Graduate student Pamela Klasova presents research at UNC-Chapel Hill

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Graduate student Pamela Klasova participated in the 12th Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference “Imagining the Beautiful: Theories and Practices of Meaning in Islamicate Aesthetics” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

The conference inquired into the broad concept of Islamicate aesthetics from different aspects and through the various lenses of different disciplines. The format was that of a workshop—participants were asked to send full papers in advance and expected to read and comment on the work of their fellow participants.

Pamela’s paper, “Voices from the Time of ‘in-between’: A Clash of Two Worlds in the Poetry and Akhbār of Three Mukhaḍram Poets”, studied the poetry and the accompanying stories (akhbār) of Abū Khirāsh al-Hudhalī, Abū Miḥjan al-Thaqafī and Suḥaym, three poets from Khaḍrama, the transitional period between the Jāhilīyah and Islam. She showed that this poetry with its akhbār records a tension on two levels: On the first level, a tension within their poetry stems from the poets’ awareness of the changes taking place in their time. On the second level, a tension between their poetry and their akhbār (coming probably from a later period) suggests an endeavor of later compilers to reconcile the unruly poetry with Islamic ethos. As such, the paper sheds light not only on the clash of the worlds of Jāhilīyah and Islam, but also on the processes of readjustment of the aesthetics of Khaḍrama to later Islamic environment.