From Idol to Equal: Changing Images of Love in 20th-Century Persian and Turkish Literature
This course will explore the changing images of love in pivotal works of modern Persian and Turkish literature. Classes will include close readings and discussions of poems, short stories, and plays with particular attention to the constellation of lover/beloved, the theme of romantic love, and the cultural and historical background of these elements. Our starting point will be the adoption of the novel as a form in the late 19th century. From there, we will explore different figurations of love in key texts of the 20th century up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1978) and the coup d'état in Turkey (1980). Themes will include the end of empire and the demise of the concubine, the portrayal of the homeland as lover, secularization and the lifting of the veil, the figure of the female pioneer, the conflict of western and eastern morals, the prostitute as a new paradigm, the emergence of female writers, and avantgarde conceptions of love. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. All readings and discussions will be in English.
Letter or Credit/No Credit