The Return of the Masters: Connections, Contestations, and the Redrawing of the Persian Literary History


Marshall Building, Rm 490
845 N Park Ave
85721 Tucson , AZ


Thu, 02/02/2017 - 5:00pm to Wed, 05/25/2022 - 7:00am


A Research Talk by Dr. Kevin Schwartz

The idea that some poets in eighteenth and nineteenth century Iran revived Persian poetry by returning to the styles of the classical masters, while poets outside of Iran did not, has deeply impacted how Persian literary history has come to be written. This idea, known as the “literary return,” has left much hisotoriogaphical debris in its wake: the conflation of Persian literary history with that of Iran’s own; the assertion of a greater proprietary right by Iran over the great “masters”; and the erasure from history of many facets of Persian literary culture occurring outside of Iran’s borders. Such a rendering of Persian literary history is insufficient. This talk demonstrates how the idea of “literary return” has impacted the writing of Persian literary history and through the exploration of literary communities in eighteenth and nineteenth century Iran, India, and Afghanistan argues that a more integrative approach to Persian literary history writing is needed.
Kevin L. Schwartz is a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, previous to this he was Distinguished Visiting Professor (Middle East Chair) at the United States Naval Academy and post-doctoral fellow at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland.
Sponsored by: The School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies and The Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program inn Persian & Iranian Studies