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Demarcating Persianate Worlds: The Persian Tazkirah, 1700–1900

Frontiers of Persian Learning Series Lecture by Kevin Schwartz (US Naval Academy)

Thursday, October 15, 2015
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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How did authors conceptualize the sphere of Persian literary culture across Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia in the early modern and modern periods? What were the temporal and geographic limits that helped define these understandings and how did they change during the 18th and 19th centuries? This presentation attempts to answer such broad questions by focusing on one of the most underutilized sources for the study of the Persianate world—the tazkirah (biographical anthology). In exploring the production, circulation, and classification techniques of a wide range of tazkirahs, and with the aid of network maps, this presentation seeks to highlight how tazkirah authors understood their surrounding literary and social worlds and defined their place within it.

Kevin Schwartz is Distinguished Visiting Professor (Middle East Chair) at the United States Naval Academy where he teaches classes on the history and politics of the Middle East and Iran. Previously he was a Social Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow for Transregional Research and Visiting Scholar at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on Persian literary culture and production across Iran, Central and South Asia in the early modern and modern periods. A frequent commentator on Iranian politics and US policy in the Middle East, his writings have appeared in such publications as Al Jazeera, The Baltimore Sun, Jadaliyya, and Words Without Borders. He received his PhD in Near Eastern Studies in 2014 from the University of California, Berkeley.


The 2015–16 series "Frontiers of Persian Learning" is co-sponsored by the UCLA Program on Central Asia and the Center for Near Eastern Studies. Click here for more information about the series.

Image credit: "A map of countries between Constantinople and Calcutta." Edward Stanford Ltd. 1855. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, DC. (World Digital Library)

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for India and South Asia, Program on Central Asia