Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies

5:30 PM—7:30 PM
Faculty House of Columbia University 64 Morningside Drive New York, New York 10027




The first meeting of the 25th consecutive year of the Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies for the academic year 2012‐2013 will take place on: Thursday September 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm in the Faculty House of Columbia University.

Our speakers will be:
Mr. Hamid Rahmanian, Film Maker and Graphic Artist in New York City, and Dr. Ahmad Sadri, Chair Professor at Lake Forest College in Chicago Who will present their project of A New Abridged Shahnameh translation with over 400 pages of Illustrations

Summaries of talks:

1. Summary of Presentation of Images By Hamid Rahmanian: SHAHNAMEH: THE EPIC OF THE PERSIAN KINGS is a new illustrated translation that tells the stories of the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. This new book edition with over 400 pages of new illustrations will be published by Quantuck Lane Press and distributed by W. W. Norton & Co. in March 2013. The illustrations incorporate traditional Persian imagery from the fourteenth to the nineteen centuries. The new translation and adaptation retells the mythological tales from the Shahnameh, aiming to encourage a new generation of readers to discover the treasure of fantastical stories that are presently little-known to the average reader in the West.

2. The New Abridged Translation of Shahnemeh by Ahmad Sadri: This abridged translation is meant to accompany a new, illustrated Shahnameh with the aim of infusing the popular imagination of the 21st Century with the legends of Iran’s national epic. The recurring battles between Iran and Turan provide the backdrop for three sweeping love stories and four, increasingly human-centered tragedies. The character-based abridged narration of the mythic and epic portions of the book aims to attract audiences whose minds are formatted and whose tastes have been formed by the syntax of film and other modern media. Only characters with speaking lines have been named, once introduced, each character is fully fleshed out.


1. Hamid Rahmanian is a filmmaker and graphic artist. He holds a B.F.A. from the University of Tehran in Graphic Design and earned a M.F.A. in Computer Animation in 1997 from Pratt Institute in New York City. He received “The First Place College Award” (a student Emmy) from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was nominated for a Student Academy Award for his animation, THE SEVENTH DAY, among other awards in 1997. His first 35 mm film, a 19-minute short, AN I WITHIN, received Kodak’s "Best Cinematography Award" and “Best American Short” from the LA International Short Film Festival. Mr. Rahmanian then went on to make three documentaries on video: BREAKING BREAD (2000), SIR ALFRED OF CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT (2001) and SHAHRBANOO (2002), all of which have been well received by the media and worldwide audiences. In September 2003, Mr. Rahmanian co-founded and was the president (2003-2007) of ARTEEAST, an organization committed to promoting the arts and cultures of the Middle East in the US and abroad. In 2005 he completed his first feature length narrative film entitled DAY BREAK, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was the recipient of several prestigious awards. He completed the feature-length documentary THE GLASS HOUSE in the fall of 2008 that premiered at IDFA and Sundance Film Festival. It was the winner of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Human Rights Award and Best Documentary from Spain’s Urban TV. He is currently illustrating a new edition of the Ferdowsi’s Shah-nameh.

2. Ahmad Sadri is Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. His published books include: Max Weber's Sociology of Intellectuals, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Selected as one of the "outstanding academic books" of 1993 by Choice Magazine, January 1994.

Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam: Essays by Abdolkarim Soroush, New York, Oxford University Press, 2000 (translated from Persian with an introduction by Ahmad Sadri and Mahmoud Sadri).

He has also published numerous articles on various problems of our time, including: "Adjusting to the World According to Salman Rushdie," "Reinventing the Wheel of Democracy: An Exercise in Intercivilizational Exchange," "The Second Death of the Soul of the Salesman," "Business Ethics for Post Liberal Capitalism," "Intercultural Understanding: Leo Strauss and Max Weber."


To reach the Faculty House:

Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.

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