Please join us this Thursday, May 27, at 7:00 pm for Persian Circle! Please note the change in time.
This week, we are joined by Professor Cameron Cross from the University of Michigan! Professor Cross received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, in 2015. He works on the comparative study of narrative in the Middle East within the rough temporal parameter of Late Antiquity to the Early Modern period (ca. 500–1500 CE). Alongside Persian, he examines texts in Arabic, Greek, Georgian, and the languages of western Europe (Latinate and Germanic) to further our understanding of how these various literary traditions interacted with one another and their respective audiences. His current research is dedicated to the genres of epic and romance (and various admixtures of the two): how do we—can we—define such genres, and what insights do these definitions afford us? Professor Cross is also interested in the art and literature of modern Iran and its neighbors; this includes comparative studies of neoclassical poetry, the free-verse movement, cinema, literary history, and the novel, novella, and short story forms in the last century in both Persian and Arabic. Topics central to his studies in the field include the representation, performance, and politics of gender, translation studies and world literature, allusions to the classical past, aesthetics, and stylistics.
He is is currently working on a monograph on the narrative poem Vis & Ramin by Fakhroddin Gorgani. In addition, his current works include number of articles that touch on the following topics: the ‘rise of the romance’ in Persian, Greek, and European literature; the implications of Alexander’s quest for immortality; love and holy war in Floire & Blancheflor and Varqa & Golshah; speech, silence, and symbols in Nezami’s Haft Paykar; and monsters and the monstrous in the works of Iranshah b. Abi’l-khayr. Finally, Professor Cross’s current translation projects include ‘Ayyuqi’s Varqa & Golshah.
The title of his talk this week is “Taming the Dragon: The Issue of Evil in Persian Myth and Epic.”