Persian

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Minor

The Persian minor introduces students to the people, language, cultures, history of the Persian-speaking world. The minor develops a student's command of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension in the Persian language and may complement the student's intended major study. 

Students wishing to major in the study of Persian should see the major requirements in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Students minoring in Persian can choose one of two options. Option A is open to students with little or no background in the language. Option B is for students who have completed the equivalent of two years of university-level coursework in the language. For specific information regarding the requirements for each option, please see the Minor Requirements tab on this page. 

Declaring the Minor

Students may petition to add the Persian minor as soon as they begin their study of Persian. Please submit the Petition to Complete the Minor form to the undergraduate student adviser. 

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Egyptian Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Major)  
Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

The minor program requires five upper-division courses in Persian literature and culture. Students may overlap one course from their major in order to complete the Persian minor requirements. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.
  2. Students pursuing a double major may overlap two courses to meet both major requirements. Students can also overlap one course to fulfill major and minor requirements.  
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements. For information regarding residency requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
  4. With prior consent of the major adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to fulfill major requirements.

Requirements, Option A

Open to students with no background in the language.

Lower Division
PERSIAN 1AElementary Modern Persian5
PERSIAN 1BElementary Modern Persian5
or Persian 11A & Persian 11B for heritage speakers
PERSIAN 20AIntermediate Modern Persian5
PERSIAN 20BIntermediate Modern Persian5
Upper Division
PERSIAN 100AAdvanced Persian3
Select two of the following:6
Advanced Persian
Readings in Classical Persian Prose
Readings in Classical Persian Prose
Classical Persian Poetry
Classical Persian Poetry
Contemporary Persian Literature
Contemporary Persian Literature
Modern Analytical Prose in Persian
Select two of the following:6
The undergraduate major adviser may approve external department substitution courses for the culture/history requirement.
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions
Islam
History of Persian Literature
History of Persian Literature
Film and Fiction of Iran
History and Culture of Afghanistan
Total Units35

Requirements, Option B

Open to students who can demonstrate proficiency at a level equivalent to that expected of students who have successfully completed the elementary and intermediate courses in the language (two years of university-level coursework).

Upper Division
Select four courses in Persian literature from the following:12
Advanced Persian
Advanced Persian
Readings in Persian Literature
Readings in Persian Literature
Readings in Classical Persian Prose
Readings in Classical Persian Prose
Classical Persian Poetry
Classical Persian Poetry
Contemporary Persian Literature
Select two courses in Persian culture/history6
The undergraduate major adviser may approve external department substitution courses for the culture/history requirement.
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions
Islam
History of Persian Literature
History of Persian Literature
Film and Fiction of Iran
History and Culture of Afghanistan
Total Units18

Courses

Persian

PERSIAN 1A Elementary Modern Persian 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Introduction to Persian language, covering basics of the language skills in all aspects of reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking with emphasis on culture and communicative methods.

Elementary Modern Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 1B Elementary Modern Persian 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Introduction to Persian language, covering basics of the language skills in all aspects of reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking with emphasis on culture and communicative methods.

Elementary Modern Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 10 Intensive Elementary Persian 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2017, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2015 8 Week Session
This course is equivalent to a full year of elementary Persian. It will train students in the four language skills: speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing. Emphasis will be placed on the functional usage of the language.

Intensive Elementary Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 11A Reading and Composition for Persian Speaking Students 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Designed for heritage students who possess oral skills (speaking/comprehension, though limited) but need to improve their writing and reading abilities, and expand their knowledge of Persian grammar and syntax. Completion of 11A-11B will prepare the student to take Persian 20A, Intermediate Persian.

Reading and Composition for Persian Speaking Students: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 11B Reading and Composition for Persian-Speaking Students 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Designed for heritage students who possess oral skills (speaking/comprehension, though limited) but need to improve their writing and reading abilities, and expand their knowledge of Persian grammar and syntax. Completion of 11A-11B will prepare the student to take Persian 20A, Intermediate Persian.

Reading and Composition for Persian-Speaking Students: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 20 Intensive Intermediate Persian 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Summer 2007 10 Week Session, Summer 2007 8 Week Session
A year or more of advanced level Persian with emphasis on advanced grammar and vocabulary build up. Newspaper clippings, film reviews and cultural awareness through introduction of literature will be covered.

Intensive Intermediate Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 20A Intermediate Modern Persian 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
The sequence begins in the fall. This course emphasizes reading of simple literary texts, expository writing and composition, formal conversation, grammar, and syntax. It involves intensive vocabulary building in preparation for advanced reading and comprehension of standard literary texts.

Intermediate Modern Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 20B Intermediate Modern Persian 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
The sequence begins in the fall. This course emphasizes reading of simple literary texts, expository writing and composition, formal conversation, grammar, and syntax. It involves intensive vocabulary building in preparation for advanced reading and comprehension of standard literary texts.

Intermediate Modern Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 50 Persian Reading and Composition 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 1997 10 Week Session, Summer 1995 10 Week Session
This course is designed to promote advanced literacy skills in students with different levels of spoken Persian but little or no reading and writing skills in the language. This course will prepare students to take advanced literature courses in the Persian language.

