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Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar. Reading the Ruins: Two Poems on the Arch of Ctesiphon

Samer Ali, associate professor of Arabic language and literature, U-M; Cameron Cross, assistant professor of Iranian studies, U-M
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
4:00-5:30 PM
1644 School of Social Work Building Map
On the banks of the Tigris river, the Sasanian Empire left an iconic monument called the Arch of Khosrow (Taq-i-Kasra or Iwan Kisra), whose vault towered like the heavens at 121 feet. Two poets, al-Buhturi (d. 897) and Khaqani (d. 1190), gravitated toward this site and composed two timeless odes, one in Arabic and the other in Persian, on the Arch as a memorial to a bygone civilization — or the very idea of civilization itself. In these poems, we find that Time (and Fate) play an ominous role, crushing the genius and labor of human beings on both an individual and collective scale. How, then, do the two poets respond to this? How do the ravages of Time generate new ethical and political imperatives for humanity? In this workshop, we place the poems in conversation with each other in order to address these and other questions of art, life, and meaning. Professors Samer Ali and Cameron Cross will present and discuss their own translations of these poems.

Please RSVP to Saquib Usman at
Building: School of Social Work Building
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: International, Middle East Studies, Muslim, Poetry
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Global Islamic Studies Center, International Institute

The Global Islamic Studies Center organizes a number of public events each year such as lectures, conferences, and films, many in collaboration with other U-M units. Please use our searchable events calendar for information about upcoming programs sponsored by GISC and the Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS).