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How to (Not) Read Afghan Literature?

How to (Not) Read Afghan Literature?

Panel with Ahmad Rashid Salim (Berkeley), Zuzanna Olszewska (Oxford), and Samuel Hodgkin (Yale)
Discussant: Aria Fani (University of Washington)

Thursday, May 5, 2022
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Click here to register

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The literature of Afghanistan has received more scholarly attention in recent years which have advanced our understanding of its place and value in many fields such as comparative literature, Persian studies, history, sociology, and others. Building on this work, our panel features three exciting presentations that introduce twentieth and twenty-first-century Persian poetry to academic and public audiences and reflect on both generative and reductive ways of reading Afghan literature today. The poetry discussed include Sulayman Layiq's unfinished versified novel Mari az kuhistan (A Man from the Mountains), Wasif Bakhtari's long poem "Bayan-nama-ye waresan-e zamin" (The Manifesto of the Inheritors of the Earth), and new work by diasporic Afghan poets. Ultimately, this panel aims of coalesce scholarly energy around the study of Afghan literature. As such, this conversation will be the first of many. 

Afghanistan through Afghan Voices is a series of virtual workshops that highlights and critically engages with recent scholarship on one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world. It aims to open an inclusive and multidisciplinary space where Afghan scholars and artists come together in conversation with broad audiences to publicly reflect on their research endeavors and creative trajectories. Monthly programs include Afghan artists from around the globe in dialogue with scholars of literature, art, and history; panels featuring conversations on visual culture and media; and poetry readings in Persian/Dari, Pashto, and English.

The series is hosted via Zoom by the UCLA Program on Central Asia and co-sponsored by the University of Washington’s Persian and Iranian Studies Program, Stanford University’s Center for South Asia and Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, as well as the Center for India and South Asia.


Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Washington Persian and Iranian Studies Program, Stanford University Center for South Asia and Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies