Part of the Fall 2017 MENAS Colloquium Series
Kamran Talattof, Professor of Persian Language and Literature and School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona
Rudaki (859-941), like many other classical Persian poets, uses the word wine in all its forms and all associated vocabulary in many of his poems. However, he surpasses all others in such descriptions when he presents the process of wine making in a highly allegorical poem entitled "Mother of Wine." Through contextual, historical, and discursive analyses this paper argues that this poem -- written in the form of qasideh – is unusually and very well structured, organized, and of unified meaning. Moreover, the poem, which seems to have been written to be performed for a live audience reflects the discourse of the Samanids (AD 819–999; the first native dynasty after the Muslim Arab conquest of Persia) as they saw themselves to be the continuation of the pre-Islamic Sasanians (AD 224–651). It does so through synchronic and diachronic portrayals and references.
Kamran Talattof (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1996) is Roshan Institute Chair in Persian and Iranian Studies and the chair of Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies. Many of his research and publication focus on issues of gender, sexuality, ideology, culture, and language pedagogy. He examines how cultural artifacts are created both within and in response to dominant social conditions, political ideologies, and the dominant discourses of sexuality. He traces the connections between literature, culture, and politics. Talattof is the author, co-author, or co-editor of more than a dozen books and tens of articles including the award-winning Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: The Life and Legacy of a Popular Female Artist Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.