Screening and Discussion: “Mouth Harp in Minor Key” with Dr. Hamid Naficy

Film - Documentary | November 6 | 7-9 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall

 Hamid Naficy, Northwestern University; Persis Karim, San Francisco State University

 Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies

Join the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and San Francisco State's Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies for a special screening of "Mouth Harp in Minor Key", a documentary about prolific Iranian-American academic Dr. Hamid Naficy. Following the screening, Dr. Naficy will be in conversation with Dr. Persis Karim, Chair of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at SFSU.

Bilingual and bicultural, Hamid Naficy is the main character in this documentary on the mixed blessings of the state of exile that he has likened to an elevator that runs between “two cultural poles, two memories, two lives.” He’s a member of the Iranian generation that lived through the modernization of the country that preceded the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and the Islamization that followed it. Like many Iranians who were studying in US universities when the revolution began, he chose not to return to Iran. He has succeeded both personally and professionally in his adopted country; yet, he has also managed to retain his linguistic and cultural links and succeeded in conducting penetrating analyses of both the rich cultural heritage of his original homeland—his roots—and of the fecund terrain of exile in his adopted land—his routes.

Hamid Naficy is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media, and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas and media. His areas of research and teaching include these topics as well as documentary and ethnographic cinemas. He has published nearly a dozen books (some award-winning) and scores of book chapters and journal articles. In addition, he has lectured widely, nationally and internationally, and his works have been cited and reprinted extensively and translated into many languages. Naficy has also produced many educational films and experimental videos and participated in major international film festivals, curated film series, and initiated the annual Iranian film festivals in Los Angeles in 1990 and in Houston in 1992.

Persis Karim is the Neda Nobari Chair of the newly-established Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and a professor in the Comparative and World Literature department at SFSU. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1999-2017, she was a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University, where she taught courses in English, American literature, world literature, ethnic literature, creative writing, and Middle Eastern studies. She coordinated their Middle Eastern Studies minor program from 2010-2017 and was the founding director of their Persian Studies Program.
Prof. Karim is the editor/co-editor of three anthologies of Iranian diaspora literature: Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (2013); Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (2006), and A World Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian-Americans (1999). She has written numerous articles on modern Iranian literature and Iranian diaspora literature for journals such as Iranian Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States. She is also a published poet.

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