Claflin News

Persian Literature and Women’s Studies Scholar to Speak at Claflin University

Feb 04, 2013

University of Virginia department chair Dr. Farzaneh Milani will speak on “A Revolution within Revolutions: The Transformative Impact of Women Writers in Contemporary Iran” at Claflin University on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium at 6:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

Milani grew up in Tehran, Iran before coming stateside.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature from California State University at Hayward and did her graduate work in comparative literature at the University of California-Los Angeles.

She taught Persian language and literature at UCLA before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1986.  A professor and chair of the UVA’s Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, she is formerly the director of studies in women and gender at UVA.

Milani’s books include Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement, which won the Latifeh Yarshater Book Award; A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems of Simin Behbahani (with Kaveh Safa), which won the Lois Roth Literary Award in Translation; and Veils and Words: The Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers.

An editor and an author of many articles, she lectures widely and writes extensively in Persian as well as English.  She has served as the guest editor for special issues of Nimeye-Digar, Persian Language Feminist Journal, IranNameh and Iranian Studies: Journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies. Additionally, she has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Ms. Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and USA Today and has contributed to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

A past president of the Association of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies in America and a 2006-2007 Carnegie scholar, she is also the recipient of many awards, including the 2012 Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation’s Woman of the Year Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Award and an All University Outstanding Teaching Award.

Milani’s appearance is part of series of guest lecturers on campus which aim to provide insight into the literature and culture of Southeast Asia.  The School of Humanities and Social Sciences received a $100,000 grant NEH grant last year to develop a curriculum to further educate Claflin study abroad students on the nations they’re going to visit.   

For more information, contact Dr. Mitali Wong by phone at 803-535-5221 or by e-mail at

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