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Program: Love and devotion conference

This program outlines the proceedings for each day of the Love and devotion Persian Cultural Crossroads conference on 12–14 April 2012.

For more details, read the abstracts for the papers that will be presented, or see the keynote speaker biographies.

Thursday 12 April

Time Session Paper & speaker
4–6pm Registration (State Library of Victoria, Entry 3 foyer, La Trobe Street)  
7–8pm Opening keynote address (Please note venue: Storey Hall, RMIT, 342 Swanston Street, Melbourne)
Chair: Shane Carmody (Director Development, State Library of Victoria)
Introductory speaker: Sue Roberts (Chief Executive Officer, State Library of Victoria)
The 'arts of the book' & the diffusion of Persian culture
Dr Charles Melville (Professor of Persian History and Director of the Shahnama Project, University of Cambridge)

Friday 13 April

Time Session Paper & speaker
9–9.50am Registration  
9.50–10am Welcome & official opening Chair: Shane Carmody (Director Development, State Library of Victoria)  
10–11am Session 1: Keynote address Chair: Shane Carmody (Director Development, State Library of Victoria) Illustrated talismans in the Bodleian Kitab al-bulhan
Dr Stefano Carboni (Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia)
11–11.30am Morning tea (provided)  
11.30am–12.30pm Session 2: Love and devotion in Persian literature and art
Chair: Prof Amin Saikal (Director, Centre for Islamic and Arabic Studies, Australian National University)


Paper 1 – Love or devotion in Persian literature and beyond
Dr Firuza Abdullaeva (Head of the Shahnama Centre, University of Cambridge)
Paper 2 – From Qays to Majnun: the evolution of a legend from ʿUdhri roots to Sufi allegory
Alasdair Watson (Curator of Islamic Manuscripts, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
Paper 3 – Paradigms of Sufi love: the examples of Rabiʿa, al-Ghazali and Rumi
Dr Süleyman Derin (Associate Professor of Sufi Studies, Marmara University, Istanbul)
12.30–2pm Lunch (provided)  
2–3pm Session 3: Keynote address Chair: Dr Gillian Green (President, The Asian Arts Society of Australia) Women in Rumi's spiritual circle
Dr Zahra Taheri (Lecturer in Persian Language and Literature and Iranian Studies, Australian National University)
3–3.30pm Afternoon tea (provided)  
3.30–5pm Session 4: Dialogue with the West Chair: Prof Constant Mews (Director, Centre for the Study of Religion and Theology, Monash University) Paper 1 – Plato's loves and Shakespeare's women
Dr Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers (Assistant Professor, Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies, University of Western Australia; Associate Investigator, ARC Centre for the History of Emotions 1100–1800)
Paper 2 – Safavid Persia through European eyes
Clare Williamson (Exhibitions Curator, State Library of Victoria)
Paper 3 – Politics and Persian mythology in Thomas Moore's 'Paradise and the peri'
Dr Shelley Meagher (independent scholar, Melbourne)
Paper 4 – 'Twofold and yet One am I': constellating creativity between Goethe and Hafiz
Dr Marcelo Stamm (Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow, RMIT University)

Saturday 14 April

Time Session Paper & speaker
9–10am Registration  
10–11am Session 1: Keynote address
Susan Scollay (guest co-curator, Love and devotion exhibition)
The Khamsa of Nizami and the Khamsa of Amir Khusrau: some simularities and differences reflected in their illustrations
Dr Barbara Brend (independent scholar, London)
11–11.30am Morning tea (provided)  
11.30am–12.30pm Session 2: From Persia and beyond
Chair: Dr Nick Hill (Director, External Affairs, Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne)
Paper 1 – Behind the scenes: the Bodleian Library's Mughal paintings of love and devotion
Lesley Forbes (former Keeper of Oriental Collections, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford)
Paper 2 – The Oxford Dilsuznama, MS. Ouseley 133: an Ottoman manuscript, written in Persian, copied in Europe
Susan Scollay (independent scholar, guest co-curator of the Love and devotion exhibition)
Paper 3 – The conceits of poetry: Firdausi's Shahnama and the discovery of Persian in early modern Europe
Dr Mario Casari (Lecturer in Arabic Language and Literature and Persian Language and Literature, Sapienza University of Rome)
12.30–1.30pm Lunch (provided)  
1.30–3pm Session 3: The contemporary legacy
Chair: Robert Heather (Manager, Collection Interpretation, State Library of Victoria)
Paper 1 – Heart of fire
Hossein Valamanesh (visual artist)
Paper 2 – Sufis of the Antipodes: the Ghazal in modern Australian poetry
Dr Ali Alizadeh (Lecturer in Creative Writing, Monash University)
Paper 3 – Persian or Islamic? Depictions of love in contemporary Iranian cinema
Anne Démy-Geroe (film scholar and PhD candidate, University of Queensland)
Paper 4 – 'The language of love': the legacy of Persian poetry and music in contemporary Iran
Dr Gay Breyley (Adjunct Research Associate, School of Music-Conservatorium, Monash University)
3–3.30pm Afternoon tea (provided)  
3.30–4.30pm Session 4: Keynote address
Vic Elliott (former University Librarian, Australian National University)
Authenticity and the act of devotion and friendship in the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi
Dr Mammad Aidani (ARC Research Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne)
4.30–4.45pm Closing remarks Shane Carmody (Director, Development, SLV)
6.30–7.45pm The play of Daniel