The Persian Prison Poem from South Asia to the Caucasus: Towards an Anthology

Saturday April 2, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Online Event

Poster design by Farzan Kermani

سلسله سخنرانی‌های ایران‌شناسی و فارسی‌پژوهی علیرضا احمدیان

حبسیات فارسی از جنوب آسیا تا قفقاز: به پیشوازِ گلچینی ادبی

سخنرانان: دکتر رِبِکا گولد، استاد و پژوهشگر جهان اسلام و ادبیات تطبیقی، دانشگاه بیرمنگام؛ دکتر کیوان طهماسبیان، پژوهشگر ادبیات جهان، دانشگاه بیرمنگام

طرف‌بحث: دکتر ساموئل هاجکین، پژوهشگر ادبیات جهان، دانشگاه بیرمنگام

موضوع نشست حاضر پژوهشی است در حوزهٔ حبسیات یا زندان‌نامه‌های فارسی. سخنرانان نشست در این پژوهش در حال جمع‌آوری گلچینی از حبسیات فارسی (به انگلیسی)اند. این گلچین تصویری از تحول این گونه شعر را از قرن یازدهم تا بیست و یکم میلادی، از طریق شناسایی طیفی از قالب‌ها و مضامین و مفاهیم ادبی آن، ارائه می‌دهد. از جمله اشعار موردبحث در این نشست عبارت‌اند از: رباعیات مسعود سعد سلمان، قصائد خاقانی شروانی، غزلیات مجد همگر، مثنویات ملک الشعرای بهار و شعر نوِ احمد شاملو.

The event recording is now available:


The Alireza Ahmadian Lecture in Iranian and Persianate Studies present: The Persian Prison Poem from South Asia to the Caucasus: Towards an Anthology on April 2, 2022.

This presentation will introduce Dr. Rebecca Gould and Dr. Kayvan Tahmasebian’s ongoing work towards an anthology of Persian prison poems (habsiyyāt) in English. Building on their prior work on the Persian poetics of imprisonment (Gould 2021), this anthology offers a snapshot of the development of Persian prison poetry from the 11th to the 21st century through the prism of its forms and topoi. Among the prison poems they will discuss are Masʿd Saʿd Salman’s rubaʿis to Khaqani Shirvani’s Christian qasida, Majd Hamgar’s ghazals, Malek al-Shoʿara Bahar’s masnavi, and Ahmad Shamlu’s free verse. Throughout the presentation they will develop a new theory of genre attenuated to Persian poetics. As they explain, the criteria underlying the structure of the anthology aims to reflect the dialectic of power and aesthetic in classical and modernist Persian poetry.

Guest Speakers

Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016) and The Persian Prison Poem: Sovereignty and the Political Imagination (2021). With her co-author Kayvan Tahmasebian, she has published a number of articles on Persian and comparative literature in RepresentationsModernism/Modernity, New Literary History, and Twentieth Century Literature. Tahmasebian’s and Gould’s forthcoming translation, House Arrest: Poems of Hasan Alizadeh (2022) won the PEN Translates Award from English PEN.  She teaches at the University of Birmingham, where she directs the GlobalLIT , a project which focuses on Global Literary Theory (‘ilm al-balagha) in Persian, Turkish, and Arabic.

The Persian Prison Poem: Sovereignty and the Political Imagination (2021)

Kayvan Tahmasebian is a researcher in comparative literary theory and criticism. He is the co-editor (with Rebecca Ruth Gould) of The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism (2020).


Samuel Hodgkin is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University. He has published on the modern verse, theater, and criticism of Iran, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. He is a co-organizer of the “Cultures of World Socialism” working group, and his articles have appeared in Iranian Studies and other venues.


About the Alireza Ahmadian Lectures in Iranian and Persianate Studies: Alireza Ahmadian (1981 – 2019) was an enthusiastic researcher, a consummate socio-political analyst, and an opinion leader on foreign policy who nurtured the virtues of diplomatic dialogue and liberal democracy. Alireza was a proud and devoted UBC alumnus, supporter of UBC’s Department of Asian Studies, and beloved member of Canadian-Iranian Community. The department renamed this lecture series in his honour in 2019. Alireza’s friends in the community have provided funding to support this series, and this generous gift will see these important academic and community engagement events supported through to the end of the 2025/2026 academic year. Read More …
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