Franklin Lewis

Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Pick Hall 214


flewis@uchicago.edu

B.A. U.C. Berkeley, 1983.
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1995
Teaching at Chicago since 2005

Special Interests

Persian literature, comparative literature, Islamic mysticism, translation studies.

I teach courses on Persian literature and language, medieval Islamic thought, Islamic mysticism, Iranian cinema, translation history, and comparative literature, and am the current Director of Graduate Studies for the Medieval and Modern programs in NELC.  I run the email discussion list Adabiyat for students and scholars of Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Urdu literatures, and serve as Deputy Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, as well as President of the American Institute of Iranian Studies.  From 1997-2005 I taught at Emory University in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies.

My research interests center on Persian literature, particularly the Samanid to the Timurid period, as well as 20th-century poetry & prose; comparative literature (performance, genre studies, semiotics, sociology of literary production, narratology, hermeneutics, homiletics, codicology and editorial theory focusing on Arabic and medieval European literatures); and mystical and esoteric traditions in the Islamicate world (including Sufi, Shiʻi and Baha’i thought and theology). Publications include several translations of modern Persian prose and poetry, and articles on Hâfez, ʻAttâr, Saʻdi, Najm al-Din Dâye, Persian literature and the Qur’ân, the Sufi orders, the hagiographical tradition, the writings of Bahâ’ Allâh. An ongoing interest in Mowlânâ Jalâl al-Din Rumi is reflected in my monograph on the subject, a book of literary translations of his poems, a guest-edited special journal issue focusing on the current state of Rumi studies, and an edition and translation of the discourses of Borhân al-Din Mohaqqeq of Termez, the teacher who purportedly initiated Rumi in the mystic tradition. 

 

BOOKS                                                                                                                            

  • [Editor, In Progress] Life and Letters of an Iranian Communist: Stories of Bozorg ‛Alavi. An introduction to the life of Bozorg ‛Alavi (1904-97) with an anthology of translations of his short stories and letters.                                                                                          
  • [In Progress] Teachings of Rumi’s Teacher: Borhân al-Din Moḥaqqeq-e Termedhi and his Ma‛âref. A new critical edition of the Persian text and annotated English translation, with introduction by Franklin Lewis and Hassan Lahouti (in preparation).             
  • Mystical Poems of Rumi, translated by A.J. Arberry. Corrected one-volume edition with foreword by Franklin Lewis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 439pp.
  • Rumi: Swallowing the Sun (Oxford: Oneworld, 2008), xxxiii+207pp. (Translation of selected poems of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, arranged by persona/voice/mode and with translation, notes and introduction).
  • The Necklace of the Pleiades: Studies in Persian Literature and Culture, new edition (Amsterdam University Press and Leiden University Press, 2010), 370pp.  First edition: The Necklace of the Pleiades: Studies in Persian Literature Presented to Heshmat Moayyad on his 80th Birthday, co-edited Franklin Lewis and Sunil Sharma (Amsterdam: Rozenberg and Purdue University Press, 2007)
  •  The Colossal Elephant and His Spiritual Feats: Shaykh Ahmad-e Jâm. The Life and Legendary Vita of a Popular Sufi Saint of the 12th Century. Edited and translated with Heshmat Moayyad (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2004), 460pp.
  • Rumi: Past and Present, East and West. The Life Teachings and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi. Foreword by Julie Meisami (Oxford: One World Publications, 2000), xvii+686pp. Reprints 2001, 2003. Revised expanded edition, 2007. Awards: British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society for the Best Book in Middle Eastern Studies published in the UK in 2000; Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, 2001; Saidi-Sirjani Award (Hon. Mention), Society of Iranian Studies, 2004.
  • Mowlavi: Diruz o emruz, sharq o gharb, Persian translation by Farhād Farahmandfar (Tehran: Nashr-e Sāles, 1383 Sh./ 2004).
  • Mowlānā: diruz tā emruz, sharq tā gharb, collaborative Persian translation by Hassan Lahouti with Franklin Lewis, including author’s preface to the translation (Tehran: Nashr-e Nāmak, 1384 Sh./2005; 2nd ed., 1385 Sh./2006.
  • Mevlânâ: Geçmiş ve şimdi, Doğu ve Batı (Mevlânâ Celâleddin Rumi’nin Hayatı, öğretisi ve şiiri, Turkish Trans. by (Hamide Kokuyan &) Gül Çağali Güven, ed. Safi Argapus (Istanbul: Kabalcı Yayınevi, 2010).
  • Rumi før og nu, Øst og Vest. Jalal al-Din Rumis liv, lære og digtning. Danish translation by Rasmus Chr. Elling. Carsten Niebuhr Biblioteket (Copenhagen: Forlaget Vandkunsten, 2010).
  • In a Voice of Their Own: A Collection of Stories by Iranian Women written since the Revolution of 1979, edited and translated, with introduction and annotated bibliography co-authored by Franklin Lewis and Farzin Yazdanfar (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1996). liv+153pp.

