Please join us for a talk by Saeed Talajooy (University of St Andrews) entitled "Reformulation of the Ideals of Heroism in Bahram Beyzaie’s Early Plays"

Date: May 30, 2024 | Time: 6:00 pm 

Location: Humanities Gateway #1341 | Jordan Center for Persian Studies 

*this event is open to public













In this talk, Saeed Talajooy examines Beyzaie’s reformulation of the ideals of heroism in plays that examine the subject in the contexts of Iranian myths, folktales, and zurkhāneh tradition. The first part of the talk is focused on naqqāli and the myth of Ārash. After examining the origins of the myth of Ārash, Talajooy demonstrates how Beyzaie’s play creates a new form Barkhāni which stands between naqqāli and ta‘ziyehand uses the myth to comment on citizenship, leadership, marginalization, and heroism. Beyzaie also indicates that a hero is not born but is made in reaction to suffering and marginalisation. In the second part of the talk, Talajooy focuses on Beyzaie’s puppet trilogy to reflect on how the three plays display a process in which the hero, the demon, the black and the girl stop acting as puppets and decide to make their own decisions rather than doing what they have always been expected to do. In his analysis of So Dies Pahlevān Akbar, Talajooy argues that the play introduced a new conception of heroism and initiated a new interest in the Iranian chivalry cult, Āyin-e Javānmardi, and its ideal heroes, Pahlevān and Ayyār, as tragic figures in contrast with the streetwise tough guys who had become central to Iranian cinema. After reviewing the ideals of Javānmardi, Talajooy reflects on how Beyzaie’s selfless hero is a victim of marginalisation, who cannot survive the machinations of a modern society.

 Brief Bio

Saeed Talajooy is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Persian at the University of St Andrews, UK. Talajooy has taught English and comparative literature and Persian literature, theatre and cinema in Iran and the UK. His research is on the reflections of the changing patterns of Iranian identity in Persian literature and Iranian cinema and theatre. His most recent publications include a monograph entitled Iranian Culture in Bahram Beyzaie’s Cinema in Theatre: Paradigms of Being and Belonging (I. B. Tauris, 2023), an edited volume entitled The Plays and Films of Bahram Beyzaie: Origins, Forms and Functions (I. B. Tauris, 2024), and two books which in each case include a translation of a play by Bahram Beyzaie and its analysis: The One Thousand and First Night and Afra or the Day Is Passing.