Persian Faculty and Staff
Director, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies
Office: 1220C Jiménez Hall
Fatemeh Keshavarz, born and raised in the city of Shiraz, completed her studies in Shiraz University, and University of London. She taught at Washington University in St. Louis for over twenty years where she chaired the Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from 2004 to 2011. In 2012, Keshavarz joined the University of Maryland as Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies, and Director of Roshan Institute for Persian Studies. Keshavarz is author of award winning books including Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi (USC Press,1998), Recite in the Name of the Red Rose (USC Press, 2006) and a book of literary analysis and social commentary titled Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran (UNC Press, 2007). She has also published other books and numerous journal articles. Keshavarz is a published poet in Persian and English and an activist for peace and justice. She was invited to speak at the UN General Assembly on the significance of cultural education. Her NPR show “The ecstatic faith of Rumi” brought her the Peabody Award in 2008. In the same year, she received the “Herschel Walker Peace and Justice Award.
Ahmet T. Karamustafa
Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
Tel: 301 -405- 4295
Office: 2101P Francis Scott Key Hall
Ahmet T. Karamustafa is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, and the Associate Director for Academic Affairs at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies. His expertise is in social and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Islam in the Middle East and Southwest Asia as well as in theory and method in the study of religion. His monographs include God’s Unruly Friends (Univ. of Utah Press, 1994) a book on ascetic movements in medieval Islam and Sufism: The Formative Period a comprehensive historical overview of early Islamic mysticism published simultaneously by Edinburgh Univ. Press & Univ. of California Press, 2007. He served as an editor for, and wrote several articles in, Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992). His current book projects include The Flowering of Sufism as well as Vernacular Islam: Everyday Religious Life in Medieval Turkey. Professor Karamustafa has held several administrative positions including the directorship of the Religious Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the co-chair of the Study of Islam Section at the American Academy of Religion, 2008 -2011.
Professor of Persian Language, Literature, and Culture
Office: 1220B Jiménez Hall
For 19 years Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak was professor of Persian language and literature and Iranian culture and civilization at the University of Washington. He has studied in Iran and the United States, receiving his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Rutgers University in 1979, and has taught English and comparative literature and translation studies, as well as classical and modern Persian literature at the University of Tehran, Rutgers University, Columbia University, and the University of Texas. Professor Karimi-Hakkak is the author of 19 books and over 100 major scholarly articles. He has contributed articles on Iran and Persian literature to many reference works, including The Encyclopedia Britannica, The Encyclopaedia Iranica, and The Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. His works have been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, and Persian. He has won numerous awards and honors, and has served as president of the International Society for Iranian Studies and several other professional academic organizations. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak is married and has two sons, Kusha Karimi and Kia Karimi.
Director, Persian Language Program
Office: 2116A Susquehanna Hall
Dr. Nahal Akbari is the director of the Persian language program, including its Flagship component. Since 1996, she has taught ESL, ESP, academic writing courses, and Persian as an additional language. Her research interests include intercultural rhetoric, academic literacy, second language writing, and teacher education.
Office: 1220A Jiménez Hall
Dr. Ali R. Abasi is associate professor of Persian with a primary research interest in second language writing. Some of his most recent publications have appeared in International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Journal of Language and Politics, Journal of Second Language Writing, English for Specific Purposes, and Journal of English for Academic Purposes.
Hooman Koliji is an assistant professor of architecture at the School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland. His research operates at the intersection of visual and material representation, West-East exchanges, and architecture and landscape. He has lectured internationally and presented papers at major scholarly conferences. His recent paper, “Revisiting the Squinch: From Squaring the Circle to Circling the Square” was published in the Nexus Network Journal: Architecture and Mathematics (2012). He has served on Editorial Boards and Advisory Boards of Iranian Studies Journal and Art and Architecture Magazine (2A Magazine), respectively. His published book, Dirineh Khaneh: Sketches from Iranian Architecture (2005, 2010 second edition) is a critical inquiry into the nature of field drawings and their cited objects, buildings.
Ida Meftahi currently holds a Visiting Assistant Professorship in contemporary Iranian culture and society at the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. Her first book, Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage is scheduled for release in Spring 2016 (Routledge Iranian Studies Series). Offering a novel approach to corporeality in twentieth-century Iran, Dr. Meftahi’s historical research intersects with studies of gender, urbanism, performance, cinema, and political economy of public entertainment. In addition to teaching interdisciplinary courses on Modern Iran, she is the director of the Lalehzar Digital Project, a component of the Roshan Initiative for Digital Humanities, as well as faculty advisor for Roshangar: Roshan Undergraduate Journal for Persian Studies.
Matthew Thomas Miller is a Roshan Institute Research Fellow and the Associate Director of theRoshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities (PersDig@UMD) at the University of Maryland (College Park). He also serves as the co-PI for the multi-institutional Islamicate Texts Initiative (ITI) and the Persianate Manuscripts Initiative (PMI). Previously he was a dissertation fellow at Washington University in St. Louis (2013-2014), Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Fellow (2012-2013), and Mellon Sawyer Graduate Fellow (2011-2012). He currently is working on a book project, entitled "The Poetics Sufi Carnival: The 'Rogue Lyrics' (Qalandariyât) of Sanâ'i, 'Attâr, and 'Erâqi," and a number of articles on the topics of: (1) sexuality and embodiment in the medieval Persian world, and (2) computational ("distant reading") approaches to Persian literature. See his website for more details.
Dr. Moaddel studies culture, ideology, political conflict, revolution and social change. His work currently focuses on the causes and consequences of values and attitudes of the Middle Eastern publics. He has carried out values surveys in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. He has also carried out youth surveys in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. His previous research project analyzed the determinants of ideological production in the Islamic world, in which he studied the rise of Islamic modernism in Egypt, India, and Iran in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; liberal nationalism in Egypt, anti-clerical secularism in Iran, liberal Arabism and Pan-Arab nationalism in Syria and Iraq in the first half of twentieth century; and Islamic fundamentalism in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and Syria in the second half of the twentieth century. His fields of research and teaching interests are values survey, sociology of ideology, sociology of religion, political conflict and revolution, terrorism and political violence, and Islam and the Middle East. He has also taught statistics and research methods. He has recently completed a cross-national comparative survey project in seven Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. He is currently planning to launch a panel study of the dynamics of changes in values and political engagement in Tunisia. For more information, see www.mevs.org.