Fatemeh Keshavarz

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Fatemeh Keshavarz (Persian: فاطمه كشاورز‎) (born 1952 in Shiraz, Iran) is an Iranian academic, writer and literary figure. She is currently the Roshan Chair of Persian Studies and director of the Roshan Institute at University of Maryland. Previously, she served as a professor of Persian Language and Comparative Literature and chair of the department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis.

Fatemeh Keshavarz holds a B.A. (1976) in Persian Language and Literature from Shiraz University, and an M.A. (1981) and a PhD (1985) in Near Eastern Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Professor Keshavarz taught at Washington University from 1990 until 2012. She served as Director of the Graduate Program in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies, Director of the Center for the Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations, President of the Association of Women Faculty, and Chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. Recently, she was appointed the Director and Chair of Roshan Institute Center for Persian Studies at University of Maryland.

Among Keshavarz's works is her book Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran. The book offers ideas in contrast to Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Random House, 2003) that explores the relationship between literature and society in the post-revolutionary Iran. Keshavarz believes that Nafisi's book presents "many damaging misrepresentations" of Iran and its people, relying more on stereotypes and easy comparisons than on an accurate portrayal of the country and its people.[1][2][3] On April 2, 2008, the radio program Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi, on which Fatemeh Keshavarz was a featured guest in 2007 for American Public Media, was granted a Peabody Award. Peabody Award is considered electronic media's most coveted trophy in the USA.


  • Fatemeh Keshavarz, Talashi dar Aghaz (An Effort at the Beginning), collection of poems (Shiraz University Press, Shiraz, 1976).
  • Fatameh Keshavarz, A Descriptive and Analytical Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London, 1986) — Winner of the Dunne & Wilson Award. ISBN 0-85484-052-4
  • Fatemeh Keshavarz, Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Studies in Comparative Religion (University of North Carolina Press, Columbia, S.C., 1998). ISBN 1-57003-584-9
  • Fatemeh Keshavarz, Recite in the Name of the Red Rose: Poetic Sacred Making in Twentieth-century Iran, Studies in Comparative Religion (University of North Carolina Press, Columbia, S.C., 2006). ISBN 1-57003-622-5
  • Fatemeh Keshavarz, Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran (University of North Carolina Press, Columbia, S.C., 2007). ISBN 0-8078-3109-3


  • Dunne & Wilson Award for the PhD Thesis selected as "a work of distinction" at University of London (1986).
  • Association of Women Faculty Appreciation Award (2000).
  • Faculty Mentoring Award (2000-2001).



  1. ^ Reading More than Lolita in Tehran: An Interview with Fatemeh Keshavarz, Monthly Review (12 March 2007). [1]
  2. ^ Fatemeh Keshavarz, Banishing the Ghosts of Iran, The Chronicle Review of Higher Education, Vol. 53, No. 45, p. B6 (13 July 2007). [2]
  3. ^ Hamid Dabashi, Native informers and the making of the American empire, Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, Issue No. 797, Special (1–7 June 2006). [3]

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