Middle Eastern and South Asian studies in the last decade have been energized by the idea of the “Persianate” cultural realm, in which the Persian language and courtly conduct (adab) played a central role in societies from the Balkans to Bengal, creating a transnational Muslim cosmopolitanism. This intellectual framework has enabled scholars to examine modes of cultural exchange between powerful polities such as the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires, as well as with Europe. Gift-giving between the different courts resulted in a unprecedented movement of objects in this cultural region. Until today important paintings and manuscripts of literary and historical works are preserved in far-flung libraries from Sarajevo to Patna as scholars retrace their early modern itineraries. The symposium will focus on the changing relationship that literary and historical texts and paintings had to Persian cosmopolitan models in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and how they themselves became starting points for distinctive traditions that drew inspiration from local and regionally-specific cultural practices, including the non-courtly. also examine the ways in which vernacular production in turn transformed Persian culture
Also approach this topic through a variety of conceptual frameworks: translation, imitation, hybridity, and innovation, across various humanistic disciplines . Individual papers will discuss textual genres such as epic and love lyrics, images in illustrated manuscripts and albums, practices and performances, in their cultural contexts, but also comparatively.