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This article addresses poetic form as a foundation bridging the literary contexts of Arabic and Persian that exists beyond the bounds of Euro-American influence. We find the originally Arabic science of ʿarūḍ, prosody, used in these two contexts to retool premodern poetic form for the modern era. Questions of form encourage us to think about how modernist poets writing in Persian and Arabic approach their poetry as a craft that emerges not out of engagements with Western literature but rather from a shared poetic past. By tracing formal links across Arabic and Persian, this article argues that paying attention to the premodern tradition of prosodic science they share helps us both to understand the early development of modernist poetry in each language and to avoid explanations informed mostly by literary critical frameworks used to study Western literatures.

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In: Philological Encounters
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This article analyzes a little-known practice called iqtirāḥ—“test of poetic talent” or “poetic competition”—that proliferated in twentieth-century Persian-language periodicals. It examines two case studies: one in Tehran in 1928, which mythologized Nādir Shah (r. 1736–1747), a Turko-Persian monarch, as a national hero, and one in Kabul in 1932, which eulogized Muḥammad Nādir Shah (r. 1920–1933), a ruling monarch at the time, for restoring an Afghan homeland imagined as unified. The article frames iqtirāḥ as an afterlife of Persianate modes of sociability that were reconfigured by modern periodicals to serve the demands of romantic nationalism in the twentieth century. By critically examining the ways in which poetic composition interacts with the formation of a national historiography, this article also shows that any clear-cut distinction between the two is arbitrary.

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In: Philological Encounters
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This article focuses on late Ottoman/Turkish translations of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat (“quatrains”) as part of Perso-Ottoman poetic connectivity in the early twentieth century. Situating the reception of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat at the nexus of world literature, literary historiography, and translatability, the article explores the methodological affordances of translation to redress the overdominance of discursive and historical points of rupture in studies of late Persianate literatures. To that end, the article offers a comparative reading of Hüseyin Daniş’s Rubaiyat-ı Ömer Hayyam (1927), Rıza Tevfik’s Ömer Hayyam ve Rubaileri (1945), both of which are based on their co-authored translation in 1922, and Mevlevi Mustafa Rüşdi b. Mehmet Tevfik’s translation of Khayyam’s quatrains (1931–32). By way of specific attention to translation as hermeneutics, this article suggests that translating after the Persianate did not involve a straight shift from regional translation practices to translation proper nor was it exclusively a modus operandi of literary and linguistic nationalism. In drawing attention to how translation can accommodate both synchronic and diachronic mobility, the article therefore calls for alternative comparative methodologies which attend to persistent textual practices as well as conjunctural discourses in literary history.

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In: Philological Encounters
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The following is an English translation of three essays by the late nineteenth-century Urdu novelist, historian, and essayist ʿAbd ul-Ḥalīm Sharar (1860–1926). In the essays translated here, Sharar offers commentary on contemporaneous world-historical events such as the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (which had garnered huge public uproar in British India, later culminating in the Khilafat movement) and the “Great Game” in Iran that resulted in its bifurcation into Russian and British spheres of influence. These polemical pieces concerning major imperial changes of the early twentieth century oscillate between impassioned pleas to the colonial government to save Islamic empires from total ruin and rousing calls to action to the Muslim community to band together and save themselves. The first essay, “The Fall of the Persians” (Zavāl-e ʿAjam), reflects on the twilight years of Qajar Iran and presents “Islamic” Persia as the civilizational fountainhead of large swathes of Asia from “the Bosphorus to China.” The second essay, “The End of Ottoman Power” (ʿUṡmānī Sat̤vat kā Ḳhātimah), responds to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1912 by analyzing the material reasons for the triumph of Europe. The third piece, “The Democratic Spirit of the Arabs” (ʿAraboñ kī Jamhūriyat-pasandī), captures the style for which Sharar was primarily known: narrating history through entertaining stories for moral edification. Here, a short vignette about the Andalusian ruler ʿAbd ul-ʿAzīz and his gradual decline towards conceit, at the behest of his Gothic wife, is framed by a historical review of the many ways in which Islamic rulers avoided inadvertent polytheism by not using grand titles like sult̤ān and bādshāh for themselves. This is held up as representing the intrinsic democratic ethos of the Arabs which was forfeited by later Islamic rulers under the influence of Persian culture. These essays will be of interest to literary scholars and historians of twentieth-century India interested in imperial transitions. They preserve trends in Urdu historiography that were central to the fashioning of national publics, providing a window into negotiations of the place of Urdu and Indian Muslims in the world.

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In: Journal of Urdu Studies
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Muḥammad Ilyās Barnī’s (1890–1959) ʿIlm ul-Maʿīshat (The Principles of Economics) is an economics textbook that was published in Aligarh in 1917 and claimed to be the first book of economics in Urdu. In the chapter selected for translation here, Barnī narrates the history of India’s trade relationship with Europe, showing how European colonialism exploited Indian industry and gradually placed it in a position of economic subordination. The accompanying introduction to the translation provides a brief overview of Barnī’s life and works, placing the book in the context of his writings on Islam, ethics, and economics. It also situates the book in the larger context of Indian economic thought in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly within debates on poverty, protectionism, and Indian trade. Ultimately, the introduction argues that the study of economic thought and economic history in Urdu reveals a key facet of early twentieth-century language politics in India by highlighting the project of making Urdu a language of social scientific modernity, while also pointing to the development of a vernacular economic critique of empire that became increasingly influential in colonial politics at the turn of the century.

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In: Journal of Urdu Studies

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During the Continuation War of 1941–1944, Finnish medical experts began to encounter military patients suffering from chest pains, breathlessness, palpitations, fatigue, and many other symptoms which could not be explained by somatic findings. In the history of medicine, these symptoms and a plethora of associated diagnoses (such as ‘Da Costa syndrome’, ‘soldier’s heart’, ‘effort syndrome’, ‘nca’, ‘neurocirculatory dystonia’, and so on) have been studied for the most part in the contexts of war, especially in connection with World War I. Most of medical and psychiatric discussion of the syndrome in Finland, however, took place after World War ii. Importantly, this included the emergence of an informal public education campaign which sought to promote an understanding of the harmlessness of ‘functional cardiac symptoms’. In this article, I examine the development and transformations of the discourse of functional cardiac symptoms in Finland through an analysis of the medical discussions. The post-war introduction of medical theories of stress and psychosomatic medicine had a significant impact on how the complaints related to functional cardiac symptoms were addressed. I aim to show that the rethinking of the connection between mind and body, as well as the increasing understanding of hormonal functions of the body, adjusted the demarcation between somatic medicine and psychiatry following the dissemination of psychosomatic medicine and the concept of stress.

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In: European Journal for the History of Medicine and Health
In: International Journal of Military History and Historiography
In: Juan de Torquemada
In: Juan de Torquemada