CASI Literature Week: “Islamic Scholars, Wine-Soaked Romance, and Textual Genre: Culture and Contradiction in Central Asia

CASI Literature Week: “Islamic Scholars, Wine-Soaked Romance, and Textual Genre: Culture and Contradiction in Central Asia", Nov 26, 18:00

November 24, 2021

Literature Week is a part of CASI’s Workshop on Literature and History. Supported by a generous contribution from Matthew Nimetz, the aim of the workshop is to create a community of junior scholars and advanced graduate students committed to studying literature and to applying literary tools and methodologies to the study of literary art in the Central Asian past.  
 
“Islamic Scholars, Wine-Soaked Romance, and Textual Genre: Culture and Contradiction in Central Asia"
 
SPEAKER: James Pickett
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
 
Date: November 26
 
Time: 18:00
 
Venue: AUCA, CH1
 
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96709604745?pwd=YnZzTksxUmxKTUY3VWVjaG9xZTR5Zz09
Passcode: 943897
 

Abstract: Islamic scholars (Ulama) often appear in historical literature as austere jurists. Yet the social roles performed by this social group were actually far more diverse, which led to seeming contradictions. For instance, prohibitions on alcohol and romance coexisted with celebration of those same activities. This presentation examines how textual genre can help us make sense of the paradoxes produced by the exceedingly eclectic world of the Ulama

Bio: James Pickett is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He focuses on empire and Islam as entangled sources of authority, with particular attention to historical memory and state formation. His first monograph, Polymaths of Islam: Power and Networks of Knowledge in Central Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020), examines transregional networks of exchange among religious scholars in the Central Asian city-state of Bukhara. Through mastery of arcane disciplines, these multi-talented intellectuals enshrined their city as a peerless center of Islam, and thereby elevated themselves into the halls of power.

This is a hybrid event. All AUCA faculty and students are welcome to join Literature Week in person. Those external to AUCA are welcome to join via Zoom.

In person participants are required to wear masks and follow AUCA’s Covid protocols and social distancing requirements. 

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