Prisons Before Modernity: Incarceration in the Medieval Indo-Mediterranean

Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 24.2 (2012): 179-197.

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2012

See all articles by Rebecca Gould

Rebecca Gould

Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham; Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Date Written: July 22, 2012

Abstract

Over the course of the sixth/twelfth century, a new literary genre entered the Eastern Islamic world: the Persian prison poem (habsiyyat). Far from being an isolated event, the prison poem was forged when punishment came to be reconfigured as incarceration. This development was reflected in literary texts extending across South Asia, Azerbaijan, and continental Europe. Locating the institution of the prison outside European modernity, this study traces the material grounds for this new literary form and situates this archive globally. Concomitantly with studying the medieval literature of incarceration, it evaluates the Indo-Mediterranean as a discursive rubric for the study of pre-modern literary cultures.

Keywords: Prisons, captivity, Persian literature, Arabic literature, prison poetry, Foucault

Suggested Citation

Gould, Rebecca Ruth, Prisons Before Modernity: Incarceration in the Medieval Indo-Mediterranean (July 22, 2012). Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 24.2 (2012): 179-197.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2115308

Rebecca Ruth Gould (Contact Author)

Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham ( email )

College of Arts and Law
Birmingham, UK, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom
https://rrgould.hcommons.org/ (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/rebeccagould

Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies ( email )

1730 Cambridge Street, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/about-us/people/rebecca-gould

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