New publication on Parvin Etesami by Zhinia Noorian

7 September 2023

Our team member dr. Zhinia Noorian researched the poetry and reception of Parvin E’tesami (1907-1941). This August her book on this Iranian female poet was published by the Iranian Studies Series under the title “Parvin Etesami in the Literary and Religious Context of Twentieth-Century Iran: A Female Poet’s Challenge to Patriarchy”. Parvīn Etesami is among the few Persian female poets, who has gained nationwide popularity, while her authorship was disbelieved. She is celebrated in a plethora of publications every year in Iran and beyond. Etesami is the only female poet who has remained part of the daily lives of people in her society for about a century. Her poetry appears in school curricula both before and after the Revolution of 1979. People use her poetry on social media, particularly in critical times. It is also used in public speeches by Ali Khamenei (r. 1989-present) the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. Zhinia her book engages with Etesami in the transformational context of the early twentieth century in Iran to investigate the controversies around her identity as a popular female poet. It demonstrates that the reason for Etesami paradoxical popularity was not merely her gender, but the transgression of patriarchal Iranian-Muslim gender norms.