Course Syllabus: Rumi 101,

Life and Poetry of Rumi:

Fall semester: 9/2018 to -12/2018

Instructor: Shahin Monshipour,

Adjunct Instructor of Anthropology and Sociology,

Rochester Institute of Technology,

President: International Culture and Arts Network (ICAN)

Assistant Instructor: Maryam Ghanbary Esq.

Day of the week:  Every other Sunday, Starting September 16, 2018

Time: 2:00-3:20 (Session in English), 3:30-4:50 (Session in Farsi)

Location: Sufi Center,

Carriage House

494 East Ave,

Rochester NY, 14607

Tuition: $90.00 for 6 sessions. Prepaid

(If you miss 1 or 2 classes, you will receive a refund for those sessions. More than 2 classes? Sorry, no refund).

Text Book: hand-outs provided by Shahin Monshipour

Course description:

This course is designed to help students learn about the poetry, biography, and spiritual philosophy of Molana Jalaleddin Mahammad Balkhi, known as Rumi, within historical, Sociological and cultural context. We will begin with reading and discussion of historical, Geographical and cultural origins of Rumi’s spiritual development. Such questions as:  where, when, and in what kind of family and society he grew up will be discussed in detail. Our reading will continue to cover aspects of his human environment, as well as the events and experiences that led to his becoming a leading Sufi poet of all times.

We will also discuss the symbolism and terminology imbedded in his poetry, which are intertwined with his particular view of the universe, and the roots of his belief system.

We will analyze a selection of his poems and discuss various translations and translators.

Students will have a chance to recite before class their own selected poems, and discuss the poetic meaning, concept and terminology employed.


At each session,

  1. We will start with a discussion of the Biographical reading material. (30 minutes)
  1. We will recite a selected poem by Rumi, and then discuss it in terms the symbols, terminology, concepts, and meanings introduced in the poem.

(Students can volunteer to do the recitation), (30 minutes)

  1. Open discussion and conversation: This is a time reserved for sharing knowledge, personal understanding of Rumi and his work, impact of Rumi’s poems across time and space, sharing stories told by Rumi, or any other relevant topic of interest to students. This part of the session will be more casual, and we will have tea, (and perhaps a small dish of light snacks, offered by students to be passed around. We will take turns!). (20 minutes)

Homework, and preparation for class:

It is essential that students read the assigned material before attending each class. The assigned reading is about 15-30 pages prior to each class. (Easy text. Story-like, Plus several poems,)

Note: Expert presentations:

ICAN plans to develop a related event, with music and scholarly presentation after completion of each semester. Students will attend free of charge and are encouraged to help with organizing of the event.

To register for the course: please contact the instructor: