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Sat, Nov 11

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Ivy Tech Community College, Room # IFC 1

The Epic in Context: Observations on the Evolution of Iranian and European National Epics (By Dr.Mahmoud Omidsalar)

There will be NO charge for room and parking.

 The Epic in Context: Observations on the Evolution of Iranian and European National Epics (By Dr.Mahmoud Omidsalar)
 The Epic in Context: Observations on the Evolution of Iranian and European National Epics (By Dr.Mahmoud Omidsalar)

Time & Location

Nov 11, 2023, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Ivy Tech Community College, Room # IFC 1, 50 W Fall Creek Pkwy N Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA

About the Event

Abstract: Western scholarship's great influence throughout the world has influenced the way non-western scholars view their own literary histories as well as their own literatures. Literary concepts are often understood in terms of western literary experience even when cultural and historical circumstances do not justify such an understanding. In the area of epic scholarship, for instance, the concept of national epic that is intimately related to the thorny problems of nation, nationalism, national language, and national literature is defined and assessed, largely from a European point of view even in regions where the European experience cannot justifiably be deemed relevant. This lecture will first define what is meant by national epic and proceeds to present a brief history of Iranian epic tradition from the first millennium BC to the 10th century A.D. when it attained its final form in the Shāhnāmeh. It ends with putting its main arguments in context by reference to a number of western European epics and the profound differences that exist between the process of their creation and those that led to the creation of Iran's national epic, the Shāhnāmeh.

Mahmoud Omidsalar obtained his Ph.D. in Persian Literature from the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley, where he also studied folklore under Alan Dundes. In addition to publishing many essays on Persian literature and folklore, he has also edited the 6th volume of the new critical edition of the Shāhnāmeh, under the general editorship of Professors Khaleghi-Motlagh and Ehsan Yarshater. He has served on the editorial board of the Encyclopeadia Iranica since 1990, and was appointed to the Supreme Council of the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (Tehran) in 2006. Together with Iraj Afshar, he edits the series Folia Medica Iranica and Persian Manuscripts in Facsimile. In 2004, the first volume of his collected English and Persian papers received the book of the year award from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran.

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