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Frontiers of Persian Learning

Testing the Limits of a Eurasian Lingua Franca, 1600–1900

Frontiers of Persian Learning

Public Lecture Series

As a lingua franca promoted by multi-ethnic and multi-religious states and expanded further by education and commerce, Persian had reached by the eighteenth century the zenith of its geographical and social reach. Then, in the course of the nineteenth century, it was rapidly undermined by the rise of new imperial and vernacular languages. By 1900 a language that had connected much of Eurasia had shrunk to a core 'homeland.' The Frontiers of Persian Learning series aims to understand the reasons behind both the rapid expansion and contraction of Persian by identifying what functions the language was both able and unable to serve in an age of transformative Eurasian interactions. By identifying the geographical, social, and epistemological 'frontiers' of Persian, the series explores the limits of exchange, understanding, and affection with the diverse communities brought into contact by Persian. Through a critical rather than celebratory approach drawn from the intersection of historical, sociolinguistic, and literary analyses, the program aims to test the limits of Persian by identifying its geographical, social, and epistemological fault lines.

The Program on Central Asia Frontiers of Persian Learning series is co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and is offered in conjunction with the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies Core Program of 2015–16, organized by Nile Green, Director of the Program on Central Asia.

2015–16 Series Schedule:

October 15, 2015
Demarcating Persianate Worlds: The Persian Tazkirah, 1700–1900
Kevin Schwartz, United States Naval Academy

October 16, 2015
The Geographical Frontiers of Persian Learning
Conference 1 in the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies Core Program

January 21, 2016
The Turkic Challenge to Persian Supremacy in Premodern Central Asia
Ron Sela, Indiana University

February 4, 2016
Fluent in One Language, Literate in Another: New Approaches to Multilingual Persian Vocabularies
Walter Hakala, University at Buffalo

February 5, 2016
The Social Frontiers of Persian Learning
Conference 2 in the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies Core Program

April 8–9, 2016
The Epistemological Frontiers of Persian Learning: Day 1, Day 2
Conference 3 in the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies Core Program

April 12. 2016
Alexander the Great, A Turkic Hero: Turkic Visages and Usages of the Macedonian Conqueror
Marc Toutant, UCLA/CETOBAC

April 18, 2016
Framing the Timurid Aristocratic Order
John E. Woods, University of Chicago

May 24, 2016
What Did the Ottomans Read? Books and Readers in the Ottoman Literary World, 1300-1600
Murat Umut Inan, Social Sciences University of Ankara

Image from the Caro Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic Manuscripts, ca. 1100–1899, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


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Published: Tuesday, August 4, 2015