Azar Nafisi to Present 2016 Eckler Lecture
September 12, 2016
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Azar Nafisi, a national bestselling author and professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, will present the Eckler Lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20 in the Brush Performance Hall of the Giese Center for the Performing Arts.
The lecture is titled “Humanities and the Future of Democracies” and is free and open to the public.
Nafisi is the author of the national best seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which tells the story of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and how it affected a professor and her students. Reading Lolita in Tehran was on the best sellers list for 117 weeks. In addition, Nafisi received numerous awards for the novel, including Non-fiction Book of the Year Award from Booksense, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, and in 2009 Reading Lolita in Tehran was listed as one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade” by The Times (London). In 2011, she was awarded the Cristobal Gabarron Foundation International Thought and Humanities Award for her “determined and courageous defense of human values in Iran and her efforts to create awareness through literature about the situation women face in Islamic society.” Then, in 2015, she received the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award. Additional novels by Nafisi include Things I’ve Been Silent About, a memoir about her mother, and The Republic of Imagination, which is her most recent novel, which depicts the vital role of fiction in America today.
In addition to being an author she has also taught at various universities. After earning her Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma in the 1970’s, she returned to Iran and taught at the University of Tehran. In 1981 she was expelled for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil. She resumed teaching in 1987 at the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabi, and then held a fellowship at Oxford University, where she taught a series of lectures on culture and the important role of Western literature and culture in Iran after 1979.
Following the lecture there will be a reception and book signing. Three of Nafisi’s books will be available for purchase at the event: “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, “The Republic of Imagination”, and “Things I’ve Been Silent About”.
About the Eckler Lecture
The Eckler Lecture in Literature and Drama was established in 1981 through an endowment given by Mr. John A. and Mrs. Dorothy (Nelson ’29) Cummins in appreciation of the many years of service to the community and Mount Union by the Ecklers. Dr. Eric A. and Mrs. Mary Eckler were long-time faculty members in the Department of Education at the institution.