Ahoo Najafian: On Feminine Voice in Classical Persian Poetry

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Ahoo Najafian


January 28, 2021

The 52nd episode of Parse is an excerpt of a lecture given by Ahoo Najafian on the feminine voice in classical Persian poetry in the complicated network of contexts, including looking at the past through the lens of present, knowing the poets through the gaze of male authors, and composing poetry through the seemingly fixed structure of classical Persian poetics. Najafian focuses on three poets, namely, Mahsati Ganjavi (12th century), Padshah Khatun (13th century), and Jahan Malek Khatun (14th century), as they are represented in poetry anthologies and juxtapose some of their works with those of their male counterparts. 
Ahoo Najafian is Assistant Professor of Religion at Macalester College where she teaches on Islam, gender, arts, and literature. Her research focuses on the intersection of religion. literature, and politics in Iran and intellectual history of the related concepts. She is working on a manuscript, titled Poetic Nation: Iranian Soul and Historical Continuity, on the meaning, production, and consumption of ‘erfan/mysticism in 20th-century Iran through the figure of Hafez, the 14th-century poet. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University, M.A in Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia, M.A. and B.A. in English Literature from the University of Tehran. 
To watch the full talk, click here: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JauqFRIFmEA&t=199s⁠