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To Be a Dweller of Classical Poetry: An Ethnography of Women in Contemporary Iran
December 10, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
Niloofar Haeri is Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University and the Program Chair in Islamic Studies. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has written on Egypt and Iran. Her most recent book (2021), Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Praver & Poetry in Iran (Stanford University Press), is the 2021 recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Constructive-Reflective Studies.
In this presentation, I offer an ethnography of classical poetry in the lives of a group of women who were my interlocutors for over 8 years. As is common in certain milieus in Iran, these women grew up with the classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi, Saadi and others. How do these encounters happen? What is their significance? What kind of education is it to grow up with classical poetry? These are some of the questions that I will pursue in my talk.