Graduate students Julie Ershadi (NELC, Iranian Studies) and Jodie Miller (ELTS, French) have enrolled in the Center’s certification program in global medieval studies.
Julie Ershadi‘s research centers on the life and works of Jahān Malik Khātūn (d. 1382 C.E.), premodern Iran’s only known major female poet. Through comparative analysis, Julie seeks to identify the rhetorical, stylistic and imitative links between Jahān’s poetry and that of her contemporaries as well as her major influence, Saʿdī of Shiraz (d. 1292). This is coupled with increasingly deep inquiries into the social, political, and historical transitions in 13th-14th century Persia that permitted, and preserved through manuscript transmission, the activities of an elite woman in the otherwise taboo area of poetry composition.
Jodie Miller’s research project interrogates the theological and philosophical underpinnings of medieval animal fables, specifically the figure of the “trickster” and his or her unethical behavior. Her primary focus is on the twelfth to thirteenth-century Old French literary cycle, the Roman de Renart, which features a mischievous fox, always led by his appetite. In comparison, she focuses on the eighth-century Arabic translation of Kalila wa-Dimna, a compilation of animal tales named after two wily jackals.