The Afrassiabi Distinguished Lectures in Persian and Iranian Studies

This lectureship was established in honor of Hooshang Afrassiabi, who passed away on February 14, 1998. By that time, Hooshang and his family had lived in Seattle for almost two decades, having moved to the U.S. after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Mr. Afrassiabi's advanced degrees in Iran had included a focus on administration and government affairs, and he had a distinguished career in government service, including the position of Mayor of the lovely city of Shiraz. But his undergraduate education there had been in Persian literature, a love that he was to cherish for the rest of his life. In 1999 his three sons, all alumni of the UW in various fields, began the establishment of an endowment in their father's name. The endowment supports this lectureship as well as the annual student prize.

Next Lecture

Past Lectures

  • 2022:  Dec. 1; "Perspectives on the Fate of the Middle Iranian Languages" by Adam Benkato, UC Berkeley.
  • 2021: May 4; "Longing For Which Past? Poetry, Nostalgia, and State Building in Post-revolutionary Iran: A Conversation with  Fatemeh Shams, the University of Pennsylvania - Revolution in Rhyme: Official Poets of the Islamic Republic
  • 2019: March 7; "Iranian Jews in the Twentieth Century: Between Iranian Nationalism, Communism, and Zionism," by Lior Sternfeld, Pennsylvania State University. 7:00pm in Kane Hall, Walker-Ames Room, 225.
  • 2017: Feb 11; "Books from Bombay: Tehran's Print Marketplace and its Transnational Dimensions, 1900-1950," presented by Afshin Marashi, University of Oklahoma. 7:00pm in Kane Hall Room 220.
  • 2016: Feb 25; "Culture Iranian Style," presented by Nasrin Rahimieh, University of California Irvine. Click here to view the lecture.
  • 2013: March 9; "Do the Stars in Heaven Speak? Rumi, a Poet for the 21st Century," presented by Fatemah Keshavarz, University of Maryland.
  • 2012: Feb 25; "Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Arab Awakening: Ruptures or Continuities?" presented by Abbas Milani, Stanford University.
  • 2008: Feb 23; "Missed Opportunities between Iran and the United States, and the Way Ahead," presented by Babara Slavin, USA Today Correspondent.
  • 2007: Feb 7; "Matriotic Nationalism and the Making of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911," presented by Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, University of Toronto-Mississauga.
  • 2006: Feb 12; "Justice, Purity, and Sexuality in Modern Iranian History," presented by Janet Afary, Purdue University.
  • 2005: Feb 20; "Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran,” presented by the author, Terence Ward.
  • 2004: Feb 21; "Exile and Exilic Writing in Persian Literature," presented by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, University of Washington.
  • 2003: "Origins of Iranian Modernism," presented by  Dr. Layla Diba, Brooklyn Museum NY.
  • 2002: "A New Iran: Iranian Culture and Politics in the New Century," presented by Elaine Sciolino, NY Times.
  • 2001: Title of talk unavailable. Presented by Jerome W. Clinton, Princeton University.
  • 2000: "Puccini's Turandot Meets Nezami's Haft Paykar," presented by Peter Chelkowski, New York University.
  • 1999: "Translating Persian Literature: the Challenge and the Promise," presented by Dick Davis, Ohio State University.