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Becoming Literature: Adabiyat and the Rise of a New Persian Literary Discourse (1895-1945)
Becoming Literature: Adabiyat and the Rise of a New Persian Literary Discourse (1895-1945)
WhenTuesday, Mar. 12, 2019, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Campus locationAllen Library (ALB)
Campus roomAllen Auditorium
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsThe Department of Near Eastern Languages's Persian and Iranian Studies Program
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Description

Becoming Literature: Adabiyat and the Rise of a New Persian Literary Discourse (1895-1945)

In the first quarter of the twentieth century, Iranian and Afghan intellectuals created a new discourse of literature within the framework of anjomans or voluntary associations. This discourse, called adabiyat, viewed language as the historical index of a distinct people and literature as the embodiment of a nation's highest character. While most studies have charted the process by which this discursive model moved from European literary culture into Persian, little is known about the impact of this conceptual realignment within the context of the Persian literary tradition. This talk will focus on a poetic competition staged by an Iranian journal in the early 1920s as a way of problematizing such terms as "literature" and "historiography" that pose as fixed and self-contained. The implications of this avenue of inquiry go beyond the study of nationalism and speak to ideological dynamics that regulate a millennium of Persian literary production.

Aria Fani is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarly writings on Persian literary culture have been published in Iranian Studies, TRANS, Iran Nameh, the Oxford Handbook of Artistic Citizenship, and other venues.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

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