Graduate student Anny Gaul presented a paper at a conference at Harvard. The conference title was The Thousand and One Nights: Sources, Transformations, and the Relationship with Literature, the Arts and the Sciences. The conference was organized by Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris.
Her paper, "Flowers as Pharmacy: Engendering Subjectivities in The Thousand and One Nights,” analyzes a group of medicinal and edible flowers appearing in a particular story cycle of the Nights. By reading the flowers' specifications in medieval pharmacological literature alongside their role in the narrative, the paper argues that the flowers and their relationships to the bodies of the men and women in the tales enables a new reading of the stories. The flowers not only shape subjectivities but are essential narrative tools.