The Geographies of 'Ajam: The Circulation of Persian Poetry from South Asia to the Caucasus

Medieval History Journal 18.1 (2015): 87-119

33 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2015 Last revised: 5 Dec 2015

See all articles by Rebecca Ruth Gould

Rebecca Ruth Gould

University of Birmingham; Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Date Written: August 15, 2015

Abstract

As Persian literary culture spread across the eastern Islamic world, Persian poets gained confidence in the power of their craft to shape their world. Alongside other genres, the medieval Persian prison poem (habsīyyāt) strikingly illustrates how shifts in the geography of Persian extended the aesthetic, political, and geographic scope of Persian literature. This article uses the dissemination of the prison poem to shed light on the extensive contacts between South Asia and the Caucasus that Persian poetry facilitated. As I examine medieval Persian literary culture from two peripheries of the Islamic world, I concentrate on how this literature's capacious geographical imagination enables us to rethink received assumptions concerning the circulation of power, cultural exchange, and the role played by literary form in stimulating political change.

Suggested Citation

Gould, Rebecca Ruth, The Geographies of 'Ajam: The Circulation of Persian Poetry from South Asia to the Caucasus (August 15, 2015). Medieval History Journal 18.1 (2015): 87-119 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2644758

Rebecca Ruth Gould (Contact Author)

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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