2018-2019 Catalog

CSLC 186 The Tragic in Iranian Literature and Culture

The course will explore the unique sense of tragedy and the tragic in Iranian literature and culture, tracing this fundamental attunement to the world from its Ancient Iranian roots to Ferdowsi’s 11th CE defining national epic — the Book of Kings — through the poetic and intellectual foundations of contemporary Iranian culture — the 13th-14th CE poetic work of Sa’adi and Hafez — and through to modern Iranian music and literature.  The course will analyze the specific characteristics of Iranian tragic culture, closely attending to the developing expressions of that tradition in each of the works and eras covered by the course.  The course will also take up the long, contested cultural and political history between Iran and, broadly, the West, focusing on the complex and mutually defining interactions between Iran and, first, Ancient Greece and, then, Europe and the US— both before and in the wake of Western imperialism. 


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus
  • Pre-1800