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Book Talk: When Hajji Baba Met Frankenstein: The Middle Eastern Encounter with the Scientific Revolution
The Love of Strangers- What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London
In 1815, the Iranian Crown Prince ‘Abbas Mirza dispatched six young men to travel to England in search of the technological ‘new sciences’. One of these students, Mirza Salih Shirazi, recorded their experiences of almost four years of study in a journal that describes their engagement with a wide range of scientific discoveries. Included in their studies were the new approaches to medicine, physics and theology that Mary Shelley drew into her Frankenstein. Taking the Persian diary and English novel as contemporaneous documents, this talk places the earliest substantial Middle Eastern engagement with post-Enlightenment science in a broader cultural context. The lecture draws on The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London (Princeton, 2016), a New York Times Editors’ Choice.
Cost : free and open to the public