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USC to Offer Iranian Studies Minor for the First Time Ever

Source: Farhang Foundation

Dr. Hani Khafipour Named by USC as its New Lecturer of Iranian History and Culture

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 5, 2013 - For the first time in its history, the University of Southern California's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will offer a minor in Iranian studies, as part of an initiative launched in November 2010 through the support of Farhang Foundation.

The university has also hired its first lecturer of Iranian History and Culture,Dr. Hani Khafipour, who has now joined the faculty at USC's Middle East Studies Program to facilitate the newly created minor program.

"I am very excited to join the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Southern California, and contribute to the development of a firm Iranian studies at USC," said Dr. Khafipour. "With Farhang Foundation's support and collaboration, I am confident that we will advance Iranian studies in Southern California, and American academia at large."

The minor in Iranian studies is the latest in a series of milestones in what has been a ground-breaking undertaking at USC. Sponsored by Farhang Foundation, the initiative set out to offer Persian language courses and a minor in Iranian studies at USC Dornsife. In fall 2011, Persian language courses taught by Professor Peyman Nojoumian began through USC Dornsife's Middle East Studies Program.

Farhang Foundation's Iranian Studies Initiative at USC has benefited greatly by engaging Iranian-American communities in Los Angeles and across California to contribute more than $875,000 in support. This endeavor is inspired by the belief that second and third generations of Iranian-Americans, as well as non-Iranians, deserve access to a systematic education in Persian language and culture, particularly in Southern California where so many Iranian-Americans reside.

"This landmark achievement at USC Dornsife is proof that when a community comes together, great things can happen," said Dr. Haleh Emrani, chair of Farhang Foundation's Iranian Studies Council. "The Iranian studies minor at USC Dornsife will provide students of all ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to learn the Persian language and thereby gain a deeper understanding of Persian culture, which is a significant step toward creating a tolerant and compassionate future."

Farhang Foundation will continue to spearhead community outreach and fundraising efforts to help ensure the success of the Iranian studies program, which has been well-received by USC faculty and students.

To learn more or to find out how to contribute, please visit

For information on the program and courses, visit

Click here to read the press release issued by USC's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

About Dr. Hani Khafipour

Dr. Hani Khafipour is a native of Iran, and completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (2013). His focus is on the history and culture of medieval and early-modern Iran. He has held research fellowships from the Iran Heritage Foundation (UK), and the American Institute of Iranian Studies (US). He was an Andrew W. Mellon fellow (2012), and a fellow of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute (2011). Dr. Khafipour's field of specialization is the history of Safavid Iran (1501-1722), which witnessed the flowering of Persian arts and architecture, international commerce and cultural exchange, and the revival of Islamic philosophical thought. His research focuses on notions of kingship, religio-political legitimacy, and the patronage of the arts and education in this period. Dr. Khafipour teaches courses on the medieval and modern history of Iran, classical Persian poetry and prose, and topical courses on Islamic "heresy", apocalypticism, and messianic movements in central Islamic lands. He is currently working on a book that examines the formation of political loyalty, patronage networks, and ideals of authority in Safavid Iran.

About USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC's 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 academic departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit

... Payvand News - 06/06/13 ... --

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