Next York-Noor lecture will explore famous Persian books of advice

Marta Simidchieva, who teaches Islamic history, religion and culture in York’s Department of Humanities and the University of Toronto’s Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, will deliver two talks as part of the 2009-2010 York-Noor Lecture Series.

The first lecture, “The Rubayyat [Quatrains] of Omar Khayyam (11th-12th c.) and their Victorian Reincarnation and Reception”, will take place Sunday, Feb. 21, from 3 to 5pm at the Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Dr. (Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Avenue).

The second, “Famous Persian Books of Advice: ‘The Book of Government’ (Siyasat-nama) by the Saljuq Vizier Nizam al-Mulk (11th c.)”, will take place Monday, Feb. 22, from 11:30am to 2:30pm in the Vanier Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College, Keele campus.

With a PhD in Iranian studies from the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Simidchieva was a professor of Persian literature and culture at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria before joining York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. She serves on the editorial board of the Iranian Studies journal and has worked as a translator and staff editor with the Encyclopaedia Iranica at the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University and at Narodna Kultura Publishing House in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Her research interests focus on Persian literature and cultural history, emphasizing issues of continuity and change, modernity and tradition, and East-West cultural interaction. Her articles include "Sadeq Hedayat and the Classics: The Case of The Blind Owl" in Sadeq Hedayat: His Work and His Wondrous World  (Routledge, 2008) and "A Muslim Voice In Modern Bulgarian Poetry" in the ISIM Review (2005).

For more information on the York-Noor Lecture Series, visit the Noor Cutlural Centre Web site.