Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature
Pick Hall 214
I teach courses on Persian literature and language, medieval Islamic thought, Islamic mysticism, Iranian cinema, translation history, and comparative literature, and am the current Director of Graduate Studies for the Medieval and Modern programs in NELC. I run the email discussion list Adabiyat for students and scholars of Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Urdu literatures, and serve as Deputy Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, as well as President of the American Institute of Iranian Studies. From 1997-2005 I taught at Emory University in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies.
My research interests center on Persian literature, particularly the Samanid to the Timurid period, as well as 20th-century poetry & prose; comparative literature (performance, genre studies, semiotics, sociology of literary production, narratology, hermeneutics, homiletics, codicology and editorial theory focusing on Arabic and medieval European literatures); and mystical and esoteric traditions in the Islamicate world (including Sufi, Shiʻi and Baha’i thought and theology). Publications include several translations of modern Persian prose and poetry, and articles on Hâfez, ʻAttâr, Saʻdi, Najm al-Din Dâye, Persian literature and the Qur’ân, the Sufi orders, the hagiographical tradition, the writings of Bahâ’ Allâh. An ongoing interest in Mowlânâ Jalâl al-Din Rumi is reflected in my monograph on the subject, a book of literary translations of his poems, a guest-edited special journal issue focusing on the current state of Rumi studies, and an edition and translation of the discourses of Borhân al-Din Mohaqqeq of Termez, the teacher who purportedly initiated Rumi in the mystic tradition.