Film, Video Mapping a Persian Literary Sphere, 1500-1900

Transcript: TEXT

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Mapping a Persian Literary Sphere, 1500-1900
In this presentation Kevin Schwartz uses tazkirahs -- authoritative collections of Persian literary works -- to map divergent conceptualizations of the world of Persian literary culture. By connecting tazkirahs to one another through their geographically and historically diverse use of documented sources and methods of cataloguing and classification, Schwartz shines light on how different individuals demarcated the conceptual and geographic boundaries of the nineteenth century Persianate world and shows the hidden value of the tazkirah genre as a historical source for documenting the intellectual, social, and cultural life in the wider Persianate world. For several centuries, Persian literary culture shaped the socio-political and intellectual environments of the greater Islamic world, in particular in the territories and diverse societies of West, Central and South Asia. Persian cultural traditions helped dynasties manage empires and enabled inter-imperial communication. Interest in Persian language and culture promoted cross- regional fertilization among poets and authors. The common language and cultural focus allowed such groups to travel across borders in search of professional opportunities or personal enrichment. Over the centuries, despite political upheavals and dynastic conflicts, the position of Persian as the dominant cultural-linguistic force survived across large parts of the eastern Islamic world.
Event Date
November 17, 2017
-  Kevin Schwartz is a researcher at the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, where he focuses on Iran and the Persianate world. He has been a Kluge Center Fellow at the Library of Congress and distinguished visiting professor and chair of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Schwartz has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, a master's degree from the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. from Columbia University.
Related Resources
John W. Kluge Center:
Running Time
43 minutes,
Online Format
online text

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