Mission Statement

The Association for the Study of Persian Literature has been established to:

  • Raise awareness about Persian literature in the United States
  • Create a forum for scholarly debates about the current situation of Persian literature in Iran, Afghanistan, & Tajikistan
  • Encourage the study and dissemination of literary works produced in Persianate Societies

More than three decades after the Revolution of 1979, “post-Revolutionary literature” in Iran is characterized by an unprecedented growth in the number of works of fiction. Informed by the characteristics of Iran’s monumental, centuries-old literary tradition and influenced by the rapid social changes of recent decades, literary productions of this period have displayed a spectacular wealth in the variety of forms and ideas they have embodied. Being mindful of the multivocal nature of Iran’s current literary production, we believe that in order to present different dimensions and aspects of Iran’s literary image in the context of other cultures, the ASPL must aim to establish a continuous effort defined by and based on artistic and aesthetic values of different literary tendencies; one which represents the various trends in Iran’s literary scenes.

One of the most significant aspects of the ASPL is the emphasis on providing a forum for literary voices and discourses which oftentimes have been silenced simply because they have not been in line with official discourses and policies in Iran. Indeed, this official strategy has reached an alarming level. Particularly in the past decade, the policies promoted by the current government in Iran have used any and every tool at their disposal to promote a facile image of current Persian literary production by mostly emphasizing propagandist and officially-sanctioned or commissioned works while eliminating others. To remedy this situation, and to address the above-mentioned general directives, the ASPL has identified the following four categories to define its current areas of emphasis:

  • Publication of major works which have not received permission to be published in Iran, Afghanistan, & Tajikistan
  • Translation of major works of contemporary Persian literature
  • Holding scholarly conferences and workshops
  • Providing curricular assistance to institutions of higher education which plan to offer courses on modern Persian literature