Lectures in Criticism: The Episodic Reception of Medieval Persian Women Poets (2/22)

The participation of women poets in medieval courtly or Sufi Persian literary cultures was acknowledged but did not result in their inclusion in literary histories. The lives and poems of figures such as Mahsati, Rabia, and Jahan, were memorialized in anecdotes and romantic narratives at certain critical junctures that led to the creation of phantom canons in nineteenth-century anthologies. These poets were also masked by their use of the ghazal poetic form that privileged a lyrical ventriloquism. Connecting the episodes in the reception history of Persian women poets challenges the way the millennium-long tradition is studied.

Sunil Sharma’s areas of expertise are premodern Persian and South Asian literatures. His research interests include poetry and court cultures, history of the book, and travel writing. His last book, Mughal Arcadia: Persian Poetry in an Indian Court  (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017) is a study of early modern Persianate literature. He is director of BU’s Global Medieval Studies program

This event, presented by Professor Sunil Sharma, will take place on February 22nd at 5pm in CDS 1101 (665 Commonwealth Ave).