In 2018 the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations will inaugurate the Heshmat Moayyad Lecture Series in Persian Literature and Culture. This series is made possible a generous gift to NELC and the Humanities Division, and will support at least one lecture per year on Persian literature or culture to honor the legacy of NELC Professor emeritus, Heshmat Moayyad.
Heshmatollâh Mo’ayyad-e Sanandaji joined the faculty at the University of Chicago as Assistant Professor in 1966, where he established what would become a vibrant Persian Studies program. He held the position of Professor of Persian Language and Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from 1974 to 2010. Heshmat Moayyad authored ten books and over one hundred articles and reviews on the literature, religions and history of Iran, including literary translations to German and English of modern Persian novels, short stories and poetry. He founded and hosted the “Persian Poetry Evenings” (shab-e she‛r) in Chicago from 1983 to 1989, an event which has since then, under the stewardship of the wider Chicago Iranian community, become an annual institution at Northeastern Illinois University. Prof. Moayyad also organized the weekly Persian Circle (anjoman-e sokhan) at the University of Chicago, which for several decades has provided an important forum for readings and lectures by numerous poets and writers from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, as well as by Persian-speaking scholars, who have visited Chicago. Professor Moayyad organized international conferences at Chicago, including on the Indo-Persian poet Amir Khosrow (d. 1325) and on Parvin Etesami (d. 1941). Over the course of more than four decades of active teaching, Heshmat Moayyad trained several generations of students and contributed to the work of many colleagues.