Lecture: "'Libraries of the Mind:' Cultures of Literacy in 17th-Century Isfahan"
Abstract: Professor Babayan's talk examines practices of collecting, a site where historians rarely venture to study the epistemological keys of understanding the dynamics of state-formation. To probe the relationship between collecting, literacy and didacticism, she will study a body of visual and literary sources copied, assembled and bound into a book by owners and household scribes in seventeenth century Isfahan. These new habits of collecting allow me entry into their libraries of the mind. Through a visual and artistic archive Professor Babayan will trace the story of how literacy transformed mediums of communicating friendship in Isfahan. How did the culture of literacy establish relationships between Isfahanis and a range of material objects, texts and images, shaping in this process communities of collector-selves and their households?
Free and open to the public.
This lecture is part of the Thursday Speaker Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.