Persian Course Catalog

Language Coursework

The Persian language has a literary history of more than 2,500 years and a provenance that includes vast areas of Asia. Modern literary Persian, or Farsi, has an extremely rich literary tradition of 1,000 years and presently is used and spoken by approximately 40 million people. This three-course sequence is designed to guide a student to proficiency in the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This means that students, at the end of three semesters, are able to speak adequately in all social situations and read and write all general, non-specialized material without frequent resort to dictionaries or grammars.

1101 Elementary Persian I

Introduction to Persian; development of listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Closed to native speakers of this language.  Not open to students with credit for Persian 101. This course is available for EM credit. GE for lang course.

In Persian 1101, Elementary Persian I, students learn the alphabet, some basic conversational Persian, one third of the grammar content of the required text, and about 500 words in addition to basic grammatical items. They also read and write simple prose of approximately one paragraph in length. The final grade is determined on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, a midterm test, and a final examination.    Example Syllabus

1102 Elementary Persian II

Further development of listening, writing, speaking, and reading skills; reading of simplified Persian texts. Closed to native speakers of this language.  Prereq: 1101 or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 102. This course is available for EM credit. GE for lang course.

In Persian 1102, Elementary Persian II, students develop and gain confidence in spoken Persian, master the second third of the grammar content of the required text, acquire an active vocabulary of about 1,200 words and read and write simple prose. The text and dictionary is the same as in Persian 1101, and additional reading material is provided. The grade determination is on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, a midterm test, and a final examination.     Example Syllabus

1103 Intermediate Persian I

Further development of listening, writing, speaking, and reading skills; reading of simplified Persian texts. Closed to native speakers of this language.  Prereq: 1102 or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 102. This course is available for EM credit. GE for lang course.

In Persian 1103, Intermediate Persian I, students begin consolidating skills in conversational and social Farsi, master the last third of the required text of 1101 and 1102, acquire an active vocabulary of 2,200 words, begin to read shorter, annotated literary texts, and write simple expository prose of about a page in length. The required text and dictionaries are the same as in 1110 and 1102. The final grade is determined on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, a midterm test, and a final examination. In Persian 2104, Intermediate Persian II, students master conversational and social Farsi and read and write in Farsi about general or non-specialized subjects without frequent reference to bilingual dictionaries or grammars.     Example Syllabus

2104 Intermediate Persian II

Extensive reading from literary texts, with practice in conversation and composition.  Prereq: 1103 (104). Not open to students with credit for 201.     Example Syllabus

2105 Intermediate Persian III

Continued reading from literary texts, with further practice in conversation, composition, and translation. Prereq: 2101 (201). Not open to students with credit for 202.     Example Syllabus

3101 Advanced Persian: Reading and Composition

Extensive reading of classical and modern Persian literary texts, with practice in grammar and composition at an advanced level.  Prereq: 2102, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 301.     Example Syllabus

 

Seminars & Lectures

2241 Persian Culture

A survey of Persian culture through the reading of Persian literature in translation, viewing of Persian films, and listening to Persian music.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 241. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

This course will expose students to the diversity and richness of Persian culture. Because of the importance of religion in Persian culture, students will study in broad outline the distinguishing features of Shi'a Islam as practiced in Iran and they will be introduced to the main tenets of Persian sufism. The impact on Iran of two outside cultures - that of the Arabs and that of the industrialized West - will also be considered. The course will take into account endemic tensions in Persian culture: for example, between indigenous and outside forces, between absolutism and populism, etc. Much of the instruction will be through the examination of literary works, particularly twentieth century literary works; students will also see Iranian films and receive an introduction to Persian music and the Persian tradition of miniature painting.     Example Syllabus

2701 Persian Literature in Translation

A study of Persian literature in translation and the history of its discourses, genres, and styles.  Prereq: English 1110 (110). Not open to students with credit for 371. GE lit and diversity global studies course.

This course will expose students to Persian literature in translation from both classical and modern periods in order to make it available to students and comparativists in other languages and disciplines. The aim of the course is for the student to become acquainted with a number of representative works of Persian literature, to identify enduring themes in the literature, and to see the ways in which modern Persian literature has grown from its classical origins.     Example Syllabus

2704  Introduction to Persian Epic

An introduction, in English, to the Shahnameh of AbolQasem Ferdowsi.  Prereq: English 1110 (110). Not open to students with credit for 374. GE lit course.     Example Syllabus

5601 Persian Prose

Selected readings reflecting the major genres of classical Persian prose, plus a modern novel. Prereq: 3101or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 651.

This course seeks to familiarize students whose command of Persian is at an advanced level with the major genres of both classical and modern Persian prose. Students who have in the lower level courses read excerpts chosen largely for their degree of difficulty will read entire works, or major portions of such works, chosen for their literary quality and for their seminal influence in genre and style. Students will increase their fluency in reading and learn to exercise an enhanced facility in the language.

5602  Persian Poetry

Selected topics in Persian poetry, concentrating primarily on the medieval poetic narrative, as exemplified by epic, romance, and the mystical/didactic poem. Prereq: 3101, or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 5 completions.

This course seeks to familiarize students whose command of Persian is at an advanced level with the major genres of both classical and modern Persian poetry. Students who have in the lower level courses read excerpts chosen largely for their degree of difficulty will read entire works, or major portions of such works, chosen for their literary quality and for their seminal influence in genre and style. Students will increase their fluency in reading and learn to exercise an enhanced facility in the language.     Example Syllabus

7601 Studies in Persian Poetry

Advanced study of specific poetic periods, figures, and/or topics involving extensive reading and discussion of appropriate primary and secondary materials.  Prereq: 9 cr hrs of Persian at the 5000 level or above. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 5 completions.

Through close reading of a number of primary texts and consultation of major secondary sources, students will become acquainted with a range of poets, discourses, and critical questions, as well as with the historical and cultural context that gave rise to them. In addition, they are expected to advance significantly in their ability to deal competently with complex Persian cultural issues and to gain greater familiarity with the various sources where aid in dealing with these issues may be sought.

8891 Seminar in Persian Studies

Intensive investigation of a selected topic or problem in Persian literature, literary culture, philology, or linguistics.
Prereq: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs or 5 completions.

This course will give graduate students an opportunity to explore thoroughly a major issue or phenomenon in the larger context of Persian literary culture and to examine its ramifications and implications. The objective is to provide a well-defined area of concentrated literary/cultural study and invite the investigation of a specific scholarly problem through the application of appropriate research skills and methodological approaches. By the end of the course, students ought to have sufficient familiarity with the requirements and parameters of literary analysis; the specific character of Persian literature and its audience; and the challenges to interpretation posed by the peculiarities of Persian culture and tradition. Students will be expected to read and prepare all texts for discussion by their assigned dates. Each student, in consultation with the instructor, will choose and prepare a particular text which will then be assigned to the entire class and dealt with in a discussion directed by that student. In addition, students will compose one major research paper, based upon the sources used in the course (and any other appropriate sources), due during the final week of class.     Example Syllabus


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