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The International Conference on Rumi at the University of Maryland: September 28-30, 2007

Conference Statement

Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Balkhi (1207-1273), known in the West as Rumi, is the Persian mystical poet par excellence. Based on a centuries-old tradition of mysticism within Islam’s intellectual currents, he developed a universal vision of the human condition that has through the centuries grown far and wide beyond his birthplace, environment and native language and culture. In the past thirty years or so, his poetry and his vision have taken the United States and other Western cultures by storm. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared 2007, the 800th anniversary of the poet’s birth, as the International Rumi Year. The International Conference envisioned by the University of Maryland’s Center for Persian Studies (CPS) is designed to explore Rumi’s poetry and vision, as well as his continued relevance to our world.

The Conference, which will take place on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, September 28-30, 2007, will bring together over twenty leading Rumi scholars and notable artists from all over the world. It will be thematically and historically organized, with an emphasis on Rumi as a poet and his two major works, The Spiritual Couplets and The Divan, as its twin focal points. In six sessions over three days it will explore the historical and aesthetic background to Rumi and the poet’s life, works and ideas, as well as his position in the modern world. A series of cultural and artistic events are also being planned, details of which will be announced as they are finalized. Except for the concluding session featuring renowned Iranian philosopher Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush, the Conference will be entirely conducted in English; translations will be provided where Rumi’s poetry is recited. Funding permitting, Conference proceedings will be published subsequently, either in entirety or in substantial part.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute (RCHI) in Washington DC, the Persian Cultural Foundation (PCF) of New Jersey, and Texas-based Ahoora Foundation have provided major funding for the Conference; additional contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged appropriately in accordance with donors’wishes. All inquiries should be directed to the Center for Persian Studies through the following contact coordinates:

The Center for Persian Studies
1220 Jimenez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 // USA

Tel: 301-405-1891; Fax: 301314-9752
Email address: 
Web site:

... Payvand News - 8/31/07 ... --

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