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Saeedeh Shahnahpour


Dr. S. Shahnahpour
+31 71 527 7577

Saeedeh Shahnahpour is a Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Saeedeh Shahnahpour

Educational background

  • 2016, PhD, Persian Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands
  • 2011, MA, Persian Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands
  • 2008, MA, Persian Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University, Tehran
  • 2006, BA, Persian Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University, Tehran

Research interest

My research often focuses on Persian literature of twentieth century, and the political, social, cultural, and religious transformations through which literary discourse developed. I often examine and analyze literary texts – both poetry and prose – by engaging with literary theories to develop a method through which Persian culture can be read from a deeper and broader perspective. In my research and teaching, I aim to introduce new and instrumental methods of analyzing literature to broad cultural backgrounds, making my analytical approach innovative in my field.

My doctoral thesis analyzes Esmāʻil Fasih’s war novel, The Winter of 1983 (Zemestān-e 62, 1985) from a narratological standpoint to illuminate how this novel differ from other Iranian wartime novels, since it explores numerous themes and perspectives on the Iran-Iraq war not explored by the war novels of this period. Whereas many wartime novels describe the active role of the working class in participating in the war, The Winter of 1983 chiefly portrays the upper class’s role, and especially their outlook on the war. In addition, Fasih’s war novel exposes the war the Iranian cities end up in ruins due to the war, an oft-neglected aspect of the war. This dissertation also considers how The Winter of 1983 might be differently categorized, as a novel with a moderate or neutral outlook on the war, the central reason being that the novel features both positive and negative aspects of the war.

International Conference Papers

  • 2017, Iran–Iraq War Memoirs and the Contribution of Iranian Women. American Comparative Literature Association, July 6-9, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  • 2016, Female Martyrs in Esmāʻil Fasih’s Fictional Works. Associations for Iranian Studies Conference, August 2-5, Vienna, Austria.
  • 2015, Breaking the Norm in Modern Persian War Novels: The Case of Esmāʻil Fasih’s (1935-2009) Zemestān-e Shast o Do (Winter of 83, 1985). Symposica Iranica, April 8-9, Cambridge, United Kingdom. (Shortlisted for the Honorable Mention).
  • 2013, The Winter of 1983, A Simple Narration of War. International conference: Of Poetry and Politics: Modern Reception of Classical Persian Tradition, September 12-13, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Invited Talk

  • 2017, Representation of Female War Martyrs in Contemporary Persian Novels. Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society, February 16, Leiden.


  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 0.03b



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