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Iranian-American Professor Devotes Teaching, Research to ‘Words, Not Swords’

Published October 1, 2015 in News

By: Anne E. Bromley | University Communications

University of Virginia Professor Farzaneh Milani says the common theme in her teaching and scholarship is “the genuine belief in the power of words, the conviction that while violence begets more violence, words are mightier than swords.” In fact, her 2011 book is titled “Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and Freedom of Movement.”

A faculty member in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, which she is chairing for the second time, and in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Program for almost 30 years, Milani has just been announced as the 2015 winner of U.Va.’s Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, which honors a female employee for her professionalism, creativity and commitment to the University and to her field.

“I am thrilled, humbled, grateful and honored,” she said.

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center presents the award annually in memory of Elizabeth Zintl, an accomplished writer and journalist who served as chief of staff in the Office of the President and made significant contributions to the University. The award carries a $1,000 prize for the honoree to use for her professional or personal development and will be presented at a reception on Oct. 22.

Milani – a renowned writer, inspiring teacher and leading scholar of gender and literature in Iranian language and culture – has published more than 100 articles and written opinion pieces and commentaries for such national publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Ms. magazine and USA Today.


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