We warmly congratulate our alumna Fatemeh Shams on publishing her new book "A Revolution in Rhyme: Poetic Co-option under the Islamic Republic".
The book offers, for the first time, an original, timely examination of the pivotal role poetry plays in policy, power and political legitimacy in modern-day Iran. Through a compelling chronological and thematic framework, Shams presents fresh insights into the emerging lexicon of coercion and unrest in the modern Persian canon. Analysis of the lives and work of ten key poets traces the evolution of the Islamic Republic, from the 1979 Revolution, through to the Iran-Iraq War, the death of a leader and the rise of internal conflicts. Ancient forms jostle against didactic ideologies, exposing the complex relationship between poetry, patronage and literary production in authoritarian regimes, shedding light on a crucial area of discourse that has been hitherto overlooked.
Dr Fatemeh Shams is an AKU-ISMC graduate and Assistant Professor of Modern Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford, Wadham College. Before joining Penn, she taught Persian language and literature at the University of Oxford, University of SOAS, and The Courtauld Institute of Art in United Kingdom. Her fields of interest include the social history of modern Persian literature, classical and modern prose, literary institutions and their role in the literary production under authoritarian states, ideology, censorship, and official literature in modern Iran. As well as publishing numerous articles, she is also an award-winning poet and has published three collections of her poetry.