With Guest Speaker Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, PhD
(Associate Professor of Persian Literature, University of Oxford)
Friday, September 27, 2019
6:30pm Registration opens
7pm Lecture and Q&A
*Reception with light refreshments to follow
UBC Robson Square, Lecture Theatre C305, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Free & open to the public. Please note that registrations have now closed and that this event is at capacity, but if there is space permitting on the evening, we will welcome on-site registrations from 6:45pm.
Hafez of Shiraz (d.1390) is arguably the most famous of medieval Iran’s great poets. More than six centuries after his death, Hafez’s verses continue to inspire, console, and provoke us today. Though undoubtedly a giant in the Persian poetic canon, Hafez has for far too long been studied in splendid isolation. There are many who still believe that Hafez’s poetry is incomparable and should not be read in tandem with that of others. But the truth is that Hafez was but one poet among many in fourteenth-century Iran who worked alongside one another in a profoundly competitive and intertextual environment. Hafez and his contemporaries imitated one another’s poems, challenged one another repeatedly in verse, and vied with one another to secure lucrative royal patronage. This lecture will examine the motivations behind these acts of imitation in order to present a more balanced reading of Hafez, one that stands in opposition to the traditional depiction of the poet, and is, consequently, more faithful to Hafez’s historical reality.
Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Associate Professor of Persian Literature at the University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow in Persian at Wadham College, Oxford. From 2011-2013 he was Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Professor Brookshaw currently serves on the Editorial Board of Middle Eastern Literatures and, for a decade (2004-2014), he served as Assistant Editor for Iranian Studies. He is a former member of both the Board of the International Society for Iranian Studies, and the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies. Professor Brookshaw has published widely on medieval and modern Persian poetry. His monograph, Hafiz and His Contemporaries: Poetry, Performance, and Patronage in Fourteenth-century Iran was published in February 2019 by Bloomsbury.