 

SELECTED ARTICLES

  • “One Chaste Muslim Maiden and a Persian in a Pear Tree: Earlier Islamicate Analogues for Two Tales of Chaucer,” Metaphors and Imagery: Studies in Classical Persian Poetry, ed. Asghar Seyed-Gohrab (Leiden: E.J. Brill, forthcoming).
  • “The Semiotics of Dawn in the Poetry of Hāfiẓ,” In Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry,ed.  Leonard Lewisohn (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010), 251-78.                             
  • Sexual Occidentation: the Politics of Boy-love and Christian-love in ‛Aṭṭār,” Journal of Iranian Studies 42, 5  (2009): 693-723.                                                                                                                 
  • “€œTale of the Righteous Woman (whose husband had gone on a journey)”: A Poetic Translation from the IlāhÄ« nāma of FarÄ«d al-DÄ«n ‘Aṭṭār,” Festschrift for Amin Banani, ed. Shah Wali Ahmadi (under press review).
  • Guest Editor, Special Double Issue of Iran Nameh “Vizhe-ye Mowlânâ Jalâl al-Din Balxi” (Mowlânâ and the state of Rumi Studies after the Year of Rumi], Franklin Lewis;  
  • “€œPiÅ¡goftâr” [Introduction]  and “Dar-âmadi bar ta‛yin-e târix-e sarâyeÅ¡-e ḡazaliyât-e Mowlânâ,”Iran Nameh 25, 1-2 (Spring/Summer 1388/2009).                                                                                                              
  • “Towards a Chronology of the Poems in Rumi’s Divān-i Shams-i TabrÄ«z," InThe Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition, ed. Leonard Lewisohn (London: I.B. Tauris, forthcoming).
  • “€œEnsân va Å¡amâyel-aÅ¡: dar jostojuy-e čehre-ye târixi-ye Mowlânâ” [The Icon and the Man: In Quest of the Historical Rumi] Iran Nameh 24, 1 (Spring 2008): 1-22.                                              
  • “€œReflecties naar aanleiding van het Rumi-jaar 2007” [Reflections on UNESCO Year of Rumi, Dutch translation of “Ensân va Å¡amâyel-aš”] Eutopia 18 (December 2007): 23-43.
  • “€œSincerely Flattering Panegyrics: The Shrinking Ghaznavid Qasida” in The Necklace of the Pleiades: Studies in Persian Literature, ed. F. Lewis and S. Sharma (Amsterdam: Rozenberg and Purdue Univ. Press, 2007; Amsterdam University Press and Leiden University Press, 2010), 209-250.
  • “€œThe Transformation of the Persian Ghazal: From Amatory Mood to Fixed Form,” in The Ghazal in World Literature II, ed. A. Neuwirth, M. Hess, B. Sagaster and J. Pfeiffer. Istanbuler Texte und Studien, Band 4. (Istanbul: Beirut Orient-Institut, and Würzburg: Ergon, 2006), 121-39.
  • “€œTarÄ«qah,” The Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, ed. Lindsay Jones [original ed. Mircea Eliade, original article, A.H. Johns] (MacMillan Reference / Thomson Gale, 2005), 13: 9003-9015.
  • “€œQur’an and Persian Literature,”in Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān, ed. Jane MacAuliffe (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 4: 55-64.
  • “€œDiscourses of Logic in the Baha’i Writings,” in Search for Values: Ethics in Baha’i Thought, ed. John Danesh and Seena Fazel, Studies in Babi and Baha’i Religions, 15 (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 2004), 47-78.
  • “Persian Language and Literature,” in Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard Martin, ed.-in-chief (NY: MacMillan Reference, 2004): 522-29.
  • “€œRumi, Jalaluddin,” in Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard Martin, ed.-in-chief (NY: MacMillan Reference, 2004): 601-602.
  • “€œHafez. viii. Hafez and Rendi,” Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. 11, fasc. 5 (2002): 491-98.
  • “€œHafez. ix. Hafez and Music,” Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. 11, fasc. 5 (2002): 483-91.
  • “Scripture as Literature” in Reason and Revelation: New Directions in Baha’i Thought, ed. John Danesh and Seena Fazel, Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Religions, 13 (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 2002), 101-128.
  • “‘First we must speak of logical proofs’: discourses of knowledge in the Bahá’í writings,” Baha'i Studies Review 10 (2001/2002): 51-74. (abstract)
  • “The Modes of Literary Production: Remarks on the Composition, Revision and ‘Publication’ of Persian Texts in the Medieval Period,” Persica (Annual of the Dutch-Iranian Society, Leuven: Peeters) XVII (2001): 69-83.
  • “Golestân-e Sa‘di,” Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. XI, fasc. 1 (2001): 79-86.
  • “Classical Persian,” Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, ed. Peter France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 611-615.
  • “€œBahá'u'lláh’s Mathnavíy-i Mubárak: Introduction, and A Provisional Verse Translation” Baha'i Studies Review 9 (1999): 101-157.
  • “Translating the Hidden Words” [review article], Baha'i Studies Review 8 (1998): 1-13.
  • “€œScripture as Literature: sifting through the layers of the text,” Baha'i Studies Review 7 (1997): 125-46.
  • “Symbol and Secret: Qur'an Commentary in Baha'u'llah's Kitâb-i-Iqân” [extended review article], Baha'i Studies Review 6 (1996): 76-92.
  • “€œThe Rise and Fall of a Persian Refrain: the Radif âtash o âb” in Reorientations/Arabic and Persian Poetry, ed. Suzanne Stetkevych (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994), 199-226.
  • “€œMontakabâti az Sâdeq Hedâyat” [book review in Persian], Irân Nâmeh 5, 4 (Summer 1987): 731-6.

