Jocelyn Sharlet

Picture of Professor Sharlet, wearing a short sleeved button up shirt and looking at the viewer

Position Title
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Graduate Faculty Adviser for Comparative Literature

Unit
Comparative Literature

804 Sproul
Office Hours
Thursdays 3:00-5:00 and by appointment. Please email jcsharlet@ucdavis.edu for a zoom link.
Bio

Education and Degree(s)

  • A.B. with honors, Near Eastern Studies (Arabic), Princeton University
  • Ph.D., Near Eastern Studies (Arabic and Persian), Princeton University

Profile

My book Patronage and Poetry in the Islamic World: Social Mobility and Status in the Medieval Middle East and Central Asia explores the uncertainty and flexibility of relationships between panegyric poets and their political patrons, as depicted in poetry by the Arabic poets Abu Tammam and al-Buhturi and the Persian poets 'Unsuri and Farrukhi, and in the portrayal of patronage interactions in medieval Arabic and Persian literary criticism, political advice, biographies of poets, and encyclopedias. I am currently working on a book project about Arabic poetry and literary prose by al-Sari al-Raffa' al-Mawsili, al-Khalidiyyan, al-Sanawbari, and Kushajim.

Selected Publications

Book

  • Patronage and Poetry in the Islamic World: Social Mobility and Status in the Medieval Middle East and Central Asia (I.B. Tauris, 2011). Honourable Mention, British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize, 2012.

Edited Volume

  • Tradition and Reception in Arabic Literature: Essays dedicated to Andras Hamori, ed. Margaret Larkin and Jocelyn Sharlet (Harrassowitz, 2019).

Translation

  • Shahrnush Parsipur, Women without Men (a novella), translated from the Persian with Kamran Talattof (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1998 and New York: The Feminist Press, 2004; fourth printing 2009).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Earnest and Jest from Political Crisis to Marriage Problems: Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur's (Instances of) The Eloquence of Women," Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies 4:2, November, 2019.
  • “Students, Teachers, Friends, and Colleagues: Poetry Shared by al-Sanawbari and Kushajim” in Tradition and Reception in Arabic Literature: Essays dedicated to Andras Hamori, ed. Margaret Larkin and Jocelyn Sharlet (Harrassowitz, 2019), 35-78.
  • "Chaste Lovers, Umayyad Rulers and Abbasid Writers" in Courts and Performance in the Pre-modern Middle East, ed. Maurice Pomerantz and Evelyn Birge Vitz (NYU Press, 2017), 215-241.
  • "Educated Slave Women and Gift Culture" in Concubines and Courtesans: Women and Slavery in Islamic History, ed. Matthew Gordon and Kathryn Hain (Oxford University Press, 2016), 278-298.
  • "Hâmîlerve başka bağlılıklar: el-Sanevberî, Küşacim ve Ehl-i Beyt için yazdıkları kasîdeler" (Patrons and Other Commitments in Kasides by al-Sanawbari and Kushajim for the Family of the Prophet Muhammad, tr. to Turkish by Michael Douglas Sheridan) in Kasideye Medhiye (In Praise of the Qasida), ed. Hatice Aynur, Mujgan Cakir, Hanife Koncu, Selim Kuru and Ali Emre Ozyildirim (Istanbul 2013), 44-75.
  • "Tokens of Resentment: Medieval Arabic Stories about Gift Exchange and Social Conflict" Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies vol. 11 (2011), 62-100.
  • "The Thought That Counts in Gift Exchange Poetry by Kushājim, al-Ṣanawbarī, and al-Sarī al-Raffāʾ" Middle Eastern Literatures vol. 14 no. 3 (December 2011), 235-270.
  • “A Garden of Possibilities in Manuchehrī’s Spring Garden Panegyrics” Journal of Persianate Studies Vol. 3 (2010), 1-25.
  • "Inside and Outside the Pleasure Scene in Poetry about Locations by al-Sarī al-Raffāʾ al-Mawṣilī" Journal of Arabic Literature Vol. 40 No. 2 (2009), 133-169.

Teaching Experience

  • COM 53C Literature of the Islamic World
  • COM 2H Major Works of Western Culture: Middle Ages to Enlightenment
  • COM 5 Fairy Tales, Fables, and Parables
  • COM 6 Myth and Legend
  • COM 166 Literature of the Modern Middle East
  • COM 155 Classical Islamic Literature
  • ARB 121-123 Advanced Arabic
  • COM 166a Epic
  • COM 145 Representations of the City in Literature
  • COM 148 Mystical Literature of South Asia and the Middle East
  • COM 172/MSA 121C/ARB 140 A Story for a Life: The Arabian Nights
  • COM 175/MSA 121A Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings
  • MSA 180 Topics in Middle East/South Asia Studies: Desire and Power in Persian Literature
  • COM 210: Cultural Boundaries and Cosmopolitanism

Honors and Awards

  • Center for Arabic Study Abroad for study in Cairo
  • Mellon for study in Tehran
  • Fulbright for study and research in Damascus
  • American Research Center in Egypt for research in Cairo
  • American Institute of Iranian Studies for research in Iran (declined)
  • Scientific Research Council of Turkey for research in Istanbul
  • UC Davis Humanities Institute for research on patrons and sponsors
  • Fulbright for research in Beirut and Damascus (declined)
  • UC Davis Middle East/South Asia Studies for new courses and travel to Iran