3 November 2007
Michigan State University
MSU Student Union, Parlor Room
This conference examines the poetry and philosophy of Rumi, the 13th-century Muslim poet, philosopher, and mystic, and its relevance to contemporary understandings of Islamic culture. It also deals with a renewed interest in Rumi's writings in recent years throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. The starting point of the conference is Rumi's well-known verse "come, come again, whoever you are, come!" Rumi's eloquent and humanistic poetry, written sometimes with a sense of humor, creates a window on Islamic beliefs, values, and wisdom that is far removed from images of violence and terrorism. Bringing together well-known scholars of Islamic mysticism, Rumi, and the Middle East, we explore Rumi's writings, their place in Islamic literature and society, and their resurgence as bestsellers in the West. The universality of Rumi's poetry fosters an understanding of the human experience that transcends the boundaries of nations, religions, and languages.
This day-long conference concludes with a night of poetry reading, whirling dervishes, and traditional sufi music. Coleman Barks, one of the most successful translators of Rumi's work in the United States, will read Rumi's poetry with accompanying musicians.
Both the conference and the cultural event are free and open to all.
No registration is necessary.