COMPLIT 238A: Uneasy Modernity: 20th Century Persian Poetry and the Specter of Tradition
Drawing on poems, theoretical texts, and audio-visual materials, this course seeks to retrace the struggle for a modern poetic language in Iran from the time of the Constitutional Revolution (1905/6) to the Islamic Revolution (1979), and beyond. Topics include: the unresolved relationship between tradition and modernity; poetry as a vehicle of enlightenment and revolution; the quest for a new poetic expression of love; the construction of historical memory through literature; responses to the experience of modern alienation; the figure of the poet as dissident; and the subversive force of poetic form itself. Poets include: Iraj Mirz, Mohammad Taqi Bah'r, Nim Yushij, Ahmad Shmlu, Sohrb Sepehri, Mehdi Akhavn Sles, Forugh Farrokhzd, and Esm'il Kho'i. Secondary readings include texts by Theodor W. Adorno, Mikhail Bakhtin, Emile Benveniste, Maurice Blanchot, Michel de Certeau, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Paul Ricur. Taught in English.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit