By Michael J Carroll
Muslim Studies Faculty Associates Sunil Sharma and Roberta Micallef (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature) have recently edited a book published by Harvard University Press’ Ilex Series, titled On the Wonders of Land & Sea: Persianate Travel Writing. The publication initiates a comparative study of non-European travel writers in the eastern Islamic or Persianate world from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. The essays in this volume discuss travel narratives by male and female Muslim and Parsi/Zoroastrian travelers in the Hijaz, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe. Focusing on the literary and linguistic aspects of the travelogues, the essays reveal links to traditional forms of narrating travel and the introduction of hybrid forms of discourse. The authors’ methodological approach situates the texts in their socio-historical contexts and the travelers in their geographical locations, taking into account their gender and national identity. Each essay investigates a Muslim or Persianate traveler, whether sojourning in Europe or another part of the eastern world, and explores how the narrator represents what she or he sees while questioning the social and historical transformations accompanying modernity. The aim of this collection is to take a step toward a more sustained critical discussion of travelogues by Muslim travelers in dialogue with other Muslim, Persianate, and European travelers.
For additional information: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674073340
The Institute is pleased to announce that courses for Spring 2013 in Muslim Studies, offered in multiple schools and departments throughout Boston University, is now available online. For more information about registration times, please see the schedule posted on the Registrar’s web site. For more information on the courses, please consult the respective departments.
Houchang Chehabi, a professor of International Relations and History was among the three Boston University scholars chosen to present papers at the Fifth Biennial Convention of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies. The convention, held in early January in Hyderbad, India, attracted scholars from all over the world who presented their academic research and written work. Chahabi’s paper, “Controversy around Titles in Late Qajar Iran”, analyzes the Qajar era, and the use of titles while delineating the political actions that led to their decline and eventual fall to the new Pahlavi Iran era.
Boston University’s professor of Persian and Urdu Literature, Sunil Sharma, also presented his paper entitled, “Mughal Shahnama from Ahmedabad: Sub-Imperial or Provincial?” where he studies the early manuscript of Firduasi and traces the history of the art piece from its inception to future ownership.
Former graduate student of the Department of Anthropology, Chris Taylor (CAS ’09), presented his paper on his recent fieldwork conducted in Herat, Afghanistan. The paper, “Islamic alms in Afghan Cities”, tries to illustrate the complex meanings behind the act of almsgiving in the Afghan village. He discusses how international Islamic discourse takes shape in the community and emerges as a response to the instability in the area. He is currently researching civic participation and ethnic and Islamic identities in Persian societies.
Hosted by the Hyderabad’s Maulana Azad National Urdu University, the event was co-sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Iran Heritage Foundation (London), the Roshan Center for Persian Studies (University of Maryland).
Information regarding convention derived from the Association for the Study of Perisianate Studies.
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations has released a limited amount of funding for faculty, doctoral candidates, and graduate students who will be traveling to conferences or conducting projects during the Fall 2010 semester. Applications for funding must contribute to the field of Muslim Studies, and awards will be granted on a need-basis. Funds are limited, so a candidate should expect any awarded funding to be primarily supplemental. For additional questions, please contact Michael Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due November 1, 2010.
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations is pleased to announce the creation of the Fellowship in Persianate Studies. The fellowship was made possible by the generous gift from the Woodcock II Foundation.
The peoples and cultures of Central and Southwest Asia (sometimes called Turko-Persia) have deep historical roots that predate both the advent of Islam and many of the ethnic groups that now live in the region. Although today encompassing the modern states and regions of Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, the Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan, western Pakistan and Kurdistan, scholars and even travelers have long recognized the significance of such shared traditions such as the Nauruz New Year celebrations and the rich inter-mixture both Persian and Turkish languages and histories.
The creation of the Fellowship in Persianate Studies satisfies the growing demand for sophisticated knowledge about this region by business and government, academic research, and teaching. The Fellowship’s first recipient, Ehsan Moghaddasi, will arrive at Boston University this fall.