Reading Safavid Occult-Scientific Miscellanies

Activity Type: 
Workshop
Promo Image: 
Presenter: 
Matthew Melvin-Koushki, University of South Carolina
Date: 
Repeats every week every Thursday until Thu Mar 11 2021.
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 09:00 to 10:30
Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 09:00 to 10:30
Event Status: 
As Scheduled
Location: 
Zoom
Contact Email: 
crees@pitt.edu

We will examine a representative Safavid Persian miscellany of the mid-seventeenth century, MS Majlis 12575. Significant for the history of science, it comprises occult-scientific works by Iranian philosophers of various periods, including Suhravardi, Fakhr al-Din Razi and Sadr al-Din Dashtaki, as well as a lettrist work by Mahmud Dihdar Shirazi, teacher to Shaykh Baha'i in the occult sciences. Our focus will be on 'Ali Safi Kashifi's (d. 1535) Gift for the Khan (Tuhfa-yi khani), an early Safavid simplification of a Timurid Persian grimoire dealing with illusionism and conjuring, both of which we now dismiss as stage magic. Its Safavid-era expansion to include other, more serious occult sciences? alchemy, talismanry, astral magic? and the magico-political feats of eminent
Safavid philosophers will also be discussed with examples, as a window onto how Safavid philosophical culture worked in political practice.

PLEASE NOTE that registrations are limited and will be confirmed on a first-come, first-serve basis for Ph.D. students and faculty who work on Eurasia and can meet the language prerequisites specific to each topic.

PREREQUISITE
Advanced Persian

INSTRUCTOR
Matthew Melvin-Koushki
Associate Professor of Islamic History
University of South Carolina

COLLABORATORS
Aziza Shanazarova
UCIS Postdoctoral Fellow of REEES
University of Pittsburgh

REGISTER HERE: https://pitt.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYofuyhrTwjEtS-vEx0Wu98a9kr5_SMb9ry

UCIS Unit: 
Asian Studies Center
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies
Other Pitt Sponsors: 
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies
Non-University Sponsors: 
Central Eurasian Studies Society
Is Event Already in University Calendar?: 
Yes