their names, you will also be taken to websites containing more detailed information about them.FARSHAD AMINIAN-TANKEI
Farshad Aminian is a Kurdish-Iranian American filmmaker and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he teaches courses in film studies and film production. Aminian earned an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2005. He is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Recently, Aminian returned from Iran where he made a short documentary film about Iranian school children (which he will screen for the first time as part of his presentation at SIUE). He has made many other short films, all of which have been heavily influenced by the Persian poetic tradition, as well as his Kurdish-Iranian cultural heritage.
Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York. Prof. Dabashi is a prolific author and social critic having authored eighteen books and edited four volumes, in addition to publishing over one hundred journal articles and book chapters on a wide array of topics including Islamic philosophy and theology, Iranian cinema, post-colonialism, and the philosophy of art. Representative works include: Iran, A People Interrupted (New Press, 2007); Makhmalbaf at Large: The Making of a Rebel Filmmaker (I.B. Tauris, 2007); Masters & Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema (Mage Publishers, 2007); Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Transaction Publishers, 2005); Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future (Verso, 2001); Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York University Press, 2001); and the two recently published volumes: Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire (Routledge, 2008) and Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in a Time of Terror (Transaction Publishers, 2008).
Fatemeh Keshavarz is currently Professor of Persian and Comparative Literature, as well as the Chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis. She has published and lectured extensively on Iranian literature and poetry. Her book Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) is a timely response to what she identifies as the New Orientalist movement in literature. Her other two books, Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal aI-Din Rumi (University of South Carolina Press, 1998) and Recite in the Name of the Red Rose: Poetic Sacred Making in Twentieth-Century Iran (University of South Carolina Press, 2006) are major contributions to the study of Persian literature. Dr. Keshavarz is the founder of the Persian Poetry Circle of North America and is also an accomplished poet in her own right. Prof. Keshavarz writes a newsletter, "Windows on Iran," covering all aspects of Iranian culture and current events which can be read by clicking the following link: Windows on Iran. Please see her poem, Meet Keiko!, which expresses the spirit of this speaker and film series.
Negar Mottahedeh is an Assistant Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at Duke University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (1998) from the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. She writes on Cultural Studies, Critical Theory and Film Studies, largely on the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to many published articles, Prof. Mottahedeh has published one book, Representing the Unpresentable: Historical Images of National Reform from the Qajars to the Islamic Republic of Iran (Syracuse University Press, 2007). Her second, Displaced Allegories: Post-revolutionary Iranian Cinema will be published by Duke University Press in November 2008.
Hamid Naficy is currently the John Evans Chair of Communications in the Department of Radio/Film/Television at Northwestern University. Previously, Dr. Naficy was the Nina J. Cullinan Professor of Art & Art History, Professor of Film and Media Studies at Rice University. He is a renowned expert of Iranian and diasporic cinema. Representative publications include: An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton University Press, 2001); Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place (Routledge, 1998); and The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles (University of Minnesota Press, 1993). Dr. Naficy has also produced many of his own educational and experimental films.
Hossein Omoumi is the Maseeh Professor in Persian Performing Arts at the University of California Irvine. He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Tehran, where he became a master Ney (traditional Iranian reed flute) player. He has performed at major festivals and concert halls in Europe and the United States, including: San Francisco’s World Music Festival; UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall; Wadsworth Theater; the Getty Center, in Los Angeles; the World Music Institute and Asia Society in New York; and Theatre de la Ville in Paris. His recorded musical performances comprise a discography of fourteen CDs; representative albums include: Kiya and Ziya Tabassian; The Song of the Ney; and Sarmast: Trance of Devotion. Omoumi is a noted scholar and teacher of Persian music, having served on the National Conservatory and Tehran University in Tehran, Center for Oriental Music Studies of Sorbonne University in Paris, UCLA in Los Angeles and the Ethnomusicology department of the University of Washington in Seattle. Prof. Omoumi is the founder of the Haft Dastgah Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of classical Persian music. He is also an architect, having received his doctorate from the University of Florence, Italy.