Assembling diverse materials ranging from poetry to stories, wills, personal and model letters, manuals, and other miscellanea, majmu'as or anthologies offer fresh insights for writing the history of the early modern Persianate world. Often produced outside the state and religious institutions, they provide a distinct vantage point to the social and cultural history of the communities that produced them. This workshop introduces the majmu'a and explores its capacity for driving scholarly insights through a hands-on exploration of a majmu'a collected by a family of bureaucrats living in seventeenth-century Isfahan.
INSTRUCTOR: Kathryn Babayan is Professor of Middle East Studies and History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her expertise lies in the medieval and early-modern Persianate world and focuses on the cultural, social and political histories of Iran, Iraq, Anatolia, and parts of Central Asia, Persian-speaking regions in which Islam was diversely “translated” in the processes of conversion. Professor Babayan's scholarship on the Irano-Islamic past has been inspired and broadly informed by critical innovations over the last three decades in the field of cultural studies, and ‘materialist’ modes of analysis that offer new historical approaches to the materiality of human lives as well as the remarkable range of evidentiary materials historians now employ. Her books include Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran (Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs, 2002) and City as Anthology: Eroticism and Urbanity in Early Modern Isfahan (Stanford UP, 2021).
MODERATOR: Sahar Hosseini, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture
University of Pittsburgh