Domenico Ingenito’s new book, Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry, aims to challenge the dichotomy between mystical and mundane readings of Saʿdi’s love poems (ghazals). The book invites its readers to rediscover Saʿdi’s ghazals through the lens of the relationship between experience and the celebration of beauty in the intellectual, political, and spiritual frameworks of medieval Iran. This talk, in particular, will uncover the role of the connections between Sufi practices, courtly ideals, and philosophical approaches to intellection and imagination in the shaping of Saʿdi’s literary aesthetics. Ingenito will be in conversation with Penn's Fatemeh Shams and UCLA's Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak.
Domenico Ingenito is Assistant Professor of Persian literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the Program on Central Asia. His research interests center on medieval Persian poetry, visual culture of Iran and Central Asia, gender and translations studies, and manuscript culture. His most recent articles are: “Hafez’s ‘Shirāzi Turk’: A Geopoetical Approach (Iranian Studies)” and “‘A Marvelous Painting’: the Erotic Dimension of Saʿdi’s Praise Poetry” (Journal of Persianate Studies). His most recent book is Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry (Brill, 2020).