News & Events

The NLS Public Lecture Series | The Gold of Words: Sultans and Sufis on Money in Persian Literature


Room 101, Old Academic Block, NLSIU



Thursday, August 11, 2022, 5:00 pm

NLSIU invites you to our public lecture on ‘The Gold of Words: Sultans and Sufis on Money in Persian Literature’ this Thursday at 5 PM.


Prashant Keshavmurthy, Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada.


The convex mirror of pre-modern Persian literature, a tradition extending from the 800s to the 1800s across a vast zone from the Balkans to Xinjiang and Bengal to Arcot, offers us the world’s oldest continuous magnifications of the relations between virtue and money. This talk sets forth, with passages and paintings, two initially divergent ethical attitudes towards money with attention to the literary forms that magnify them: courtly thrift and Sufi excess. It then traces the convergence of these attitudes around 1500 into a new ethics and aesthetics of sacralized wealth in the centuries before English colonialism.