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Iranian Intellectuals: Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects

  • Butler Library Room 523 Columbia University, 535 W 114th St New York, NY 10027 (map)



Friday, March 24

5:00 pm - 5:45 pm, Keynote Speech by Professor Mahmoud Sadri (Texas Woman's University)

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Persian language speech on Nowruz by Professor Abdolkarim Soroush

Saturday, March 25

10:00 am - 12:00 pm Lectures featuring:

Professor Mohsen Kadivar (Duke), Professor Azam Pouya (Tehran University), Professor Hassan Ansari (Institute for Advanced Study; Princeton); Assistant Professor Hossein Kamaly (Barnard College, Columbia); and Professor Abdolkarim Soroush.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Roundtable Discussion and Q&A

Location: Columbia University Butler Library, Room 523



Please join the Middle East Institute and leading Iranian intellectuals from around the country for a special two-day Persica Forum. This conference includes critical discussions of controversial topics centered on religious and secular thought among some leading Iranian intellectuals. 

On Friday evening, Professor Mahmoud Sadri (Texas Woman's University) will deliver a keynote speech on the topic of Iranian and Islamic dilemma which will frame the debates for this conference. The keynote address will be followed by a Persian language lecture on Nowruz (Iranian New Year Celebration marked by the spring season) delivered by esteemed Rumi scholar and former philosophy faculty at Tehran University, Professor Abdolkarim Soroush.

Saturday will be devoted to various lectures and a roundtable discussion featuring the following intellectuals:

Professor Mohsen Kadivar (Duke University)

Professor Azam Pouya (Tehran University)

Professor Hassan Ansari (Institute for Advanced Study; Princeton)

Assistant Professor Hossein Kamaly (Barnard College, Columbia)

Professor Abdolkarim Soroush

Refreshments will be served. This event is fully open to the public. For more information, please contact Hossein Kamaly at