TRANSLATIONS IN JOURNALS AND ANTHOLOGIES
* “A poem by Rumi.” The Reader: A Journal of Iranian Culture 4 (Tehran, Fall 2004).
* “Portrait of an Innocent, I” (short story translation), in Black Parrot, Green Crow: A Collection of Short Fiction by Houshang Golshiri, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington. D.C.: Mage Publishers, 2003), 89-97.
* “Both Sides of the Coin” (short story translation), in Black Parrot, Green Crow: A Collection of Short Fiction by Houshang Golshiri, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington. D.C.: Mage Publishers, 2003), 53-70.
* “Three Poems” (translations of poems), all three in Black Parrot, Green Crow: A Collection of Short Fiction by Houshang Golshiri, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington. D.C.: Mage Publishers. 2003), 233-40.
* “A Short Poem by ‘Darvísh Muhammad,’ Baha’u’llah: Sāqi az ghayb-i baqā borqa‛ afkan…” in Lights of Irfán, 2 (Wilmette, IL: Haj Mehdi Arjomand Memorial Fund, 2001), 83-92.
* “The Half-Closed Eye,” (story by Simin Dâneshvar) in Modern Literatures of the Non-Western World: Where the Waters are Born, ed. Jayana Clerk and Ruth Siegel (Harper Collins, 1995), 437-50. Reprint Daftar-e Honar 2, 4 (Los Angeles, Sept. 1995): 404-412.
* “Congratulations and Condolences” [translation of a short story by Mahdokht-e Kashkuli] in A Walnut Sapling for Massih's Grave, ed. John Green and Farzin Yazdanfar (Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1993).
* “The Half Closed Eye” [translation from Persian of a short story titled “Češm-e nime-bâz” by Simin Dâneshvar], in Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Wash., D.C.: Mage Publishers, 1992), 125-143.
* “Portrait of an Innocent” [translation from Persian of a short story titled Ma‘sum 3 by Hushang Golshiri], in Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Wash., D.C.: Mage Publishers, 1992), pp. 353-369.  Reprinted as “Portrait of an Innocent, III” in Black Parrot, Green Crow: A Collection of Short Fiction by Houshang Golshiri, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington. D.C.: Mage Publishers. 2003), 115-129.
* “Aziz Aqa’s Gold Filling” [translation with Farzin Yazdanfar from Persian of a story by Goli Taraqqi], in Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology,  ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington, D.C.: Mage Publishers, 1992), 405-419.