Date: Monday, May 8, 2017
Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pmLocation:
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike
Contact: Sheila Budoff
One Foot in Two Worlds: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Mondays, May 1, 8 (2 weeks)
Instructor: Linda Blair, Ph.D. in American Literature, retired Fairfax County high school English teacher and department chair
At the end of chapter one of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi writes, “Against the tyranny of time and politics, imagine us the way we sometimes didn’t dare to imagine ourselves: in our most private and secret moments, in the most extraordinarily ordinary instances of life, listening to music, falling in love, walking down the shady streets or reading Lolita in Tehran. And then imagine us again with all this confiscated, driven underground, taken away from us” (p.6). The setting of this provocative memoir centers on the transformation of Iran into the first Islamic Republic, when Nafisi was ordered to wear the veil in all public venues including her university literature classes, when personal freedoms for all Iranians were taken away. Nafisi’s focus, however, is to maintain her ability to continue teaching American literature to some of her students, unveiled and in the freedom of her living room. This two-session course explores the memoir in terms of Nafisi’s personal and professional decisions and their connections to American literary works. Our discussion will underscore the profound and lasting influence of concrete and abstract concepts of literature itself.
The memoir is readily available on Amazon.com and in local public libraries. Handouts of passages to be discussed in class will be provided.
Fee: $24/ $16 J member