The Intellectual Heritage of Iranian Jews in Judeo-Persian (Lecture in Persian)

Bilingual Lecture Series

The Intellectual Heritage of Iranian Jews in Judeo-Persian (Lecture in Persian)

Lecture by Nahid Pirnazar (UCLA)

Sunday, June 5, 2022
11:30 AM (Pacific Time)

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Judeo-Persian Writings, an original comprehensive collection published in 2021, gives parallel examples in Judeo-Persian and Perso-Arabic script and their translations into English. Most Judeo-Persian documents not only reflect the twenty-seven centuries of Jewish life in Iran, but they are also a testament to their intellectual, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions. The significant value of such documents is found in the areas of linguistics, history, sociocultural and literary issues, in the form of verse and prose. As an example, Ketāb-e Anūsi, The Book of the Forced Converts, was compiled by three poets, Bābāi’ Ben Loṭf, Bābāi’ Ben Farhād and Mashiah ben Rephael. This historical narrative, transliterated from Judeo-Pasian to Perso-Arabic script in 2021, reports about the forced conversions and the events relevant to Iranian Jewish communities that took place during the period of Shah Abbas I of the Safavid, through the rise of the Afsharid period (1613-1730).

Nahid Pirnazar, who received her Ph.D. from UCLA in Iranian Studies, currently holds the Habib Levy Visiting Professorship of Judeo-Persian Literature and The History of Iranian Jews at UCLA. She is the founder and president of the research organization of “House of Judeo-Persian Manuscripts.” Her works have been featured in academic publications including, Irano-Judaica, Irānshenāsi, Iran Nameh, and Iran Namag. She is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World as well as Encyclopædia Iranica; the guest editor of the quarterly of Iran Namag (Summer, 2016); and editor of Farshihood (Tehran, 2018/1397). Her most recent publications include: Judeo-Persian Writings: A Manifestation of Intellectual and Literary Life (2020) and Ketab-e Anusi: Poetic Narratives of the Life of Iranian Jews in the Safavid Era, in the series of Ketab-e Iran Namag (2021).

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Emeritus Professor at the University of Maryland, and a scholar of Persian and Iranian studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA will serve as a respondent after the lecture.

Lecture in Persian

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian Studies