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Lecture: 'Tell Me A Story… Shahrzad "In Analysis" In Contemporary Persia'

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Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

14 Wharf Road

London

N1 7RW

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In this lecture by Dr. Gohar Homayounpour, One Thousand and One Nights is presented as a superb example of Bakhtinian, carnivalesque literature, and of marginalized, subversive Persian literature, as a means of searching for lost or repressed images of women within contemporary Iranian discourse.

Where has Shahrzad gone? A possible precursor of Freud, who discerned the secrets of the mind so well that she altered the fate of a nation and set the feminine soul free? Why has she disappeared from the theatres of young contemporary Iranian women’s minds? Was she repressed and resurrected in a disfigured manner? What remains of Shahrzad is a complete exoticisation of her as the ultimate erotic, eastern figure.

Through a psychoanalytic textual analysis of the Nights, Dr. Homayounpour uncovers various archetypes of women that have been completely extinct from a more mainstream Iranian discourse. The archetypes of Persian women populating the Shahrzad’s tales night after night have been lost as sources of female identifications. This lecture sets out to tell a story, and within it wishes to re-find a whole and integrated Shahrzad as an object of female identification, hoping to bring a new articulation to the female Oedipus complex, allowing the emergence of new possibilities of loving.


Dr. Gohar Homayounpour was born in Paris to Iranian parents, educated in Canada and the United States, and she now lives and works in Tehran.

Dr. Homayounpour is an author and a Psychoanalyst who belongs to the International Psychoanalytic association, American psychoanalytic association, and the National Association for the advancement of psychoanalysis. Training and supervising psychoanalyst of the Freudian Group of Tehran, where she is founder and director.

She has published various psychoanalytic articles, including in the International and Canadian journal of psychoanalysis. Her book Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran (MIT Press, 2012) won the Gradiva award and it has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Turkish.

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Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

14 Wharf Road

London

N1 7RW

United Kingdom

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