As the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Endowed Faculty in Persian Language & Culture, Partow Hooshmandrad currently teaches at California State University, Fresno, Department of Music, and is actively involved in the development of the Persian Language & Culture and Middle East Studies programs. She holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has done extensive research on the cultural heritage of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan) of Guran since 2000.  As a scholar and a musician she specializes in the devotional practices of the Ahl-i Haqq including the musical repertoire, the texts, and the rituals, as well as Iranian classical music.  She has won several awards for her research endeavors including generous grants from the National Geographic Conservation Trust Fund, Alfred Hertz Memorial Scholarships, the Kurdish National Congress, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Al-Falah Program for Islamic Studies (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley).  She has written and presented papers on various aspects of Ahl-i Haqq life, Iranian classical music, and other musical practices of Iran.  Hooshmandrad has also appeared on KPFA radio Berkeley and performed for the Marin League of the San Francisco Symphony. Prior to joining the academic community at California State University, Fresno, she taught at the University of Kurdistan, Hawler, in the Federal Region of Kurdistan, Iraq. She is currently working on a pedagogical DVD on the instrumental and vocal renditions of the musical repertoire of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq of Guran as well as a book on the same topic, to be published by the Mahoor Institute of Culture & Art.


Her most recent and upcoming publications include:

  • In Press. Encyclopaedia Iranica s.v. “Kurdistan XI. Music, II. Ahl-e Haqq.” Ed. Yarshater, Ehsan. New York: Bibliotheca Iranica.
  • 2015. The Music of Yarsan: A Living Tradition (an educational documentary film). DVD. Tehran: Mahoor Institute of Culture & Arts.
  • 2015. “Contemplating the Tanbur of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq of Guran: A Biographical Organology.” Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 41.
  • 2014. Encyclopedia Iranica s.v. “Tarz-e Yari”. Ed. Yarshater, Ehsan. New York: Bibliotheca Iranica. Audio recording entry.
  • 2014. “Life as Ritual: Devotional Practices of the Kurdish Ahl-i Ḥaqq of Gurān.” Religious Minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the Mainstream. Ed. Khanna Omarkhali. Studies in Oriental Religions 68. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag.
  • 2013. Ritual Music of Guran. Regional Music of Iran 41. Tehran: Mahoor Institute of Culture & Arts. (Two-CD album of selected solo and group chants of Guran as performed by the kalam-khwans of the region with detailed English and Persian booklets on the devotional practices and the musical modes).

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