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SPT Speakers' Series

Looking back:

SPT Speakers' Series,

Visiting Professor Reza Baraheni
"The Birth of the Clinic, the Enlightenment, and Fiction: Foucault and the East"
Monday, November 22, 1999
2:30 p.m.
S752 Ross Building (Social Science lounge)

A series of speakers of interest to faculty members and students begins this year with poet, novelist, literary theorist and critic, Visiting Professor Reza Baraheni. Professor Baraheni teaches in York University's Graduate Programme in English and the University of Toronto's Centre for Comparative Literature. He has recently published in the anthology In God's Spies.

M. Michael Schiff and Lori Bremner, Speakers' Series Coordinators
More information on Professor Baraheni.

Organized by students, this series provides an opportunity to bring in acclaimed/international guests to address SPT students. Over the years, Aijaz Ahmad, Brian Massumi, Gayatri Spivak, Jessica Benjamin, Doris Lessing, Laura Mulvey, Jane Gallop, and many others have visited.

Many thanks to Victoria Tahmasebi for her instrumental work.

Reza Baraheni was Born in Tabriz, Iran, in 1935. He obtained his doctorate in literature from the University of Istanbul and in 1963 was appointed as Professor of English at Teharan University. He has also taught in universities in the USA and England. He is the author of several novels and short stories and is a celebrated poet. His "God's Shadow: Prison Poems," are based on a period of 102 days in solitary confinement at the end of 1973, during the time of the Shah. Still active in trying to promote democratic liberties in his country, he was a signatory to a 1994 open letter to the government of Iran calling for artistic freedom and an end to censorship.

Recently described as "Iran's finest living poet," Reza Baraheni, also an activist and former political prisoner, has been the subject of three documentary films broadcast by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. In 1973, he was arrested and imprisoned in Teheran and spent 102 days in solitary confinement. In 1982, he was expelled from the University of Teheran and deprived of the right to work. Baraheni is a founding member of the assembly formed to promote freedom of literary expression and establishment of a writers' union in Iran, and was vital in the "Declaration of 134 Iranian Writers," written in 1994, calling for the end of literary censorship in Iran. Baraheni escaped Iran in the fall of 1996 after an attempt on his life.

Best known in the Western world for his works The Crowned Cannibals (1977) and God's Shadow: Prison Poems (1976), Baraheni's poetry explores themes and metaphors of tyranny and imprisonment: personal, political and social.

Suggestions for speakers?

Email M. Michael Schiff and Lori Bremner.




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last updated: November 20, 1999

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