Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies

Central Eurasian Studies

Paul Losensky

Professor, Central Eurasian Studies
Professor, Comparative Literature

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Office: Ballantine Hall 917
Phone: (812) 855-6242
E-mail: plosensk@indiana.edu

PhD, University of Chicago, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1993
BA, University of Chicago, Linguistics, 1979

Research Interests

Persian literature and literary history, in particular the literature of the 16th and 17th centuries in Iran, India, and Central Asia; literature, architecture, and topography; Sufism and literature; comparative studies in the Baroque; translation and translation studies.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Elementary, intermediate, and advanced Persian
  • Research in Classical Persian Texts (various topics)
  • Persian Mystical Literature (in English)
  • Literature and Cinema of Modern Iran (in English)
  • Poetics of Mysticism; History and Theory of Translation

Publication Highlights


Welcoming Fighānī: Imitation and Poetic Individuality in the Safavid-Mughal Ghazal (Costa Mesa, CA, 1998)

Memorial of God’s Friends: Selected Biographies from Farid al-Din ‘Attār’s Tazkerat al-owliyā′, translated with an introduction and annotations (publication expected in 2008).

Selected articles

“The Palace of Praise and the Melons of Time: Descriptive Patterns in ′Abdī Shīrāzī’s Garden of Eden,” in Eurasian Studies 2 (2003): 1-29

“‘The Equal of Heaven’s Vault’: The Design, Ceremony, and Poetry of the ‘asanābād Bridge,” in Writers and Rulers: Perspectives on their Relationship from Abbasid to Safavid Times, ed. B. Grundler and L. Marlow (Wiesbaden, 2004): 195-216

“Words and Deeds: Message and Structure in ‘Attār’s Tadhkirat al-awliyā′,” in ‘Attār and the Persian Sufi Tradition, ed. L. Lewisohn and C. Shackle(London, 2006): 75-92; “Linguistic and Rhetorical Aspects of the Signature Verse (takhallus) in the Persian Ghazal,” in Edebiyat 8 (1997): 239-71.

Current Research Projects

  • Representations of architecture and the natural environment in early modern Persian literature
  • the life, times, and works of Sā′eb of Tabrizi (d. 1676)
  • eros and poetics in two narrative epistles by Mohtasham of Kashan (mid 16th century)


Department of Central Eurasian Studies
Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies
355 North Jordan Ave.
GA Room 3024
Bloomington, IN 47405-1105

Phone: (812) 855-2233
Fax: (812) 855-7500