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.