Justine Landau

Justine Landau

Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Justine Landau

Research Interests

Justine Landau is a scholar of Persian literatures and cultures. Her research interests are grounded in three fields:

- Classical Persian Literature, with a focus on early court poetry (9th-14thc.)

- Poetics and literary theory

- Comparative and world literature

Her first monograph, De rythme & de raison. Lecture croisée de deux traités de poétique persans du XIIIe siècle(PSN/IFRI, 2013), investigates the advent of Persian literary theory in 13thcentury Iran and its two foundational texts: Shams-e Qeys-e Rāzī’s Ketāb al-mo‘jamand Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī’s Me‘yār al-ash‘ār. Drawing on a corpus of pre-Mongol panegyrics and prose works, her next book project explores the aesthetics of occasion and circumstance in early Persian court poetry.

Academic Bio

An alumna of the École Normale Supérieure in Fontenay/Saint-Cloud (France), she holds a B.A. and M.A. in medieval French literature from the Sorbonne in Paris (France), and an Agrégation in French literature. She received training in Iranian Studies from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, ‘Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran (Iran) and Columbia University in New York. She obtained her M.Phil. and Ph.D. (2012) in Iranian Studies from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.

Before joining the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationsat Harvard in 2015, she taught Persian language and literature at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (2003-2007) and at the University of California in Los Angeles (2013), and was a researcherat the Institute of Iranian Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna (2010-2015).

Justine Landau is the founder and co-chair, with Hajnalka Kovacs and Sheida Dayani, of the Persian & Persianate Studies seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center: http://mahindrahumanities.fas.harvard.edu/content/persian-and-persianate-studies

Selected Publications


De rythme & de raison. Lecture croisée de deux traités de poétique persans du XIIIe siècle, Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle / IFRI (2013).

Recipient of the Saidi-Sirjani Book Award, granted by the Association for Iranian on behalf of the Persian Heritage Foundation (2014) and of the World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iranian Studies (2016).

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

“Plus ou moins que deux: le tashdîddans la tradition métrique persane,” Bulletin d’Études Orientales65 (2017): 135-156;

“Au risque de la prose: une esthétique persane de la coordination,” Histoire Épistémologie Langage36:2 (2014): 97-110;

“Nasir al-Din Tusi and Poetic Imagination in the Arabic and Persian Philosophical Tradition,” in A.A. Seyed-Gohrab, ed., Metaphor and Imagery in Persian Poetry, Brill (2011): 15-65;

“L’adaptation de la métrique xalîlienne à la poésie persane: transfert et variations,” Bulletin d’Études Orientales59 (2010): 101-126;

“Figures of Grammar and Rhetoric in Las Leys d’Amors,”TENSO: Bulletin of the Société Guilhem IX20:1 (2005): 1-18.

Special Issue

(co-edited with A. Ahmed and H. Deluy) Action Poétique, Kurdish issue, 197 (2009).

Translated Book

(with A. Sultan) Daniel Heller-Roazen, Écholalies. Essai sur l’oubli des langues, Éditions du Seuil (2007).

Recipient of the Pierre-François Caillé Translation Prize by the Société Française des Traducteurs (2007).

Afterword to a Book

“Lire Les Restes. Sept propositions,” afterword to Henri Lefebvre, Les Restes, prototype, Manuella Éditions (2013): 43-51.


Sommaire, Les Cahiers de la Seine (2010).

Recent & Regularly Taught Courses

Persian 130br. Advanced Persian II

Persian 152. Literary and Visual Narrative in the Persian Epic Tradition

Persian 155. “Beginnings”: Prefaces and Exordiums in Classical Persian Literature

Persian 165. Sweet and Sour: A Taste of Persian Literary and Visual Culture

IslamCiv 165 / HDS 3026. Sufi Masters of Persian Poetry: ‘Attâr, Rumi, Hâfez

MedvlStd 106 / NEC 106. Poets, Kings and Travellers: Encountering Alexander in the Medieval World (with Sean Gilsdorf)

Persian 251. Classical Persian Literature Seminar: Poetics and Rhetoric

Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Committee on Medieval Studies.



Contact Information

Harvard - NELC
6 Divinity Ave, #309
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-4654
Office Hours: By appointment


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