Departmental Lecturer in Persian Literature
Faculty / College Address:
My research is concerned with Persian and Arabic poetry composed in the period ca. 950-1900 CE. I study the two corpora as diachronic systems that were created through intertextuality, human networks, and a metatextual body of literary historiography. This means that I close read literary texts themselves, study imagery and rhetoric, and edit poems from manuscript, while also working on the socio-economics of literary production, and the cultural history of poets as a group. As my research concerns two literatures, I am also interested in the intellectual history of comparative literary studies, and in the place of premodern Persian and Arabic literature within world literature.
Persian and Arabic Literary Communities in the Seventeenth Century: Migrant Poets between Arabia, Iran and India. A study of migration and community formation around the littoral of the Arabian Sea in the mid to late seventeenth century. The first part of the book presents a distant reading of patterns in migration, networks, and the socio-economics of literary production, using data on eleven hundred poets of Arabic and Persian. The following chapters provide case studies of specific literary circles in the Deccan, Yemen, Iran, and North India, using previously unpublished texts that I have brought together from manuscripts now split between collections in India, Iran and Europe.
- Persian Literature 1000 – 1400.
- Persian Literature 1400 – 1900.
- Persian Literature 1900 – The Present.
- James White, “Textual Culture Between Iran and India: The Reproduction of Verse in Nasrabadi’s Biographical Anthology”, IRAN: Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, 59/2 (2021), 263-286. https://doi.org/10.1080/05786967.2021.1911762
- James White, “On the Road: The Life and Verse of Mir Zeyn al-Din ʿEshq, a Forgotten Eighteenth-Century Poet”, Iranian Studies 53/5-6 (2020), 789-820. https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2019.1642738
- James White, “Reading In, Looking Out: Hermeneutics by Implication in a Fifteenth-Century Anthology”, Iranian Studies 52/5-6 (2019), 947-972. https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2019.1617033
- James White, “Mamluk Poetry, Ottoman Readers, and an Enlightenment Collector: An Appendix to the Nuzha of Ibn Sūdūn”, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 9/2-3 (2018), 272-307. https://doi.org/10.1163/1878464X-00902011
- Review of K.L. Schwartz, Remapping Persian Literary History, 1700-1900. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies Vol. 83/3 (Oct., 2020), 530-532. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0041977X20002918
- Review of N. Green (ed.), The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies Vol. 83/3 (Oct., 2020), 532-534. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0041977X2000292X