Persian Culture and Arts: An introduction


Explore the rich and diverse literary, cultural and geographical landscape not only of contemporary Iran, but also of the pre-modern Persian world.

From spiritual artists, quiet scientists, through to bold authors, sportsmen and sportswomen, passionate activists, sassy youngsters, heartbroken comedians you will hear the stories of individuals in Iran and from amongst the Iranian diaspora.

Target audience:
This course will appeal to anyone interested in Persian culture and art, as well as to those who are planning a trip to Iran.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Gained an overview of the Persian history up to the contemporary age. 
  • Explored the geographical features and tourist attractions of contemporary Iran.
  • Explored major literary and artistic figures, styles and movements. 
  • Identified sources for more study and explorations.

Course outline:
Each session will include lecture presentations and screenings with time for questions and group discussion. Some of the sessions will feature guest speakers and performing artists. Topics to be covered include:

Session 1: History and Geography

  • An overview of the history and geography of Iran

Session 2: Literature and Journalism

  • Classical and contemporary literature

Session 3: Cinema and Dramatic arts

  • Ancient theatrical performances and contemporary Iranian cinema 

Session 4: Painting and Calligraphy

  • Persian Language, script, calligraphy and other visual arts

Session 5: Music and Dance

  • Iranian music, dance and iconic figures

Session 6: Iranians and Tourists

  • Experiencing Iran, tips for travellers

A short break is held halfway through each session, and you are welcome to bring refreshments if you wish.

Roya Jabarouti specialized in World Literature for MA. She is now completing her PhD in Literary Translation Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Roya has been teaching for several years and is the author of book reviews, scholarly and non-scholarly articles.

Diego Bonelli holds a PhD in Film from Victoria University of Wellington, where he is currently a Teaching Assistant and a publishing researcher. He has a Master in Contemporary History from Università degli Studi di Parma, a Master in Art and Culture Management from Trentino School of Management, and extensive experience in teaching and working with international students.

Relevant links:
School of Languages and Cultures

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.