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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Postgraduate Course: Mystics, Monarchs and Lovers: Reading Classical Persian Literature in Translation (IMES11053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionIn this course we will explore Iranian culture and society through the works of some of the key authors of classical Persian literature in English translation. The course does not require prior knowledge of Iran or Persian literature. Topics in the course include the study of the Shahnameh, the Persian epic that preserved pre-Islamic Iranian myths and monarchical history, and examining the way it continues to influence modern day Iranian culture over 1000 years after its composition. We will read the works of some of the greatest mystics, such as Attar and Rumi, through The Conference of the Birds and sublime verses that reflect Rumi┐s yearning for his beloved Shams. The love poems of Hafez, the ghazal-composer par excellence, and their renditions in modern Persian music will give us an insight into both the genre of Persian ghazal and poetry as well that of their relevance in modern day Iran. This course is jointly taught with undergraduate students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 14/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Assessment Methods
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
┐ Demonstrate an understanding of Iranian culture and history through its literature.
┐ Develop an understanding and appreciation of Classical Persian Literature and its continuing influence in Iranian expressions of identity.
┐ Engage critically with academic literature and research related to the topics and themes of this module.
Assessment Information
3000-word essay (65%)
1500-word short assignment (25%)
Class presentation (10%)
Special Arrangements
PG Version
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Arberry, A. Classical Persian Literature. London, 1958.
Arberry, A. Persian Poems: An Anthology of Verse Translations. London, 1954 (and reprints).
Boyle, A. et al. (eds.). The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 5. The Saljuq and Mongol Periods. 1968.
Browne, E.G., A Literary History of Persia, Cambridge, 1924. 1-4
Browne, E. G. The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia. Cambridge 1914.
Chittick, W. C. The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. Albany, 1983.
Daftary, F. A Short History of the Ismailis: Traditions of a Muslim Community. Edinburgh, 1998.
Dashti, Ali. In Search of Omar Khayyam. trans. L.P. Elwell-Sutton. London, 1971.
Davis Richard. Borrowed Ware: Medieval Persian Epigrams. London, 1996.
De Bruijn J. T. P. Persian Sufi Poetry: Introduction to the Mystical Use of Classical Persian Poems. Richmond, 1997
Encyclopaedia Iranica
Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed.
Hunsberger, Alice C. Nasir Khusraw, the Ruby of Badakhshan: A Portrait of the Persian Poet, Traveller and Philosopher. London, 2000.
Meskoub, Sh. Iranian Nationality and Persian Language, trans. Michael Hillmann. Washington, 1992.
Morgan, D. O. Medieval Persia 1040-1797. London, 1988.
Morrison, G. History of Persian Literature from the Beginning of the Islamic Period to the Present Day. Leiden, 1981.
Rypka, J. History of Iranian Literature. Dordrecht, 1968.
Schimmel, A. The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalal ud-Din Rumi. London, 1978.
Schimmel, A. A Two-Coloured Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry. N. Carolina, 1992.
Seyyed Ghorab, A. A. Layli and Majnun: Love, Madness and Mystic Longing in Nezami┐s Epic Romance. Leiden, 2003.
Talattof, K. and Clinton, J. (eds.) The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric. New York, 2000.
Yarshater, E. (ed.) Persian Literature. New York, 1987.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Nacim Pak-Shiraz
Tel: (0131 6)50 8432
Course secretaryMrs Linda Grieve
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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