CASI Literature Week: “The Pan-Eurasian Crisis of Ghazal Poetics

CASI Literature Week: “The Pan-Eurasian Crisis of Ghazal Poetics", Nov 30, 12:00

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. 


“The Pan-Eurasian Crisis of Ghazal Poetics"

SPEAKER: Samuel Hodgkin

Date: November 30

Time: 12:00

Venue: AUCA, CH1

 Zoom link:

Passcode: 519551

Abstract: Across the Persianate regions of late-19th and early-20th-century Eurasia, the discourse of modernization had a deep, perhaps even dominant aesthetic dimension. That is, apparently disparate anxieties about oriental indolence, homosexuality and unmanliness, flattery and unmeaning speech, and submission to despots all may be understood as elements of a coherent critique of a single literary mode: taghazzul. Insofar as ghazal was a “crown genre” (Opacki), it provided the formal-aesthetic framing for numerous literary and speech genres, and thus for the social and political order. This paper, then, considers the relationship between anti-taghazzul discourse and the transformed political order under encroaching European hegemony, in a period when these two factors produced a crisis of panegyric and a transformed poetics of political representation.

Bio: Samuel Hodgkin is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University. His research deals with literature and criticism written in prestige languages (Persian and Russian) and vernaculars (especially Turkic languages). He is interested in classical Persianate poetry and its afterlife in modernist literature and literary institutions across Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. His first book project, entitled “The Nightingales’ Congress: Literary Representatives in the Communist East,” shows how the Soviet internationalist project of world literature emerged from sustained engagement between leftist writers of West and South Asia and state-sponsored writers of the multinational Soviet East. 


<< go to news list

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028