A Talk by Dr. Ali Ferdowsi

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Time: 06:20 PM
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Berkeley Lecture Series" presents:

A Talk by Dr. Ali Ferdowsi
Topic: Oedipus in Shiraz: Hafez and Princely Villainy

Ali Ferdowsi holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at his Alma Mata, Temple University, University of California at Berkeley and Tokyo University for Foreign Studies. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Notre Dame de Namur University.

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2006
Time: Gathering at 6:00, program starts at 6:30 P.M.
Place: 110 Barrows Hall

University of California, Berkeley


Lecture in Persian

Suggested Donation: $10.00

No donation expected from students

Further questions may be directed to: berkeleylectures@yahoo.com

According to Dr. Ferdowsi: “A son blinds his father, lets him die in exile, and elopes with his father’s wife. Around the same time, he dismembers his tutor and regent, and scatters his body parts all over his domain. Murder, blinding, incest—these are the classic ingredients of every oedipal story. The central figure in this saga is Shah Shoja (d.786/1384), the mid-14th century Mozaffarid ruler of Shiraz and adjacent areas. The scandal threw his reign into a downward spiral that temporarily cost him his throne. His courtiers went to work to alter the valence of the scandal by overwriting it with an edifying counter-narrative: the famous Biblical/ Koranic story of Joseph, itself long recognized as a variant of the oedipal theme. Hafez was one of these courtiers. Like other Persian courtly authors, he too invested his incredible skills in the magical alchemy of a labor of mystification to conjure up a discourse of legitimacy out of the existing and widely shared capital of the Perso-Islamic tradition.”

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