UPDATE: this program has been completed; if you are interested in participating in future versions of the program please contact us as email@example.com
May-August, 2021, online
We are happy to announce the opening of our new mejlis program. For three months we will be gathering to enjoy and learn from the poetry of Sayat-Nova – sayyad-i nava – a celebrated eighteenth-century poet known for having composed poems in Turkish, Armenian and Georgian, making use of Persianate poetic imagery and playing consciously with scripts, words and meanings. Sayat-Nova might be a household name in the part of the world where he lived, and far beyond it, thanks in no small part to Sergei Parajanov’s exploration of Sayat-Nova’s poetic world in film, but few people have had a chance to read his poetry closely. Our goal in gathering this mejlis is to do just that: to read Sayat-Nova’s poetry closely, in different languages, learn to understand him through his own words and journey together through the beautiful world of his poetic imagery. While the participants will be provided with a bibliography of secondary works dedicated to Sayat-Nova’s life and oeuvre, the focus of the meetings will be exclusively on the poetic works themselves. To the extent that it will be made possible by participants’ linguistic abilities we will read the poems in original languages and scripts, sometimes resorting to using transliterations. Our chosen format of mejlis – well known to Sayat-Nova himself – means that it is not an ordinary course with students and instructors. Mejlis implies the place and the occasion of sitting together for the sake of reading poetry, playing music and enjoying good company, wine, and conversation. The program is open to anyone interested in the subject though competency in at least one of Sayat-Nova’s languages is expected. Attendance of all sessions is not mandatory – participants will be free to join as many sessions as they wish/are able to attend. The working language of the meetings will be decided based on the preferences of the participants as we aim to be flexible and inclusive.
Maryam Torabi is a scholar of Medieval Armenian and Persian literary traditions. Having studied Armenian and Persian literature in Isfahan Ms. Torabi came to Armenia to work on her doctoral dissertation, which she is currently completing in the Department of Linguistics at Yerevan State University. She focuses on the language of Sayat-Nova, exploring his engagement with Persian among other aspects.