05 April 2012

Conference 'Love and Devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads'

A royal picnic (detail), from ʿAttar, Intikhab-i Hadiqa, c 1575
Registration is still open for "Love and Devotion: Persian Cultual Crossroads", a three-day conference coinciding with the State Library of Victoria exhibition "Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond".

"This cross-disciplinary conference will explore cultural convergences in literature, art and architecture, history and philosophy from the time of Firdausi in the early 11th century to the present day, within the various Persian empires, Ottoman Turkey, Mughal India and Europe .... Distinguished international guests and Australian specialists will explore themes including Persian ideals of love and devotion as expressed through the arts, intersections with the west, and the contemporary legacy".

The conference runs from 12 to 14 April. Among the keynote speakers are:

~ Charles Melville (University of Cambridge): "The 'Arts of the Book' & the Diffusion of Persian Culture"

~ Stefano Carboni (Art Gallery of Western Australia): "Illustrated Talismans in the Bodleian Kitab al-Bulhan"

~ Zahra Taheri (Australian National University): "Women in Rumi's Spiritual Circle"

~ Mammad Aidani (University of Melbourne): "Authenticity & the Act of Devotion & Friendship in the Poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi"

~ Barbara Brend (independent scholar, London): "The Khamsa of Nizami & the Khamsa of Amir Khusrau: Some Similarities & Differences Reflected in Their Illustrations"

A full list of speakers and paper abstracts can be found here.

The exhibition website offers a wealth of educational information, an events list and multimedia, including an image gallery and poetry readings. The site is well worth a visit if you are unable to make it to Melbourne.

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