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Hesam Sharifian

Theatre Historian/Educator

Hesam Sharifian is a Ph.D candidate at Tufts University, Department of Drama and Dance, and is currently completing his dissertation entitled, “Americanizing Shakespeare in Print: Nineteenth Century American Illustrated Editions of Shakespeare's Works as Representations of National Identity.” He holds a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Literature from Tehran University and a master's degree in Theatre History and Criticism from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarly publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Theatre Survey, Asian Theatre Journal, New England Theatre Journal, and Academic Theatre Journal of Iran. Recognized by the professional associations of the fields of Theatre and Performance Studies, Hesam has been the recipient of the Helen Krich Chinoy Award and the Thomas Marshal Award, both from the American Society for Theatre Research. He has also won several grants and research competitions, such as the Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship in American Visual Arts from the American Antiquarian Society, University of New Hampshire Summer Institute in Public Humanities grant from the Mellon Foundation, and the Tisch Library Fellowship in Humanities. He served as a guest editor for a special issue of Ecumenica on Theatre and Performance of Muslim Worlds, published in Fall 2018. His areas of scholarly interest include theatre and opera iconography, American commercial theatre in the long nineteenth century, German expressionist theatre and opera, and multi-culturalism in theatre.

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Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology

Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology

A Fragmented Argument in Five Acts

10 May 2021

Hesam Sharifian reflects on how the blackface mask of the Hāji Firuz and Siāh-Bāzi clowns in Iran is reminiscent of an ugly past and should not be used in performance today.