SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Kamran Djam 2013 Annual Lecture at SOAS: The Perils of Persian Princesses: Women and Medieval Persian Literature

Dick Davis
Dick Davis, Ohio State University

Date: 28 October 2013Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 28 October 2013Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

In his second talk Professor Davis will look at woman poets writing in Persian during the medieval period. Though mention will be made of poets who preceded her, most of the talk will be concerned with the personality and poetry of the 14th century Inju Princess Jahan Malek Khatun; hers is the only complete divan by a woman writing in Persian to have come down to us from before the 19th century, and it is therefore obviously of major importance. Jahan Khatun’s uncle, the ruler of Shiraz Shah Abu Eshaq, was Hafez’s major patron, as well as being a patron of other notable poets such as Kh’aju and Obayd-e Zakani, which meant that Jahan was living at the centre of one of the most splendid scenes of Persian poetic production. During Jahan Khatun’s lifetime her family lost power in Shiraz, and most of her immediate male relatives were killed; some of her poems reflect directly on the political upheavals of the time and place in which she lived, and also refer to her own precarious situation after the coup d’etat; her work is thus of political and historical significance, apart from its intrinsic literary interest.
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Kamran Djam Annual Lecture 2013, The Perils of Persian Princesses, Lecture 2

Watch the video of lecture 1 on 25th October 2013

Dick Davis is Professor Emeritus of Persian at Ohio State University, where he was chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from 2002 to 2012. He is the recipient of numerous academic and literary awards, and has written scholarly works on both English and Persian literature, as well as several volumes of his own poetry. He is probably best known for his translations from medieval Persian: these include Attar’s Conference of the Birds(with Afkham Darbandi); Borrowed Ware: Medieval Persian Epigrams; Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh; Gorgani’s Vis and Ramin; and, most recently, Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz. He has also translated one contemporary work, Iraj Pezeshkzad’s comic novel, My Uncle Napoleon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been called, by the Times Literary Supplement, “our finest translator from Persian”.

Please see the full conference programme attached on the right-hand side.

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies

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