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Songs of Love and Longing (COMPLIT 241B, MUSIC 183F, MUSIC 283F)

This course will take us on a journey from the Balkans to South Asia as we explore the nexus of poetry and song practiced by bards across a vast geographic and cultural space. Specifically, we will survey the Persianate genre of ghazal lyric, the storytelling traditions of Central Asia, the spiritual concert of certain Sufi orders, the mystical poems and music of Alevi ashiks in Turkey and the Balkans, the life and legend of Armenian poet-composer Sayat Nova, the spiritual practices of the Kurdish Ahl-e Haqq in Iran, the art forms of khyal and qawwali in India and Pakistan, and the syncretistic mysticism of the Bauls of Bengal. Students will engage in listening exercises, analysis of cinematic examples, and a comparison with the European troubadour tradition. There are no prerequisites for this course apart from a desire to engage with poetry as an existential performance. Taught in English.
Letter or Credit/No Credit
Academic Career
Course Tags
Minor Elective
Academic Year