Category Archives: Happenings

A Common Thread: Three Literary Careers in Early Modern Persia, England, and Spain

For those interested in broader currents of intellectual history…
Professor Paul Losensky (Indiana University Bloomington) will speak on “A Common Thread: Three Literary Careers in Early Modern Persia, England, and Spain” this Friday, February 22nd, at 4:30 p.m. at the Alumni Center.
Paul Losensky (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1993) is Professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches Persian language and literature, comparative studies of Western and Middle Eastern literatures, and translation studies. His research focuses on Persian literary historiography, biographical writing, and the Fresh-Style poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His publications include Welcoming Fighāni: Imitation and Poetic Individuality in the Safavid-Mughal Ghazal (1998), Farid ad-Din ‘Attār’s Memorial of God’s Friends: Lives and Sayings of Sufis (2009), and In the Bazaar of Love: Selected Poems of Amir Khusrau (2013). He has authored numerous articles on Persian literature for journals such as Iranian Studies and is a frequent contributor to Encyclopedia of Islam and Encyclopaedia Iranica. He is a former fellow at the National Humanities Center.

Two intellectual history events on Monday

For those of you interested in broader stories about the history of the enlightenment,  there are two events next Monday to consider. The first is a lecture by Ayesha Ramachandran, associate professor of comparative literature at Yale, entitled “From Khusrau to Cristoforo: Poetry and Transformation in Early Modern Eurasia”. It is on Monday, February 4th, at 4:30, in the Alumni House.

At the same event, there will be a kind of introduction to a new addition to our library’s special collections. It’s a facsimile of a fascinating and somewhat mysterious work called “the Voynich manuscript”. Many people have regarded it as a magical work with codes to the secrets to immortality, or possibly a work spawned through communication with aliens, or some item planted by time travelers, or god knows what else. (My own view is that it was a clever forgery by a con-man who sold it to the gullible Emperor Rudolf II for a considerable pile of gold.) More about the Voynich manuscript here.


Arina Pismenny: “Implicit Biases and Rationality”

“Implicit Biases and Rationality”

Arina Pismenny

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Utah State University

We all have implicit biases – basic attitudes that shape our value judgments. How do such biases relate to being rational as we guide our way through the world? Sponsored by the USU Philosophy Club.

Monday, November 12, 4:30 p.m. Main 207

All are welcome!


Holy crapola, we have a lot of events coming up! Don’t forget our on-going film series on gangsters; and also, Rachel Robison-Greene’s discussion TODAY about the ethics of in vitro meats. And there are more events to put on your calendars:

“Restoring Dialogue: Philosophy at Large” – Come discuss our fractured society, and explore ways we might restore dialogue across our many social and political divisions. Tuesday, October 23rd, 7 p.m., Main 304. Sponsored by Utah State Society for Women in Philosophy.

“Politically [irrational] Animals” – A panel discussion on the role of politics in our lives – and the night before election day! Speakers will be Erica Holberg, Arina Pismenny, and Rachel Robison-Greene. Monday, November 5th, 7 p.m., in Main 115. Sponsored by the USU Philosophy Club.

keep calm

Religious Studies meeting

This from the Religious Studies club:

We’re excited to announce the first Spring meeting of the religious studies club will be held this Thursday, January 24th at 4:30 in 326 of Old Main.  We will first have a ten minute presentation on Hebrew Exegesis and then a thirty minute presentation on the development of modern Norse Paganism.  It should be very interesting and I know our two student presenters are very knowledgeable in their individual fields.  Just a brief note – because our previous meetings were extending well beyond an hour, we have limited student presentations to one opening presentation of ten minutes and one full forty minute presentation.  In any case, we’re gonna have a lot of fun this semester.  We’ll spend a few minutes talking about some of our plans and the speakers that are coming this semester on Thursday.  (Including some very special opportunities we have in the month of February.)  Look forward to seeing you there.