MES 324K • FERDOWSI'S SHAHNAMEH AND POP CULTURE
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
A closer look at the great attention which Ferdowsi (940-1020) & his Shâhnâmeh receive today suggests that the most significant aspects of this attention may not relate to the text of Ferdowsi's epic narratives per se, but rather to the adaptations & interpretations of them and artistic & cultural reactions to them outside of the realm of Persian literature & literary culture. This culture course examines these adaptations, interpretations & reactions for the purpose of adding to existing definitions & appreciation of Persian Iranian culture. The basic course activity is the experience & analysis of such pop culture Shâhnâmeh artifacts or manifestations as Persian/Iranian paintings with Shâhnâmeh images, Rostam & Sohrâb Opera by Loris Tjeknavorian & Darya Dadvar. Nicholas Maw's Shahnama for Small Orchestra (1992), comic books, feature films, an animation film, a computer game, folk tales, & recitation performances called naqqâli.
Class recitation & participation in discussion 30%; Two review tests 20% each; Term paper 30% (On subjects chosen in consultation with the instructor examine a single pop culture artifact for the purpose of elucidating culturally specific Iranian content in it)
Required texts are: (1) a theoretical/practical monograph on culture & pop culture; (2) Dick Davis's translation of Shahnâmeh; (3) audio, video, & print copies of cited pop culture artifacts, More info on texts provided by instructor.