Iran Awareness Week (IAW)

(Download the Poster)


In the wake of the recent global attention to Iran, "Iran Awareness Group," a group of Iranian students at the University of Michigan, is holding a series of events to raise public awareness of Iran, its culture, history, and society. IAW is sponsored by the Iranian Graduate Students Association.


Similar events are taking place at other institutions among which is Stanford University. The Persian Student Association at Stanford University is holding a series of educational programs on four consecutive Sundays starting April 24, 2005. See Iran: Past and Present.


 Schedule of Events


Friday, April 1, 2005



Researching in and About Iran by Professor Camron Amin 
2:00-3:30 PM, Koessler Room, Michigan LEAGUE

This talk will explore the strategies and methodologies that can be employed to study the history of modern Iran. The focus will be on the press and oral history, with some discussion of archival material. The purpose of the presentation is to generate a broader, interdisciplinary discussion with the audience about researching in and about Iran.

Professor Amin is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He received his B.A. and B.S. in History and Electrical Engineering, respectively, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988, and his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 1996. His publications include "The Making of the Modern Iranian Woman: Gender, State Policy, and Popular Culture, 1865-1946" published by University Press of Florida, "Importing Beauty Culture into Iran in the 1920s and 1930s: Mass Marketing Individualism in an Age of Anti-Imperialist Sacrifice" and "Selling and Saving Mother Iran: Gender and the Iranian Press in the 1940s."



Tuesday, April 12, 2005



Iran Today

5:30-6:35 PM, Chesebrough (Chrysler) Auditorium, North Campus

Intermission with Some Persian Food and Pop Music

Color of Paradise

7:15-8:45 PM, Chesebrough (Chrysler) Auditorium, North Campus


Wednesday, April 13, 2005



Iran - A Video Journey

5:30-7:15 PM, Room 2105A, Michigan Union


Thursday, April 14, 2005



Mosaddegh and CIA's Coup of 1953 in Iran

5:30-6:30 PM, Chesebrough (Chrysler) Auditorium, North Campus

Intermission with Some Persian Food and Pop Music

Where is the Friend's House?

7:00-8:30 PM, Chesebrough (Chrysler) Auditorium, North Campus


Friday, April 15, 2005



IRAN: The Beautiful and Western Tropes of Desolation

An illustrated lecture by Professor Margaret Cool Root

6:00-7:30 PM, Henderson Room, Michigan League


U.S. rhetoric for the "War on Terror" in the Middle East evokes mountains as sinister zones riddled with cave hideouts; it evokes deserts and plains as desolate regions where, in effect, life is not worth living. Rather similar and pervasive western tropes have portrayed ancient Iran as a shadowed, grim, colorless place--a place that somehow deserves defeat, deserves negation as a site of substance and meaning. In this lecture images of Iran and its artistic traditions both in late prehistory and in the heyday of the Persian empire will be rallied to a different narrative. We probe the reasons for contemporary echoes of orientalist rhetoric of desolation. We seek to raise awareness of Iran as a living, breathing landscape of intersecting legacies, beings, and becomings.



Margaret Cool Root is Professor of Near Eastern and Greek Art and Archaeology in the Department of the History  of Art at the University of Michigan as well as Curator of Ancient Near Eastern and Greek Collections and Acting Director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. Her now-classic first book, The King and Kingship in Achaemenid Art: Essays on the Creation of an Iconography of Empire (1979), marked the beginning of a career that continues to explore ancient Iran, and especially the Achaemenid Persian empire, in ways that radically readjust our understanding of the significance of this region to the social history of the ancient world. She has won many grants and awards for her scholarship on Iran. Her work in this field includes a long list of articles as well as numerous books, book chapters, and edited volumes. Along with several scholarly publications on the imperial capital, Persepolis, nearing completion at present, she is now finishing a book for general readers called Handbook to Life in the Persian Empire, for the Facts on File series. Her current exhibition at the Kelsey Museum is entitled "This Fertile Land: Signs + Symbols in the Early Arts of Iran and Iraq," with an accompanying book by the same title (2005).


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