B.A. U.C. Berkeley, 1983.
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1995
Teaching at Chicago since 2005
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.
- [Editor, In Progress] Life and Letters of an Iranian Communist: Stories of Bozorg âAlavi. An introduction to the life of Bozorg âAlavi (1904-97) with an anthology of translations of his short stories and letters.
- [In Progress] Teachings of Rumiâs 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 authorâs 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.
- “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 HÄfiáº,” 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 âAá¹á¹Är,” Journal of Iranian Studies 42, 5 (2009): 693-723.
- “Tale of the Righteous Woman (whose husband had gone on a journey)”: A Poetic Translation from the IlÄhÄ« nÄma of FarÄ«d al-DÄ«n âAá¹á¹Är,â Festschrift for Amin Banani, ed. Shah Wali Ahmadi (under press review).
- Guest Editor, Special Double Issue of Iran Nameh âVizhe-ye MowlÃ¢nÃ¢ JalÃ¢l al-Din Balxiâ (MowlÃ¢nÃ¢ and the state of Rumi Studies after the Year of Rumi], Franklin Lewis;
- “PiÅ¡goftÃ¢râ [Introduction] and âDar-Ã¢madi bar taâyin-e tÃ¢rix-e sarÃ¢yeÅ¡-e á¸¡azaliyÃ¢t-e MowlÃ¢nÃ¢,âIran Nameh 25, 1-2 (Spring/Summer 1388/2009).
- “Towards a Chronology of the Poems in Rumiâs DivÄn-i Shams-i TabrÄ«z," InThe Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition, ed. Leonard Lewisohn (London: I.B. Tauris, forthcoming).
- “EnsÃ¢n va Å¡amÃ¢yel-aÅ¡: dar jostojuy-e Äehre-ye tÃ¢rixi-ye MowlÃ¢nÃ¢â [The Icon and the Man: In Quest of the Historical Rumi] Iran Nameh 24, 1 (Spring 2008): 1-22.
- “Reflecties naar aanleiding van het Rumi-jaar 2007â [Reflections on UNESCO Year of Rumi, Dutch translation of âEnsÃ¢n va Å¡amÃ¢yel-aÅ¡â] Eutopia 18 (December 2007): 23-43.
- “Sincerely Flattering Panegyrics: The Shrinking Ghaznavid Qasidaâ 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.
- “The Transformation of the Persian Ghazal: From Amatory Mood to Fixed Form,â 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 WÃ¼rzburg: Ergon, 2006), 121-39.
- “TarÄ«qah,â 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.
- “Qurâan and Persian Literature,âin Encyclopaedia of the QurâÄn, ed. Jane MacAuliffe (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 4: 55-64.
- “Discourses of Logic in the Bahaâi Writings,â in Search for Values: Ethics in Bahaâi Thought, ed. John Danesh and Seena Fazel, Studies in Babi and Bahaâi Religions, 15 (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 2004), 47-78.
- “Persian Language and Literature,â in Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard Martin, ed.-in-chief (NY: MacMillan Reference, 2004): 522-29.
- “Rumi, Jalaluddin,â in Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard Martin, ed.-in-chief (NY: MacMillan Reference, 2004): 601-602.
- “Hafez. viii. Hafez and Rendi,â EncyclopÃ¦dia Iranica, vol. 11, fasc. 5 (2002): 491-98.
- “Hafez. ix. Hafez and Music,â EncyclopÃ¦dia Iranica, vol. 11, fasc. 5 (2002): 483-91.
- “Scripture as Literatureâ in Reason and Revelation: New Directions in Bahaâi 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 proofsâ: discourses of knowledge in the BahÃ¡âÃ writings,â Baha'i Studies Review 10 (2001/2002): 51-74. (abstract)
- “The Modes of Literary Production: Remarks on the Composition, Revision and âPublicationâ of Persian Texts in the Medieval Period,â Persica (Annual of the Dutch-Iranian Society, Leuven: Peeters) XVII (2001): 69-83.
- “GolestÃ¢n-e Saâdi,â EncyclopÃ¦dia Iranica, vol. XI, fasc. 1 (2001): 79-86.
- “Classical Persian,â Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, ed. Peter France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 611-615.
- “BahÃ¡'u'llÃ¡hâs MathnavÃy-i MubÃ¡rak: Introduction, and A Provisional Verse Translationâ Baha'i Studies Review 9 (1999): 101-157.
- “Translating the Hidden Wordsâ [review article], Baha'i Studies Review 8 (1998): 1-13.
- “Scripture as Literature: sifting through the layers of the text,â Baha'i Studies Review 7 (1997): 125-46.
- “Symbol and Secret: Qur'an Commentary in Baha'u'llah's KitÃ¢b-i-IqÃ¢nâ [extended review article], Baha'i Studies Review 6 (1996): 76-92.
- “The Rise and Fall of a Persian Refrain: the Radif Ã¢tash o Ã¢bâ in Reorientations/Arabic and Persian Poetry, ed. Suzanne Stetkevych (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994), 199-226.
- “MontakabÃ¢ti az SÃ¢deq HedÃ¢yatâ [book review in Persian], IrÃ¢n NÃ¢meh 5, 4 (Summer 1987): 731-6.
TRANSLATIONS IN JOURNALS AND ANTHOLOGIES
* âA poem by Rumi.â The Reader: A Journal of Iranian Culture 4 (Tehran, Fall 2004).
* âPortrait of an Innocent, Iâ (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.
* âBoth Sides of the Coinâ (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.
* âThree Poemsâ (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.
* âA Short Poem by âDarvÃsh Muhammad,â Bahaâuâllah: SÄqi az ghayb-i baqÄ borqaâ afkanâ¦â in Lights of IrfÃ¡n, 2 (Wilmette, IL: Haj Mehdi Arjomand Memorial Fund, 2001), 83-92.
* âThe Half-Closed Eye,â (story by Simin DÃ¢neshvar) 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.
* âCongratulations and Condolencesâ [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).
* âThe Half Closed Eyeâ [translation from Persian of a short story titled âÄeÅ¡m-e nime-bÃ¢zâ by Simin DÃ¢neshvar], in Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Wash., D.C.: Mage Publishers, 1992), 125-143.
* âPortrait of an Innocentâ [translation from Persian of a short story titled Maâsum 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 âPortrait of an Innocent, IIIâ in Black Parrot, Green Crow: A Collection of Short Fiction by Houshang Golshiri, ed. Heshmat Moayyad (Washington. D.C.: Mage Publishers. 2003), 115-129.
* âAziz Aqaâs Gold Fillingâ [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.