This seminar provides a forum for faculty, students, and other participants to explore, challenge, and discuss new research in the field of Persian and Persianate studies. It brings into focus a vast linguistic and cultural complex once stretching from the Balkans in the West all the way to Baghdad, Bukhara, and Bengal in the East where Persian was a model for high culture and literary achievements. The seminar seeks to investigate the literary and cultural productions of the Persianate complex in the Islamic period, while fostering methodological diversity and comparative approaches across the humanities.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming seminars.

Past Events 2019 - 20

Sunil Sharma, Boston University
Lovers and Heroines: Rabia and Mahsati in the Canon of Classical Persian Poetry
Neelam Khoja, The MacMillan Center at Yale University
Genealogical Affiliations and Territories: Early Mughal Placement of Afghans
Maria Subtelny, University of Toronto
Iranian Elements in the Pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Secretum secretorum)
Farzin Vejdani, Ryerson University; Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School
Sex, Alcohol, and Music: Policing Vice in Nineteenth-Century Shiraz
Mahrou Zhaf, St. Lawrence University
Iranian Cinema on the Couch

Past Events 2018 - 19

Christine Nölle-Karimi, Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Perfect Equilibrium: A Concept of Geographical Space and Its Career in Persian Literature
Sheida Dayani, Harvard University
Juggling Revolutionaries: Making History with Theatre in Modern Iran
Houchang Chehabi, Boston University
"Ancient Sport" (varzesh-e bastani) as Invented Tradition
Manan Ahmed Asif, Columbia University
The Avatars of Tarikh-i Firishta since 1768
Abhishek Kaicker, Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley
From Shah Jahan to Nadir Shah: Sovereignty and Popular Politics in Mughal Delhi

Past Events 2017 - 18

Hajnalka Kovacs, Harvard University
Bedil's Poetics of the Inexpressible
Sassan Zand Moqaddam, Boston University
The Need for a New Critical Edition of the Ma‘ārif of Bahā’-i Walad
Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, Oxford University
Disrupting Peripheries: Gender, Authority, and Sisterhood in Qajar Kurdistan
Roy Mottahedeh, Harvard University
Medieval Kashan
Nicholas Boylston, Harvard University
Piecing Together the Poem, Piecing Together the Self: The Interlocking Mathnawīs of Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār

Past Events 2016 - 17

Pollet Samvelian, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
Specific Features of Persian Syntax: The Ezâfe Construction, Differential Object Marking, and Complex Predicates
Domenico Ingenito, University of California, Los Angeles
Through the Mirror of My Fantasies: The Sacred, the Courtly, and the Obscene in Sa'di's Lyricism
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Brandeis University
Remembering the Palestine Group: Memory, History, and the Iranian Revolution
Matthew C. Smith, Harvard University
Betrayed By Earth and Sky: Poetry of Disaster and Restoration in 18th Century Iran
Michelle Quay, Cambridge University
The Female "Saints" of Islam: Corporeality in Medieval Persian and Arabic Hagiography
Matthew Thomas Miller, University of Maryland, College Park
Poetic Performance as Argument: Hasan the Singer’s Embodied Performance-cum-Defense of Sufi (Homo)eroticism in ‘Erâqi’s Hagiography
Gohar Homayounpour, Shahid Beheshti University Tehran
Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran: Triumphs and Laments