An interdisciplinary project of Heidi Pauwels (Asian L&L) and Purnima Dhavan (History), sponsored by a Simpson Cross Disciplinary Conversations grant.
"Our work explores the legacy of the eighteenth century poet, Vali Dakhani, most often described as the originator of Urdu/Rekhta poetry. While widely acknowledged as one of the primary creators of Urdu, both in his time and ours, Vali's literary merits and influence have remained quite controversial. Our presentation will discuss the origins of this debate in eighteenth-century Persian tazkiras and contextualize the image of Vali presented within such Persian sources with the literary creativity his work inspired among later poets. Vali's legacy, we argue, offers new ways to think about the engagement between Persian and the emerging vernacular literary traditions of the late Mughal period. Documents in Persian and poetry in Urdu, along with our translations will be available on catalyst by May 14."