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IDSEMUG 2061 - Worlds of the Sufi: Love, Knowledge and Poetic History

Sufism refers to the world of Islamic mysticism, and is often known in the West through the magnificent work of poet-philosophers like Rumi. In this course, we will collectively journey through the multiple worlds of Sufi thought, and strive to grasp its philosophies, poetics and politics. Reading a selection of texts over thousand years across South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, we will address: How did Sufis understand the connection to the Divine, and strive to create new social worlds and possibilities of being? What is Sufi poetics, and with what conceptual tools do we explore its multiple layers? Ultimately, what is love in the Sufi imaginary? The course will enable students to reflect on non-Western philosophies and histories of Islam, while introducing them to Sufi poetry from a variety of languages including Persian, Arabic, Sindhi, and Punjabi. Course themes include histories of Sufi saints in South Asia, the body, ritual and symbols in Sufi praxis, visual cultures in Sufi lifeworlds, gender and power in poetic thought, and love and spiritual subjectivity as modes of resistance. Key texts include the scholarly works of Annemarie Schimmel and Shahzad Bashir, translated poetic works of Rumi, Hafez, Shah Latif Bhitai, Rabia Basri, and Bulleh Shah, and a range of sonic and visual archives - artwork, songs, and documentaries that illuminate the themes of the class beyond text. Class Notes: Open to juniors and seniors only. Add Consent: Department Consent Required. Enrollment Requirements: Restriction for IDSEM-UG 2061.
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