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Matthew Thomas Miller

Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Digital Humanities at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland, College Park

List of Persian-related Sessions at the 2016 Modern Language Association Convention

Persian-related Sessions at the 2016 Modern Language Association Convention

Below is a list of the #MLA2016 sessions that have papers on Persian-related topics. (Please do let me know if I have missed any and I will revise and update!).

97. Translations between Center and Periphery: From Iran to the West Thursday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 402, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC West Asian

Presiding: Amy Motlagh, American Univ. in Cairo

Speakers:Esmaeil Haddadian-Moghaddam, Univ. of Leuven; Franklin Lewis, Univ. of Chicago; Laetitia Nanquette, Univ. of New South Wales; Nasrin Rahimieh, Univ. of California, Irvine; Kamran Rastegar, Tufts Univ.

Session Description:

Translations from Persian into European languages are an important but often overlooked part of the history of the idea of world literature. By studying translation flows between Iran and Western countries, panelists seek to question the absence of Persian in most discussions of world literature and to situate translation experiences in a global context.

606. “Imagined” Performance Contexts in Medieval Persian Literature Saturday, 9 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 404, JW Marriott

A special session

Presiding: Austin O’Malley, Univ. of Chicago

  1. “In My Own Words: Songs and Letters in the Early Persian Romance,” Cameron Cross, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

  2. “Embodying the Beloved in Textual-Performance Contexts: A Queer Reading of Medieval Biographical and Hagiographical Accounts of Poetic Performance,” Matthew Thomas Miller, Washington Univ. in St. Louis

  3. “Preaching through Text: ʿAṭṭâr and the Homiletics of Transformation,” Austin O’Malley

  4. “Textually Divided: Performance Context and the Model Reader in ‘The Suffering Lover,’” Amin Azad Sadr, Salt Lake City, UT

658. Contemporary Literature and the Forever Wars Saturday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 18A, ACC

A special session

Presiding: Aaron DeRosa, California State Polytechnic Univ., Pomona

Speakers: Patrick Deer, New York Univ.; A. B. Huber, New York Univ.; Ikram Masmoudi, Univ. of Delaware, Newark; Peter Molin, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Stacey L. Peebles, Centre Coll.; Roy Scranton, Princeton Univ.

For position papers, visit

Session Description:

Panelists initiate a dialogue about the emergent body of Iraq and Afghanistan War writing at a moment in which the wars have reasserted themselves representationally after years of silence. Our diverse set of scholars seeks to engage contemporary war writing before it becomes crystallized into a canon or relegated to what Edna Longley has called the “ghetto of war literature.”

742. Novel Thinking: Contemporary Literature without Form Sunday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 208, JW Marriott

A special session

Presiding: Christopher Holmes, Ithaca Coll.

  1. “The Problem of Expression: Lessons from (Iranian) Cinema,” Timothy Bewes, Brown Univ.

  2. “J. M. Coetzee on the Novel’s Alterity Effect,” Dorothy J. Hale, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  3. “At the Limit: Novel Thinking against Form,” Christopher Holmes

For abstracts, visit