By bringing sensory studies to the study of Persian literature and culture, Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses: Sensory Readings of Persian Literature and Culture inaugurates a new chapter for Iranian and Persian studies. This volume offers a diverse set of readings across periods, genres and forms throughout Persian literary history, demonstrating the value of sensory studies as an approach to Persian cultural production, literary or otherwise. The book’s chapters conceptualize sensory aesthetics in the context of Persian literature and suggest ways in which sensory studies can be used to reimagine and enrich existing approaches to Persian literature. The volume sheds light on the scope of Persianate sensoria over the long, rich history of Persian letters. In doing so, it also offers a new model for a comparative approach to the study of Persian literary works through the larger field of sensory studies.
M. Mehdi Khorrami is Professor Emeritus of Persian Studies at New York University. He is the author of a number of monographs, essays, and book chapters on the rhetorical and aesthetic dynamics of Persian modernist writing and contemporary Persian prison literature.
Amir Moosavi is an assistant Professor in the Department of English at Rutgers University- Newark. His teaching, research and writing focus on modern Persian and Arabic literatures.
This aptly-titled collected volume, 'Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses: Sensory Readings in Persian Literature and Culture', marks a momentous and welcome shift away from the conventional socio-political and allegorical readings of Persian literature. Ranging in their focus from the Classical to modern literary and cultural production, the nine chapters, complemented with a refined introduction, chart new paths for a more nuanced appreciation of the Iranian literary and cultural traditions
Shams of Tabriz, that enigmatic master of poet Rumi, is supposed to have said of himself: ‘You will see my state if your ears turn into eyes.’ In this book we see not only the mutuality and interdependence of the mind and the senses, not just the vocal, the visual and the tactile, or the sounds and smells of our world, but an entire universe in constant acts of making and remaking of the mental and material worlds we live in. Such a collection, rare as it may be in comprehending Persian culture and its amazingly rich literature, occupies a central niche of understanding, at once unique and essential, to all that makes and unmakes us in the diverse mental and sensuous worlds we live in.