We are pleased to announce our final event of this academic year: a talk by Professor Shahzad Bashir (Department of Religious Studies, Stanford) entitled "Poetry and Writing of the Past in Persianate Societies". Please join us on Monday, May 14 from 12:00-2:00pm in Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 216. As always, lunch will be served.
Professor Bashir provides a look into the issues that he will present in the following excerpt:
Persian prose narratives that purport to represent the past are universally riddled with citations of verse. This pattern pertains to a vast literary corpus consisting of chronicles, hagiography, prosopography, geography, literary anthologies, and so on. Most modern scholars who have made use of this material have seen verse insertions in prose as unnecessary embellishments tacked on to real ‘history’ or as products of a literary convention that deserves little analytical attention. Focusing on texts written in the sixteenth century, I argue, instead, that verse citations act as crucial 'time-keepers’ in these texts, allowing modulation between atemporality, temporality, and phenomenality. Considering the balance between these functions of verse provides venues to address questions of genre, literary virtuosity, and rules of evidence for representing the past.
We look forward to seeing you there!