Persian Reading and Composition: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 100A Advanced Persian 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Emphasis on intensive vocabulary building, comprehensive grammar review, reading and analysis of short literary texts of various genres from classical and modern periods, and reading newspaper clips and other original sources in Persian media.

Advanced Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 100B Advanced Persian 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Emphasis on intensive vocabulary building, comprehensive grammar review, reading and analysis of short literary texts of various genres from classical and modern periods, and reading newspaper clips and other original sources in Persian media.


Advanced Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 101A Readings in Persian Literature 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011
Readings in both prose and poetry, drawn chiefly from classical and modern Persian literature, designed to increase reading skills and vocabulary and to provide a transition to the study of more challenging literary texts.

Readings in Persian Literature: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 101B Readings in Persian Literature 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Readings in both prose and poetry, drawn chiefly from classical and modern Persian literature, designed to increase reading skills and vocabulary and to provide a transition to the study of more challenging literary texts.

Readings in Persian Literature: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 102A Readings in Classical Persian Prose 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2011
Systematic study of representative selections from all periods of classical Persian literature, with attention to the historical and intellectual context.

Readings in Classical Persian Prose: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 102B Readings in Classical Persian Prose 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2008, Spring 2006, Spring 2003
Systematic study of representative selections from all periods of classical Persian literature, with attention to the historical and intellectual context.

Readings in Classical Persian Prose: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 103A Classical Persian Poetry 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2012, Fall 2010
Systematic study of poems belonging to all genres of classical Persian poetry, with consideration of questions of prosody, rhetoric, and style.

Classical Persian Poetry: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 103B Classical Persian Poetry 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Systematic study of poems belonging to all genres of classical Persian poetry, with consideration of questions of prosody, rhetoric, and style.

Classical Persian Poetry: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 104A Contemporary Persian Literature 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2013, Summer 1996 10 Week Session
This course will deal with significant works of Persian prose and poetry from the beginning of the 19th century down to the present. Complete works or extracts from them will be read in the original as a preliminary to their analysis in terms of literary and stylistic development, as well as the changing role of literature in society. The works of the 19th century and the period of the Constitutional
Revolution (1905-1911).
Contemporary Persian Literature: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 104B Contemporary Persian Literature 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2013, Spring 2007
This course will deal with significant works of Persian prose and poetry from the beginning of the 19th century down to the present. Complete works or extracts from them will be read in the original as a preliminary to their analysis in terms of literary and stylistic development, as well as the changing role of literature in society. The literature of the rest of the 20th century.

Contemporary Persian Literature: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 105 Modern Analytical Prose in Persian 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2015, Spring 2010
This course deals with modern/contemporary critical theory, literary history, aesthetics and philosophy, and various theories of literary and cultural criticism in Persian. It concentrates on selected modern analytical, discursive, and expository texts in Persian. The course explores, from an inter- and multi-disciplinary perspective, how different movements, genres, and rhetorical aspects of modern/contemporary
literature and culture have been perceived, historically contextualized, and critically positioned within the larger intellectual and scholarly domain in Persian. All texts will be read in the original Persian.
Modern Analytical Prose in Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 120 Intensive Intermediate Persian 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Prior to 2007
A year or more of advanced level Persian with emphasis on advanced grammar and vocabulary build up. Newspaper clippings, film reviews and cultural awareness through introduction of literature will be covered.

Intensive Intermediate Persian: Read More [+]

PERSIAN H195 Senior Honors 2 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Prior to 2007
Directed study centered upon preparation of an honors thesis.

Senior Honors: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 198 Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Prior to 2007
Instruction in areas not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students: Read More [+]

PERSIAN 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2003, Fall 2002
Enrollment is restricted by regulations shown in the .

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
Research Profile

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
Research Profile

Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
Research Profile

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
Research Profile

Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Assistant Professor. Egyptology.
Research Profile

Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
Research Profile

Benjamin Porter, Assistant Professor. Archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, Middle East, Arid Environments, anthropology, Heritage, tourism, and Museum Studies.
Research Profile

Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
Research Profile

Carol Redmount, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies.

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
Research Profile

Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Chava Boyarin, Lecturer.

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer.

Lissette M. Jimenez, Lecturer.

Nawal M. Laymoun, Lecturer.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
Research Profile

Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Manuel Duarte De Oliveira, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Ayla Algar, Lecturer Emeritus. Turkish language and literature, language pedagogy.

Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Guitty Azarpay, Professor Emeritus. Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Central Asia.
Research Profile

Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Anne D. Kilmer, Professor Emeritus.

David Larkin, Lecturer Emeritus. Egyptology.

James T. Monroe, Professor Emeritus.

Jaleh Pirnazar, Lecturer Emeritus. Modern Iranian history. Persian language and literature, Iranian Cinema.

Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Muhammad Siddiq, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

David B. Stronach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

nes@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair and Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History

Francesca Rochberg, PhD

262 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

rochberg@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian Studies, Islamic Studies and Professor of Persian Literature

Wali Ahmadi, PhD

284 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

ahmadi@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758

rania.shah@berkeley.edu

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