"Reading Lolita in Tehran" subject of First Year Seminar Lecture


Dr. Azar Nafisi to speak on her bestselling memoir

The lecture launched in 2013 with "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Last year's lecture was delivered by Steven Johnson on the topic of his book, "The Ghost Map." 

Image of Reading Lolita in Tehran Book

Dr. Nafisi is currently the director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. She studied in the U.S. in the 1970s and earned her Ph.D. at University of Oklahoma. She returned to Iran and taught at the University of Tehran, and in 1981, she was expelled for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil and did not resume teaching until 1987.

She taught at the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai and then held a fellowship at Oxford University, teaching and conducting a series of lectures on culture and the important role of Western literature and culture in Iran after the revolution in 1979. Dr. Nafisi returned to the United States in 1997 — earning national respect and international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran’s intellectuals, especially young women.

Dr. Nafisi has written for "The New York Times," "Washington Post," and "The Wall Street Journal". Her cover story, “The Veiled Threat: The Iranian Revolution’s Woman Problem” published in "The New Republic" (February 22, 1999) has been reprinted in several languages. She is the author of "Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels." She also wrote the new introduction to the Modern Library Classics edition of "Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad," as well as the introduction to Iraj Pezeshkzad’s "My Uncle Napoleon," published by Modern Library (April 2006). She has published a children’s book, "BiBi and the Green Voice"(translated into Italian, as BiBie la voce verde, and Hebrew). Azar Nafisi’s book, "Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter," a memoir about her mother, was published in January 2009. Her new book is entitled "The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books" (October 2014).

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