Azar Nafisi, the Iranian academic author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” will address a Philadelphia Speaker Series audience on Monday, Feb. 20. Now is your chance to ask her your questions. We’ll pass them on to the moderator on Monday night.
Iranian academic and writer Azar Nafisi will address a Philadelphia Speaker Series audience on Monday, Feb. 20, to talk about the intersection of politics and the liberal arts.
Nafisi is an expert on the role of Western literature and culture in Iran after the Isamic revolution of 1979, and she has earned international recognition as an advocate for Iranian intellectuals, youth, and especially young women. She lectures frequently on the role women and girls are playing in a progression toward an open society in Iran.
She is probably best known as the author of the 2003 bestseller “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.”
In the book, she discusses the books she has taught in Iran, showing how to interpret the work of each author (e.g., Nabokov, Fitzgerald, James, Austen) against the turbulence of the Iranian revolution. A review in Publishers Weekly said that the book “transcends categorization as memoir, literary criticism or social history, though it is superb as all three.”
Nafisi was expelled from the University of Tehran in 1981 for refusing to wear a veil. She resumed teaching six years later and emigrated to the United States in 1997.
She is a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.