PSW Workshop with Dr. Cameron Cross (University of Michigan) | Monday, December 9, 2019

Please join us for a workshop featuring Dr. Cameron Cross, who will be workshopping a chapter from his book manuscript entitled “In Which Love Has Many a Tale” on Monday, December 9, 5:30-7:30 PM in 4000 South Thayer Building, 202 S.Thayer St. Ann Arbor.

Cross’s paper is the prologue of his book project (title still to be determined), which consists of a close reading of the medieval Persian romance Vis & Rāmin in dialogue with a network of generic interlocutors, spanning across what he calls the Helleno-Abrahamic cultural complex of western Eurasia. With few exceptions, the study of V&R (and the Persian romance tradition more generally) has been guided by the frame of national literary history — Browne’s Literary History of Persia being the keystone work in this method — and within this frame, V&R comes across as something of an outsider, an anomaly, and certainly a work of limited historical impact. In this introduction, Cross outlines why and how he proposes to read the poem not as an early specimen of a national literary tradition still in its infancy, but as a response to a mature tradition of narratives about lovers, developed in many languages over the course of the previous millennium. From that perspective, this text stands to tell us much about the spread, diffusion, and purpose of that literary habit we call romance, and the concept of romantic love that is its subject, from the critical but largely unexplored vantage-point of medieval Persia. Cross contends that we cannot fully understand Vis & Rāmin without reading it through that multi-lingual tradition of longue durée; nor can we fully understand that tradition without Vis & Rāmin.

Cameron Cross is an Assistant Professor of Iranian Studies at the Department of Middle East Studies, University of Michigan.

Please email Shahla Farghadani ( to receive a copy of Cross’s paper in advance. Light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you there!