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The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca

Book Talk by Nile Green, UCLA

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Royce 314

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Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, UCLA
Arash Khazeni, Pomona College
Laura Mitchell, UC Irvine

Persian is one of the great lingua francas of world history. Yet despite its recognition as a shared language across the Islamic world and beyond, its scope, impact, and mechanisms remain underexplored. A world historical inquiry into pre-modern cosmopolitanism, The Persianate World traces the reach and limits of Persian as a Eurasian language in a comprehensive survey of its geographical, literary, and social frontiers. From Siberia to Southeast Asia, and between London and Beijing, this book shows how Persian gained, maintained, and finally surrendered its status to imperial and vernacular competitors. Fourteen essays trace Persian’s interactions with Bengali, Chinese, Turkic, Punjabi, and other languages to identify the forces that extended “Persographia,” the domain of written Persian. Spanning the ages expansion and contraction, The Persianate World offers a critical survey of both the supports and constraints of one of history’s key languages of global exchange.

Nile Green holds the Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Sufism: A Global History and Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam and editor of Afghanistan’s Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban. He was founding director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia from 2008 through 2016.

Copies of The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca (University of California Press, 2019) will be available for purchase at the event.

A reception will immediately follow the program.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies, Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library