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Your First Year

First Year Book

We are very pleased to announce that the First Year Book for the class of 2017 will be Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran

New students will receive their copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran at Summer Advising, read it over the summer and participate in a small group discussion of the book as part of New Student Orientation in August.  Dr Nafisi will speak to the first year class about Reading Lolita in Tehran, and her current work on the value of the liberal arts, on Monday, September 30 at 4:30 in Decker Theater, Gibson Center for the Arts. (If you are not able to attend Summer Advising in June, your book will be mailed to your home address in July.)

In Reading Lolita in Tehran Nafisi tells of how beginning in 1995 she and seven of her women students met in secret to read classic works of Western literature as the Iranian government began to ban these works at Iranian universities. As it became more and more difficult for women to study at Iranian universities, Nafisi resigned her university position in protest but gathered with her students in her home to pursue their readings and share their own life stories.

Reading Lolita in Tehran was highly praised by publications all over the U.S. including the NY Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, the Miami Herald, Kirkus Reviews, the Library Journal and Publishers’ Weekly, and by diverse writers including Susan Sontag, Geraldine Brooks, Bernard Lewis and Margaret Atwood.

Azar Nafisi is now Visiting Professor and executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. She 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. She taught at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University, and Allameh Tabatabai before her return to the United States in 1997.

For more on Azar Nafisi and Reading Lolita in Tehran: http://azarnafisi.com/.