PSW Workshop with Dr. Sam Lasman (University of Chicago) | Monday, October 19, 2020

The Persianate Studies Workshop at the University of Michigan is pleased to host a virtual writing workshop with Dr. Sam Lasman who will be presenting a paper titled: “Hostile Others: What Did It Mean to Battle the Draconic in the Medieval Iranian World?”. The event will take place on Zoom from 5-7 pm (EST) on Monday, October 19, 2020. 

This paper represents selections from Lasman’s study of encounters with azhdahа̄ in Persian verse epic. This in turn is part of a larger project on speculative historical fiction in the Global Middle Ages, which argues that the uncanny beings that populate both medieval European and Middle Eastern stories of the past are key interventions in the narration of origins for a wide array of cultural identities that emerge during this period. The azhdahа̄ particularly, as a hybrid entity combining human and reptilian qualities, challenges anthropocentric historical teleologies with a more complex vision of the relationships between civilization and wilderness, past and present, and other binaries.

Sam Lasman is a Humanities Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature in Spring 2020. His research covers medieval narrative literature in the Middle East and Western Europe, with a particular focus on the role of the supernatural, monstrous, and uncanny in Persian, Welsh, and Old French literatures. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in venues including Viator, the Global Medieval Sourcebook, and the edited volume Persian Literature as World Literature.

Please RSVP to Shahla Farghadani at ( for a Zoom link and a copy of Lasman’s paper.

We are looking forward to seeing you online soon!