Dr. Hessam Dehghani earned his first PhD in Linguistics from Allameh Tabātabāi University, on the “Structural Analysis and Phenomenological Study of Persian Literature,” in 2012. He then earned another PhD in Philosophy from Boston College in 2019. Between August 2019 and December 2020, he was a post-doctoral fellow and associate researcher at Harvard Divinity School and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where he focused his research on the formation of Persianate identity in Persian mystic literature. He has presented on different aspects of Persian mystic literature regularly at Harvard University and Boston College. His most recent lecture exploring the literary theory behind the work of Rahnavard-i Zaryab was delivered on June 18, 2022 as part of the Alireza Ahmadian Lecture Series at the University of British Columbia.
Besides his research interests, he has been teaching English as a foreign language in Iran since 2000, and Persian and Arabic in North America for the past 8 years. Since 2012, he has taught Persian and Arabic and has directed the Persian program single-handedly at Boston College for which he received a teaching award and was nominated for a leadership award from that institution. In 2021, Dr. Dehghani started his tenure-track position as an assistant professor of teaching Persian language and Culture at the University of British Columbia. In pedagogy, his interests lie in content-based instruction and critical heritage language education for which he has passed multiple CAL, ACFTL and STARTALK workshops and received several certifications from 2013 up to present. He is passionate about implementing technology in teaching Persian. Implementing the latest findings in critical heritage education and second language acquisition, he and his wife, Mahtab Sirdani, devised a new method of teaching literacy to heritage learners of Persian, which they call Collaborative Storytelling (CT).
To promote public humanities, that is, the education of humanities to the community of Persianates outside their native land, since March 2021, Dr. Dehghani and a team of enthusiastic students of his have started UBC Perisan Literature Reading Club through which they hold weekly literature reading sessions and monthly lectures in Persian. In these monthly sessions, accompanied by a panel of experts as part of a project titled: “The Oral History of Modern Persian Literature,” they interview the most prominent figures of modern Persian Literature especially the literary figures in migration and exile.