Franklin Lewis Lecture

October 25, 2023 | 5:00PM

Dear all,

Please join us next Wednesday, October 25, at 5:00-7:00 in the Common Room in Swift Hall for our third lecture in the Franklin Lewis Lecture Series organized at NELC. The speaker is Prof. Sunil Sharma, professor of Persianate and Comparative Literature at Boston University's Department of World Languages and Literatures and Director of the Global Medieval Studies program.

Title: Skill, Sorcery, and Storytelling in the Poetry of Amir Khusraw

Abstract: Amir Khusraw of Delhi (d. 1325) was the first Persian poet to compose a quintet of poems (masnavis) in response to the one by his predecessor Nizami of Ganja (d. 1209). Khusraw's narrative technique and style shows the influence of both Perso-Islamic and Indic storytelling traditions. I will explore this aspect of his poetry in the Hasht Bihisht (Eight Paradises) where characters use a complex variety of practical skills, logic, and sorcery, to overcome obstacles. I also suggest that the poet sought to theorize these ideas as a body of knowledge, which is often viewed as 'aja'ib (marvels), in his later work Nuh Sipihr (Nine Spheres of Heaven). 

There will be a reception after the talk. We are looking forward to having you with us.