MemberMatthew Thomas Miller

Matthew Thomas Miller, PhD. is Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Digital Humanities at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and and an affiliate of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. He also serves as the Director of the Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities (PersDig@UMD) and as the co-PI for the multi-institutional Open Islamicate Texts Initiative (OpenITI) and the Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI). He has received funding for these projects from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities. His research the focuses on medieval Sufi literature, the history of sexuality and the body, and digital humanities. He currently is working on a book project, entitled Beautiful Bodies: Embodiment and Mystical Modes of Meaning Creation in Medieval Persian Sufi Literature, and a number of articles on computational or “distant reading” approaches to Persian literature and carnivalesque Sufi poetry. For more information, see his website: and

MemberBehnam M. Fomeshi

Specializing in comparative literature, Behnam M. Fomeshi is interested in Iranian studies, American studies and in particular the intersection of the two. He is also highly experienced in literary theory, with experience in teaching and considerable expertise in Persian language, literature and culture. He lectured at various national and international conferences, symposia, colloquia, and workshops. He has taught courses on various genres as well as study skills. Behnam is a fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to conduct research on Whitman and Persian poetry. In addition to a Humboldt fellowship, he has received several grants including two for research at the University of St Andrews and Leiden University. His works have been widely published and his monograph, The Persian Whitman: Beyond a Literary Reception was released with Leiden University Press in 2019. Behnam would like to keep in touch with scholars of Persian and American literature from around the world. Any piece of information regarding the presence of American literature in Iran (e.g. an early translation of American literature into Persian) is highly appreciated.   کوچکترین نکته ای دربارۀ «پذیرش ادبیات امریکا در ایران»، برای نمونه ترجمه های نخستین از آثار نویسندگان آمریکایی به فارسی، به پژوهش من کمک شایانی خواهد کرد. پیشاپیش از عزیزانی که در این باره مرا راهنمایی بفرمایند سپاسگزارم.

MemberNahid Ahmadian

Nahid is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. She gained her first Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Tehran where she taught English and world literature during and after graduation. Nahid has published peer-reviewed articles and translation books in western philosophy and drama. Her translations include An Introduction to Modern European Philosophy (2008), Nietzsche, an Introduction (2009), After Dinner Joke (2016 & 2018), and Fen: A Play (2019). Her other translations on Hegelian philosophy and British drama are forthcoming. She teaches World Literature, World Literature by Women, Persian Literature in Translation, and Academic Writing at the University of Maryland. Nahid has served as a researcher in a two-year project on Persian fiction with the Academy of Persian Language and Literature and as a reviewer in Theatre Quarterly, an Iranian journal on dramatic literature. She is focused on post-revolutionary Iranian theater for her dissertation. Her areas of interest include Iranian theater, drama adaptation, Middle Eastern theater, Persian literature, literary translation, dramaturgy, and theater historiography. 

MemberLevi Thompson

Levi Thompson holds a BA in History and Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he grew up in the Appalachian Mountains. He has an MA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Arabic Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation, Speaking Laterally: Transnational Poetics and the Rise of Modern Arabic and Persian Poetry in Iraq and Iran (, brings together the theoretical richness of Comparative Literature and the philological rigor of Area Studies to critically investigate the development of literary modernism in the Middle East. After completing his PhD in 2017, Levi was the Artemis A.W. and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies at the Pembroke Center at Brown University, where he was a member of the Pembroke Seminar organized on the topic “The Cultures of Pacifism.” While at Brown, he transformed a dissertation chapter into the forthcoming article “An Iraqi Poet and the Peace Partisans: Transnational Pacifism and the Poetry of Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb,” to appear in College Literature. He is currently working on several projects, including a book manuscript tentatively titled Re-Orienting Modernism: East-East Poetic Exchange in Arabic and Persian, a book chapter about the Iranian leftist poet Aḥmad Shāmlū for a collection on Persian literature as world literature, and translations of poetry and prose by the Syro-Palestinian poet Ramy al-Asheq, among others. Levi teaches courses covering modern Middle Eastern literature, cinema, and culture more broadly, with a focus on the Arabic- and Persian-speaking worlds during the twentieth century. While studying Arabic in Cairo during the 2011 uprising, Levi co-founded Tahrir Documents, a digital archive of paper ephemera distributed by protestors in Tahrir Square which a group of volunteers collected, translated into English, and made available online.

MemberNasrin Askari

…r Book of the Year of Iran in the field of Iranian Studies.)

Journal Articles

“Élite Folktales: Munes-nāma, Ketāb-e dāstān, and their Audiences.” Special issue, Advice Literature and Persianate Political Ethics, edited by Louise Marlow, Journal of Persianate Studies 12, no. 1 (2019): 32–61. 
  “A Mirror for Princesses: Mūnis-nāma, A Twelfth-Century Collection of Persian…

I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with full funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I have conducted research and taught at the University of British Columbia, where I developed UBC’s first curriculum in Iranian Studies. I have also conducted research at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, where I was a Bahari Visiting Scholar in the Persian Arts of the Book. My primary areas of research specialization are classical Persian literature, the history and culture of late antique and medieval Iran, the Perso-Islamic literature of wisdom and advice, and medieval Persian popular literature. I am also interested in how literature interacts with other elements of culture, particularly with visual arts. In my first monograph, I explored the medieval reception of Firdausī’s Shāhnāma, or Book of Kings, (completed in 1010 CE) as a mirror for princes. Drawing on evidence from a wide range of medieval sources in a variety of genres, my research demonstrates that Firdausī’s oeuvre was primarily understood by medieval authors as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly elites.