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OCU’s Speakers Series Welcomes Iranian Author
Oklahoma City University will host renowned Iranian author Azar Nafisi Oct. 14 as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. The university invites the campus and community to attend the 7:30 p.m. lecture in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center, located at Northwest 27th Street and Florida Avenue. The event is free to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited. With two ongoing wars in the Middle East and an upcoming general election, it’s a strong possibility that the nation of Iran will get a great deal of attention in U.S. political discussions. As if on cue, Nafisi, a former Iranian resident and current academic, is coming to OCU to share some of her experiences of living in an Islamic country dubbed by President George W. Bush as a member of the “axis of evil.” Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books,” which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. Expelled from the faculty of the University of Tehran in 1981 for refusing to wear the Islamic veil, Nafisi did not return to teaching until 1987. She is a visiting professor and the director of the SAIS Dialogue Project at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. She conducted workshops in Iran for women students on the relationship between culture and human rights. The material culled from these workshops formed the basis of a new human rights education curriculum. Nafisi has earned national respect and international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran's intellectuals, youth and especially young women. The Distinguished Speakers Series at Oklahoma City University was established to enrich the academic experience of students, faculty and staff. The event is free and open to the public. Previous Distinguished Speakers include Edward Albee, Jane Goodall, Eli Wiesel, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Jonathan Kozol, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Sister Helen Prejean. For more information call (405) 208-4956 or visit