ASIA/CMPL 258: Iranian Prison Literature
In this course, we will explore Iranian literature written in prisons or about prisoners, particularly under the Islamic Republic. We will read relevant documents that we need to understand what human rights (and violation of it) means in Iran from a historical perspective. Furthermore, since the humanities – literature, film, philosophy, theory – offer an invaluable perspective with which to view a richer, more complex situation, we will read literary works, philosophical, and critical theory, and screen films to examine the contribution of humanities in the practice of and reflection on the concept of human rights and their violation in Iran’s prisons. We will analyze the ways that literature, philosophy, and related textual practices have the ability to reframe the debate on prison torture and violation of human rights. We will address the challenges and innovations, the conditions for fiction to serve as a social force, and the literary structure of testimony on such crimes against humanity. All the readings will be in English. LA, BN, CI.