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Professor Amir Hassanpour was a prominent scholar of Kurdish and Iranian studies, an inspiring teacher and mentor, and a respected colleague in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. As a tribute to our colleague and friend, the Department is establishing an annual lecture in his memory and invites you to help fund it with a charitable donation.
Dr. Hassanpour was born in the Kurdish city of Mahabad, in western Iran. He attended the University of Tehran, where he completed a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Linguistics, and became immersed in the Iranian student movement and oppositional politics. Having won a grant to pursue his Ph.D., he left Iran for the University of Illinois. His doctoral dissertation served as the foundation for his seminal book, Nationalism and Language in Kurdistan, published in 1992.
After teaching at the universities of Windsor and Concordia, Dr. Hassanpour moved to Toronto and joined U of T’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations in 1999. At Toronto, Professor Hassanpour became a prolific writer, a highly respected and popular teacher, known for his intellectual generosity, his democratic style of thinking, and an ethos of social responsibility, which he also instilled in his students. He is deeply missed by the NMC community.
Please join us in honouring Professor Hassanpour’s legacy at the University of Toronto by making a donation to the Amir Hassanpour Memorial Lecture Fund. Donations can be made as a one-time gift or a continuing pledge. You may make a gift online, arrange for payroll deductions, or mail a cheque payable to the University of Toronto.
We plan to hold the first annual Amir Hassanpour Memorial Lecture and a special reception on Saturday October 13, 2018. We are grateful for your support and hope to see you there.
HOW TO DONATE:
1. Online at https://donate.utoronto.ca/hassanpour
3. US Donors can direct their giving to the Associates of the University of Toronto, Inc at 1-800-699-1736 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Mr Gary Kaufman, Treasurer, The Associates of the University of Toronto, Inc. 58 West 84th Street, #2F, New York, NY 10024.
Please contact Heather McLean, Office of Advancement at 416.978.1844 or email@example.com
Following a successful application to the international T-AP Digging Into Data Challenge, a SSHRC-funded team of Assyriologists led by Heather D. Baker from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations will be joining with partners from the University of Frankfurt and the University of California, Los Angeles to develop new tools for the automated translation and analysis of cuneiform texts. Émilie Pagé–Perron, PhD candidate at NMC and a co-PI of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), will coordinate the research group’ s efforts. The project is one of 14 chosen to address big data questions in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The international team is led by: Heather D. Baker (PI), University of Toronto, Christian Chiarcos (Co-PI), University of Frankfurt, Robert K. Englund (Co-PI), University of California, Los Angeles, and Émilie Pagé–Perron (Coordinator), University of Toronto.
T-AP Digging Into Data (https://diggingintodata.org/awards/2016)
The project description on the Digging into Data website
Issues with viewing the links? Visit https://nmc.utoronto.ca/april-2017/
As part of UofT’s Boundless campaign, recent video footage was shot to showcase 3D technology used by NMC’s CRANE Project. Filming was done by Brought To You By, a local production company, to highlight the work conducted by CRANE to emphasize the University of Toronto’s global impact. Digital work being produced by Stephen Batiuk (CRANE Project Manager) will be included, as well as Giles Morrow (Archaeology Centre) demonstrating the photogrammetry equipment at the Archaeology Centre to photograph artifacts from NMC’s Archaeology Lab supplied by Stanley Klassen (Collections Manager). The final presentation will promote some of the exceptional work being produced at the University of Toronto and will be seen by diverse national and international audiences.
U of T’s Spirit Singers will perform in support of Syrian youth (photo by Romi Levine)
March 29, 2017 By Romi Levine Original Article
In a dimly lit room at University of Toronto’s Cumberland House, a group of about 15 students belt out an upbeat South African hymn called “Siyahamba”.
They sing in Zulu and in English, but for many neither language is their mother tongue. The U of T students are members of the Spirit Singers choir – a choral group organized by U of T’s Multi-Faith Centre.
“The choir is a wonderful mix of Canadian domestic students and international students, including students here on short-term exchanges,” says Richard Chambers, director of the Multi-Faith Centre.
“We have students from Lindsay, Ont., exchange students from Hong Kong, international students from France and students from Montreal. It’s really a fascinating mix.”
On Saturday April 1st, 2017,, the Spirit Singers will performed alongside community choir Common Thread for “Would You Harbour Me?” a concert in support of a U of T initiative that works with young Syrian refugees in Toronto.
“It’s turned into a wonderful project of youth supporting youth supporting youth – U of T students coming together to make music to support other U of T students working with Syrian youth and students,” says Chambers.
The performance raised money for the Cultural Exchange and Support Initiative (NMC-CESI) created by students and faculty in the department of Near & Middle Eastern civilizations. NMC-CESI holds weekly workshops and activities for Syrian youth to help them learn English and settle into life in Canada.
Most of the proceeds from the concert will go toward the operational costs of the entirely volunteer-run program, but NMC-CESI co-founder and doctoral student Rob Martin hopes it will provide more opportunities to take the Syrian newcomers to interesting places around the city like the Science Centre.
“We’re constantly needing more resources to keep going,” says Martin.
“What’s been amazing is the way the community at the University of Toronto has rallied behind us, not just students but administrators that are our volunteers and members.”
NMC-CESI volunteers with Syrian youth (photo courtesy of Richard Chambers)
Syrian youth will be able to go to the concert for free – it’s a chance for them to experience the diversity of Canadian culture first-hand. Celebrating people’s differences is something the Multi-Faith Centre takes pride in, says Chambers.
“We need to think critically and build relationships, and we need to do this important work of building social cohesion while at the same time honouring individual differences through relationships,” he says.
For Alexandre Milovanoff, an international student from France in the first year of his PhD in civil engineering, being a part of the Spirit Singers was an opportunity to meet like-minded students.
“For me, singing with all of those people in order to reach a common goal to promote peace – it’s an amazing way to feel that we are not just thinking about it but trying to act on it,” he says.
The act of singing in a choir is a lesson in acceptance, says Milovanoff.
“You’re trying to share the different voices and accept each other’s voices to get a beautiful and in unison voice,” he says.