Sunil Sharma: Anthologies of Persianate Poetry by Women

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Sunil Sharma


April 30, 2023

In this episode, join host Yasamin Jameh, in uncovering the dozens of anthologies featuring female Persian poets that appeared in the 19th and early 20th century in Iran and Northern India. These anthologies shed much-needed light on the role of women in the male-dominated field of Persian poetry.  

The 29th episode of Parse is an excerpt from a lecture given by Sunil Sharma on almost a dozen anthologies featuring female Persian (including Turkish and Urdu) poets that appeared in the nineteenth and early twentieth century in Iran and North India. Sharma explores the larger social and literary contexts that gave rise to this literary phenomenon whose compilers and, to a great extent, readers were men. These works elicit many questions about the intended readership, the sources used, print technology, and more centrally, the impulse to create competing canons of Persian(ate) poetry featuring female poets from the earliest times to the present. 
Sunil Sharma is a professor of Persianate and comparative literature at Boston University. His areas of expertise are Persian and South Asian literatures, and his research interests include poetry and court cultures, the history of the book, and travel writing. His latest book, Mughal Arcadia: Persian Poetry in an Indian Court (Harvard University Press, 2017), is a study of early modern Persianate literature. 

To watch the full talk, click here: ⁠Anthologies of Persian(ate) poetry by women – Sunil Sharma – April 30th 2021⁠