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Bahram Beyzaie

Visiting Lecturer in Comparative Literature

Bahram Beyzaie is one of Iran’s most acclaimed filmmakers, playwrights, and scholars of the history of Iranian theater, both secular and religious. He was a leader of the generation of filmmakers known as the Iranian New Wave, starting in the late 1960s, and has since directed more than a dozen prize-winning films. He has also conducted pioneering research into the roots of the ancient legends derived from Indo-Iranian mythology and known collectively as A Thousand and One Nights. He is that rare artist who is also an erudite critic and scholar of his myriad crafts. Beyzaie lives and works in Iran, but is spending this academic year at Stanford as the Bita Daryabari Visiting Professor of Persian Studies.

COURSES

COMPLIT 249C Contemporary Iranian Theater

Today Iranian plays¿both in traditional and contemporary styles¿are staged in theater festivals throughout the world play their role in forming a universal language of theater which combine the heritages from countries in all five continents. Despite many obstacles, some Iranian plays have been translated into English and some prominent Iranian figures are successful stage directors outside Iran.nnForty six years ago when ¿Theater in Iran¿ (a monograph on the history of Iranian plays) by Bahram Beyzaie was first published, it put the then contemporary Iranian theater movement--which was altogether westernizing itself blindly --face to face with a new kind of self-awareness. Hence in today¿s generation of playwrights and stage directors in Iran, all know something of their theatrical heritage. nnIn this course we will spend some class sessions on the history of theater in Iran and some class meetings will be concentrating on contemporary movements and present day playwrights. Given the dearth of visual documents, an attempt will be made to present a picture of Iranian theater to the student.nnStudents are expected to read the recommended available translated plays of the contemporary Iranian playwrights and participate in classroom discussions.

COMPLIT 249C Contemporary Iranian Theater (GLOBAL 249C)

Today Iranian plays - both in traditional and contemporary styles - are staged in theater festivals throughout the world play their role in forming a universal language of theater which combine the heritages from countries in all five continents. Despite many obstacles, some Iranian plays have been translated into English and some prominent Iranian figures are successful stage directors outside Iran. Forty-six years ago when "Theater in Iran" (a monograph on the history of Iranian plays) by Bahram Beyzaie was first published, it put the then contemporary Iranian theater movement--which was altogether westernizing itself blindly - face to face with a new kind of self-awareness. Hence in today's generation of playwrights and stage directors in Iran, all know something of their theatrical heritage. In this course we will spend some class sessions on the history of theater in Iran and some class meetings will be concentrating on contemporary movements and present day playwrights. Given the dearth of visual documents, an attempt will be made to present a picture of Iranian theater to the student. Students are expected to read the recommended available translated plays of the contemporary Iranian playwrights and participate in classroom discussions.

COMPLIT 249B Iranian Cinema in Diaspora (GLOBAL 249B)

Despite enormous obstacles, immigrant Iranian Filmmakers, within a few decades (after the Iranian revolution), have created a slow but steady stream of films outside Iran. They were originally started by individual spontaneous attempts from different corners of the world and by now we can identify common lines of interest amongst them. There are also major differences between them.nThese films have never been allowed to be screened inside Iran, and without any support from the global system of production and distribution, as independent and individual attempts, they have enjoyed little attention. Despite all this, Iranian cinema in exile is in no sense any less important than Iranian cinema inside Iran.nIn this course we will view one such film, made outside Iran, in each class meeting and expect to reach a common consensus in identifying the general patterns within these works and this movement. Questions such as the ones listed below will be addressed in our meetings each week:nWhat changes in aesthetics and point of view of the filmmaker are caused by the change in his or her work environment?nThough unwantedly these films are made outside Iran, how related are they to the known (recognized) cinema within Iran?nAnd in fact, to what extent do these films express things that are left unsaid by the cinema within Iran?

COMPLIT 249B Iranian Cinema in Diaspora (ICA 249B)

Despite enormous obstacles, immigrant Iranian Filmmakers, within a few decades (after the Iranian revolution), have created a slow but steady stream of films outside Iran. They were originally started by individual spontaneous attempts from different corners of the world and by now we can identify common lines of interest amongst them. There are also major differences between them.nnThese films have never been allowed to be screened inside Iran, and without any support from the global system of production and distribution, as independent and individual attempts, they have enjoyed little attention. Despite all this, Iranian cinema in exile is in no sense any less important than Iranian cinema inside Iran.nnIn this course we will view one such film, made outside Iran, in each class meeting and expect to reach a common consensus in identifying the general patterns within these works and this movement. Questions such as the ones listed below will be addressed in our meetings each week:nnWhat changes in aesthetics and point of view of the filmmaker are caused by the change in his or her work environment?nnThough unwantedly these films are made outside Iran, how related are they to the known (recognized) cinema within Iran?nnAnd in fact, to what extent do these films express things that are left unsaid by the cinema within Iran?

COMPLIT 249A The Iranian Cinema: Image and Meaning (GLOBAL 249A)

This course will focus on the analysis of ten Iranian films with the view of conducting a discourse on the semiotics of Iranian art and culture.nEach session will be designated to the viewing of a film by a prominent Iranian film-maker. Students are expected to prepare for class by having previously examined other available films by the film-maker under consideration.

COMPLIT 249A The Iranian Cinema: Image and Meaning (ICA 249A)

This course will focus on the analysis of ten Iranian films with the view of conducting a discourse on the semiotics of Iranian art and culture.nnEach session will be designated to the viewing of a film by a prominent Iranian film-maker. Students are expected to prepare for class by having previously examined other available films by the film-maker under consideration.