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Being Urban and Urbane in Safavid Iran

Episode 458
with Kathryn Babayan hosted by Nir Shafir
In the seventeenth century, the city of Isfahan flourished as the capital of the Safavid Empire. How did this vibrant and growing city shape the very nature of its inhabitants? In this episode, we speak to Kathryn Babayan about how the city’s residents learned to read its new architecture and social life and how this budding urbanity in turn developed new ways of being and belonging among its residents. She focuses specifically on anthologies, those personal collections of letters, paintings, and poems that survive today by the thousands. These anthologies, curated and preserved by urbanites over generations, are one of the finest testaments to the new subjectivities of the early modern city in the Safavid realms.

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