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indopersian literature conference

Persian Literature in Multi-lingual India
Genres, Contexts, Styles

Faculty of Middle Eastern & Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS

16th - 18th June, 2008

Room 8, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, U.K.


After the historical surveys by Ghani and Bausani, scholarly work on Persian literature in India has been limited to a few individual authors (Amir Khusrau, Faizi, Mas‘ud Sa‘d Salman) or, at best, to regions (e.g. Gujarat). Due to its “peripheral” position vis-à-vis scholarship on Persian poets in Iran, and to the decline of Persian literary studies in the subcontinent, barring a few exceptions significant, Persian poetry in India is nowadays usually mentioned in terms of very general categories: ‘sabk-e Hindi’, the ‘Indian style’, or the migration of Iranian poets into India, and its position at the pinnacle of Indo-Persian courtly culture. While studies like Paul Losensky’s show the great sophistication of Persian poetic culture in India and its ideal vicinity to the ancient and modern masters of Iran, Muzaffar Alam’s recent survey of the position of Persian in Sultanate and Mughal India and Christopher Shackle’s many studies of Punjabi and Sindhi poets influenced by Persian stylemes point to the fact that Persian poetry in India existed within a context that was multilingual and socially layered, and in locations that included the royal court, regional and local elite circles, Sufi khanqahs, etc.

For further details, please see the announcement on the SOAS website:

Research Project North Indian Literary Culture (1450-1650)
The generous support of the Soudavar Foundation and the British Academy is gratefully acknowledged

SOAS website

Conference Poster (PDF)

Conference Programme