Iranian-Italian webinar pays tribute to Iranologist Anna Vanzan 

January 27, 2021 - 19:0

TEHRAN – Italian Iranologist Anna Vanzan, who died of cancer last December, was remembered during a webinar co-organized by Italy and Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organization on Tuesday.

The webinar was organized in Rome at the center of the Italian Encyclopedia of Sciences, Letters and Arts, best known as Treccani.

“Undoubtedly, Ms. Vanzan will remain in our memories by around 200 articles and books of hers, and nearly 100 papers for international meetings,” Iranian cultural attaché Mohammad-Taqi Amini said at the webinar.

He pointed to the Career Award for Translation she received from the Italian culture ministry in 2017 and the International Prize Feudo di Maida for her book “Muslim Women in Italy’s Collective Imagination” in 2006, and said, “Luckily, her cultural activities were acknowledged over her life.”

“The Iranian Cultural Center in Rome plans to show appreciation for those scholars who help improve mutual understanding across the world by organizing international meetings and conferences,” he added.

Simone Cristoforetti of the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies (ISMEO) also attended the webinar.

He praised Vanzan for the great endeavors she made to introduce books from Persian literature to Italian readers.

Italian writer Antonello Sacchetti, the author of “Misteri Persiani” and several other Italian literati, including Maria Vittoria Paladinoa and Tiziano Buccico, also attended the meeting.

Born in Venice in 1955, Vanzan held a degree in Oriental languages and cultures from the University of Ca’ Foscari of Venice and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies from New York University.

Although she was interested in West Asia in general, her research was focused especially on Iran, Central Asia and the subcontinent – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Muslim India.

She worked in gender studies with a particular interest for contemporary fictional literature produced by Iranian women.

She was the author of many publications in Italian and English, including “La Storia Velata: le Donne dell’Islam Nell’Immaginario Italiano”, “Figlie di Shahrazàd”.

Her book “Le Donne di Allah, Viaggio Nei Femminismi Islamici” offers a collection of conversations and discussions with Muslim women who are engaged in finding their way to feminism.

She was a co-founder of the Italian journal Afriche&Orienti. She regularly lectured in various Italian institutions on issues of multiculturalism.

Vanzan was teaching culture and mediation at Ca Foscari University in Venice before her death.

Photo: Italian Iranologist Anna Vanzan in an undated photo.


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