Research Conversations

Our next session in the Research Conversations series will be taking place at 1pm on Tuesday November 21st 2017, in the Faculty Room at the Oriental Institute.

Mr. Sahba Shayani will be in conversation with Dr. David Zakarian about his research on the archetypal qualities of key female characters in classical Persian epic poetry, their transference to characters of the romantic epic genre, and the role of ethnic identity within these corpora. Emphasis will be placed on pivotal poetic texts spanning from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries, such as: Ferdowsi's Shāhnāmeh, Nezāmi's Khosrow va Shirin, and Jāmi’s Yusof va Zoleykhā.

Professor Margaret Hillenbrand will be in conversation with Professor Adriana X. Jacobs about her research on the relationship between suppressed histories, public secrecy, and the aesthetic realm in contemporary China. She will discuss China’s deleted pasts, and suggest that conventional narratives of amnesia and censorship do not adequately explain why certain events have failed to gain commemorative traction in the present. Post-socialist China is a domain rife with public secrecy, and staying silent is a process with many stakeholders, willing or otherwise. This research conversation will explore the role that aesthetic practice can play in articulating the unsayable within environments where breaking into open speech can carry punitive risks.

All welcome