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Sketching the Anglo-Persianate

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Organizer: Fatima Burney

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This seminar invites scholars working at the intersection of Global Anglophone and Persianate studies to consider Anglo-Persianate as a framework for interrogating the meeting ground of these two literary spheres, and the different perspectives and methods they have respectively embodied. There are a number of salient parallels between Anglophone and Persianate studies. Most notably, both fields have a trans-local dimension and have been accordingly responsive to comparative analysis. Yet while the term ‘anglophone’ has pronounced currency specifically within literary studies, ‘Persianate’ has wider disciplinary reach, especially within Area Studies and History departments. Moreover, in Persianate studies, the pivot from the ‘Persephone’ to the ‘Persianate’ has brought forth a more pluralistic and multilingual framework for scholars working in Persian and the numerous languages traditions that were in conversation with it across the “Balkans to Bengal” region. On the other hand, while Anglophone Studies consciously interrogates the multiracial and multicultural nature of its archive, it maintains a cursory interest in the multilingualism of its populations. What opportunities for scholarly cross-pollination does the prism of Anglo-Persianate offer Anglophone and Persianate studies respectively? What are the shared priorities and blind spots of these fields? How has their “cross-canonization” (Hamid Dabashi) contributed to the conflation between them, or of the erasure of one field’s debts to the others? Rather than address a particular question or theme, this seminar seeks to bring together scholars working in this terrain as a starting point for ascertaining key themes across the scholarship. We are interested in capturing the broadest chronological range of this exchange while also considering the nineteenth century as an especially crucial moment of frisson between the Persianate ecumene and the British Empire. We are especially open to papers that reflect the mutability of Anglo-Persianate culture in response to different contexts, stages, and actors. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Travel Writing 
Lyric Poetry and other Poetic Genres
Comparative Colonialisms 
Genres of Diplomacy and Conduct Literature
Multilingualism and Practices of Translation
Belletristic Writing
Histories of Racialization
Histories of Sexuality
Phallogocentirsm, Homosociality, and Women's Writing
Canonization and Literary Pedagogy

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