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Pre-modern comparative literary practice in the multilingual Islamic world(s)

Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 10:00 to Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 19:00
Virtual conference via Zoom on 22,23, and 24 July

The virtual conference is co-organized by Huda Fakhreddine (University of Pennsylvania), David Larsen (New York University), and Hany Rashwan (University of Birmingham), with special thanks to Rawad Wehbe (University of Pennsylvania). The conference is hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT), University of Oxford, 22-24 July 2021.       


For the full conference programme, including times of sessions and abstracts please refer to the PDF document on the righthand side of this screen.


Zoom Registration:

For the convenience and security of our participants and attendees we will be hosting the conference panels using passcode protected Zoom meetings. We kindly ask you all to register for each individual session prior to the respective dates. Thank you!

Day 1 (Thursday 22 July) Registration

Passcode: 610400

Day 2 (Friday 23 July) Registration

Passcode: 929001

Day 3 (Saturday 24 July) Registration

Passcode: 518595


Thursday July 22, 2021

Welcoming Remarks, Matthew Reynolds, University of Oxford, OCCT

Opening Keynote: "Multilingual Poetry, the Information Superhighway of the Medieval Muslim World", Fatemeh Keshavarz, Maryland University


Session 1: Multilingual scholars and scholarly practice

Multilingual Commentary Literatures of the Islamicate and their Role in Early-Modern Orientalism, Claire Gallien, Université Montpellier 3, CNRS

A Brocade of Many Textures: Literary Trilingualism in 14th Century Anatolia, Iran, and Beyond, Ali Karjoo-Ravary, Bucknell University

Sufi Metaphysics as Literary Theory: Şeyh Gālib’s Beauty and Love, Zeynep Oktay-Uslu, Boğaziçi University


Session 2: Translinguistic adaptations of genre and form

‘Ibrat for an Islāmi Pablik: The Nineteenth-Century Historical Novel in Urdu, Maryam Fatima, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Rethinking the art of composition (Inshā) in the Arabic and Persian Maqāmāt: Badī‘ al-Zamān al-Hamadhāni and al-arīrī in dialogue with amīd al-Dīn Balkhī, Alaaeldin Mahmoud, American University of the Middle East in Kuwait

Refrains of Comparison: Bringing the Persian radīf into Arabic poetry in Eighteenth-century India, Simon Leese, Utrecht University

Contrasting Masculine and Feminine Poetic Voices in Wine Poetry: Cases from Arabic and Ottoman Poetry, Orhan Elmaz, University of Saint Andrews


Friday 23 July

Session 3: Translation and non-translation in the Islamic world

Arabic Texts as Ottoman Literary Phenomena: The multilingual lives of Sar al-ʿuyūn (Pasturing at the Wellsprings of Knowledge), Peter Webb, Leiden University

Islam in the vernacular: The world(s) of Arabi Malayalam, and multilingual imaginaries in Kerala, South India, Muneer Aram Kuzhiyan, Aligarh Muslim University, India

Translation as a Poetic Point of Departure: Persianizing the Rāmāyaa in Early 17th-Century India, Ayelet Kotler, University of Chicago


Session 4: Minorities, shibboleths, and polyglossia

Rethinking Queering in the Pre-Modern Persian Poetry: A dialogue between Rūmī and āfe-e Shīrāzī, Nasim Basiri, Women, Oregon State University

Echoes of Arabic Linguistic Theory, Practice and Muslim Doctrine in Jewish Writings of the Medieval Islamicate World, Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania

The Poetics of Multilingualism in Medieval and Pre-modern Kurdish Poetry: Rethinking Macaronic verses in Classical Kurdish Poetry, Seerwan Hariry, Soran University in Iraqi Kurdistan


Session 5: Catachresis and Creative Misreadings

Reading Christian Heresy into the Qurʾān in the Latin Fathers, The Medieval Translators, and the Modern Academy, Christopher Livanos, University of Wisconsin in Madison

Loanwords from Within: Debating taʿrīb in the Multilingual Ottoman Environment, Colinda Lindermann, Freie Universität Berlin

Debating Belagat: The Poetics of (Af)filiative Translation in late Ottoman Literary Modernity, Mehtap Ozdemir, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Saturday July 24, 2021

Session 6: Multilingual lexicology and exegesis

Mapping ibn ʿArabī’s Teachings in Premodern Persian Sufi World: ʿAbdul Razzāq Kāshānī’s Lexicons and Their Literary Importance in Formalizing Sufi Terminology, Leila Chamankhah, University of California, San Diego

Religion and Literature in Dialogue: Nāsir-i Khusraw’s Reception of the Quran and Hadith, Salour Evaz Malayeri, University of St Andrews

Prophethood in Poetic Wisdom: Beginnings, Adab and Muhammad Iqbal,

Abdul Manan Bhat, University of Pennsylvania


Session 7: Textual practices, media, and reception

Arabic Prayer, or Persian or both? Abū anīfas view and its Legal Reception, Suheil Laher, Hartford Seminary

Sheikh Nuruddin’s Koshur Quran: Trans-linguistic Poetry of a Fourteenth-Century Kashmiri Saint, Fayaz A. Dar and Zubair Khalid, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Shaping the Language of Love: The Afterlife of Nizāmī’s Khusrau u Shīrīn in Persianate India, Aqsa Ijaz, McGill University  


Closing Keynote: “Learning Arabic in Pre-Modern Times”, Michael Cooperson, UCLA