Ph.D., Boston College
Ph.D., Allahmeh Tabatabai University
M.A., Tehran University
Hessam Dehghani is an Assistant Professor of Teaching, Persian Language and Culture.
Born and raised in Iran, he has always been fascinated with Iranian languages and Literature and their constitutive role in forming the Persianate identity. He conducted his master’s thesis on the study of some of the Iranian dialects at Tehran University in Iran. Seeking a theoretical basis for the study of language and literature, he did his Ph.D. at Allameh Tabatabai University in Iran in linguistics. His dissertation examines structuralism, hermeneutics, and deconstruction as possible approaches to understanding the relationship between literature and its readers.
This intellectual journey brought him first to University College Dublin in 2010 for his first post-doctorate in hermeneutics and deconstruction and later for a second Ph.D. at Boston College Philosophy Department. For his second dissertation, he focused on the philosophical and Islamic aspects of Persianate culture, particularly in the works of 12th-century Persian jurist and mystic Abu Hāmid Ghazālī. Upon graduation, in 2019 he pursued the study of Islamic mystic literature as a Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Divinity School.
For the fall of 2020, he still continues his research concentrated particularly on the configuration of “self” in the works of Persian literature during 14-15 centuries at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University. For this inquiry, he is examining different genres from the philosophical writings of Ghazālī in Arabic and Persian to the satirical poetry of Obeyd-e Zākānī in Persian, not least the lyrical poetry of Šams ad-dīn Muhammad Hāfiz in Persian. He successfully presented parts of his findings in February 2020 at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University.
All along the way, he took advantage of his knowledge of theoretical linguistics and Persian language and culture towards second language teaching. Teaching English, Persian, and Arabic has been his full-time or part-time occupation for the past 15 years which he has always pursued reflectively and professionally. He is an active member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the American Association of Persian Teachers, and the Sa’dī Foundation (for teaching Persian to Non-Native Speakers) in Iran. Gradually, teaching Persian for him became more than just a professional pursuit but also a calling and passion.
His teaching over the past 7 years has been concentrated on Persian at the college level mostly at Boston College in the United States. He has designed and taught Persian courses that meet different needs of students, including “Linguistic Structure of Persian”, “Intensive Classical Persian”, and 4-skill communicative courses in Modern Persian. For his excellence in teaching, BC awarded him with Donald J. White Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016. Currently, he has several book projects including “Persian for College Students: a Thematic Course”, and “Thematic Activities for Teaching Persian Grammar.”
Current Book Projects:
 “Persian for College Students: a Thematic Course.”
 “Thematic Activities for Teaching Persian Grammar.”
Donald J. White Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016.