Lectures by Thamar E. Gindin, PhD
The lectures are suitable for any kind of venue or event – fund-raisers, groups that meet in private homes, parties, continuing education programs, recreation, et al.
On Topics Related to Iran – 90-minute lectures or a lecture series
The Scroll of Esther ("Megilat Esther") – The Iranian Perspective
The Book of Esther takes place at the court of the Achaemenian (Persian) monarchy and reflects the customs, culture and language of ancient Iran. Through the Book, those attending the lecture become familiar with all the above (and somewhat with Hebrew and their own language as well). After hearing the lecture, participants will have the tools to analyze, practically on their own, the names of some of Haman's ten sons.
Pajamas in Paradise – Iranian Influences on our Language and Culture
An overview of the prehistory of the Iranian tribes and language, a bit about the ancient religion, the history of the connection between Iran and Judaism, from which Christianity emerged, and the ideological (e.g. the concept of Satan) and linguistic influences (pajamas, bazaar, magic, paradise, et al.).
Iran Is more than Just Ahmadinejad – Ancient Iranian Religions
Zoroastrianism, which was founded by the prophet Zoroaster, was Iran's religion prior to Islam. Manichaeism, introduced by the prophet Mani, competed with Christianity during a certain period (and lost). How did they begin, how was the world created, what will happen after the coming of the messiah, and what we have to do to attain his coming.
Includes mythological tales and anecdotes.
The Status of Women in Ancient Iran
During Iran's Sassanian period (third century – Islam), a woman could manage property and acquire an education. But when menstruating, she couldn't even get a glimpse of the sun!
Nowruz, the Persian New Year
The Persians still celebrate New Years according to the Zoroastrian calendar (the religion that preceded Islam in Iran). A lecture on history, beliefs and traditions, accompanied by demonstrations of a festively set table. Fitting for New Years and springtime.
The Afterlife from the Ancient Iranian Perspective
What happens after we die, what transpires in paradise and in hell, how will we be rewarded for deeds such as: frequent bathing, incest, and wearing makeup.
Beelzebub in the Bazaar – Cultures and Languages in Contact
Cultures and languages encounter one another all the time – in the past, primarily as a result of conquests and explorations, whereas currently people use telecommunications and the Internet. The contact between cultures engenders influences, some of which have been assimilated in the receiving culture beyond recognition (How did pasta reach Italy? When did we start believing in heaven and hell? Why do we break a glass during the wedding ceremony?) There are also linguistic influences between cultures (for example, borrowed words such as orange, tiara, gigolo, and checkmate).
Some anecdotes from other cultures and languages are examined during the lecture, and quite a few from Judaism and the English language.
A bit from each lecture: The Book of Esther, Ancient Iranian Religions, Cultures and Languages in Contact, Iranian Influences on our Language and Culture, Women in Ancient Iran, and The Afterlife.
Iran – Past, Present and Future
A series of 4-8 lectures offered in collaboration with a prominent expert on contemporary Iran.
Sex and Violence in Indian Mythology
A lecture entirely comprised of stories about gods and goddesses – and sometimes humans as well.
The History of the Persian Language – For Persian Speakers
Why does every verb in Persian have two stems?
What's the origin of the ezāfe (the -e vowel between words, e.g. āsh-e māst)?
Why does an h at the end of a word sometimes turn into a g – and sometimes not?
A lecture for Persian speakers about the history of the language and its connections with other languages, including an historical-linguistic explanation of everything that's unique in the Persian language.
Lecture on Surrogate Motherhood – Based on Personal Experience
Surrogacy – recounting my personal story and answering questions from the audience. Includes biological, legal, bureaucratic and emotional aspects.
A film made about us: "Mommy Dearest" – Episode 3 (in Hebrew).