RELIGIOUS STUDIES 681, fall 2007
Readings in Islamicate Literatures
Topic: Persian Texts on CalligraphyWednesdays, 10:00 a.m.- 12:50 p.m.
Instructor: Carl W. Ernst
This course involves close and careful study of an important Persian text on the art of calligraphy, with attention to the vocabulary and grammar of Persian including frequent passages in Arabic, both in poetry and prose. Each week students prepare selected passages, read them aloud with correct vocalization, and translate orally into English.
This is designed to be advanced training in literary Persian, With considerable emphasis on Sufi themes and terminology, along with an introduction to the art of Arabic calligraphy.
Advanced knowledge of Persian and Arabic, and permission of instructor.
The basic goals of the course are:
Gaining linguistic skill in reading and translating classical Persian literary and religious texts.
Understanding problems related to the study of Islamic culture, and methods of the study of classical Persian texts.
Developing analytical skills through a research paper on a subject of one's choice related to Arabic calligraphy and Islamic culture.
Developing translation skills, including English translation of significant Persian and/or Arabic passages relating to one's research.
A research paper on some aspect of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic culture related to the major text we are reading (15 pages plus bibliography), accompanied by translations of Persian or Arabic texts that provide the basis for the paper (4-5 pages of original language text). 70% of grade.
Participation in weekly seminars with preparation. 30% of grade.
Ya`qub ibn Hasan Siraj Shirazi.Tuhfat al-Muhibbin (dar a'in-i khushnivisi va lata'if-i ma`navi-i an), ed. Muhamad Taqi Danish-Puzhuh, Karamat Ra`na Husayni, and Iraj Afshar. Daftar-i Nashr-i Miras-i Maktub, `Ulum o Funun, 8. Tehran: Nuqta, 1374/1997.
This is available for purchase from the online Persian bookseller Iran Farhang (http://iranfarhang.org); use Internet Explorer, and employ the search function جستجو with the name of the book in the appropriate space. The bookseller's listing is as follows:
سراج شيرازي ، يعقوب بن حسن : تحفه المحبينYou can also go directly to this link to add the book to the online shopping basket, and then proceed with a secure credit card purchase.
نام مقوله : خط و خطاطي
تصحيح : كرامت رعنا حسيني ، ايرج افشار
تعداد صفحه:370 ، جلد سخت ، 16.5*23.5 - تهران : انتشارات ميراث مكتوب ، 1997 - چاپ اول
9-34-5548-964 شابك (ISBN) :
Blair, Sheila S. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh University Press, 2006.
Ernst, Carl W. "The Spirit of Islamic Calligraphy: Baba Shah Isfahani's Adab al-Mashq." Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (1992), pp. 279-86. Alternate site.
Genealogy of Ruzbihan Baqli's descendants (from Carl W. Ernst, Ruzbihan Baqli: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism [Curzon Press, 1996], p. xxi).
al-Qalqashandi, Ahmad ibn `Ali. Subh al-a`sha fi sina`at al-insha'. 14 vols., Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya, n.d. The classic manual of Mamluk epistolagraphy.
Schimmel, Annemarie. Calligraphy in Islamic Culture (New York University Press, 1990).
Sourdel-Thomine, Janine. "Khatt," in Encyclopaedia of Islam (new ed.). With extensive bibliography.
Steingass, Francis Joseph. A Comprehensive Persian-English dictionary, including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in Persian literature. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1892 (frequently reprinted). Online version available here.