Scholar, author, and professor in Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department, Dr. Michael Barry re-imagines one of the masterpieces of Persian literature, The Canticle of the Birds by Farid ud-Din ‘Attar.
EVENT: The Canticle of the Birds with Dr. Michael Barry
DATE: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
TIME: 6:30 p.m. EST – 7:30 p.m. EST
VENUE: Aga Khan Museum Auditorium, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Museum Shop will be carrying a limited number of copies of the richly illustrated publication The Canticle of the Birds, with commentary by Dr. Michael Barry.
Discover, Explore and Learn more – Publication details: Canticle_of_the_birds_Attar.pdf
About Michael Barry
Michael Alexander Barry is a Lecturer at Princeton University with the Department of Near Eastern Studies since 2004.
Born in New York City in 1948 but raised in France and also partly in Afghanistan (where he lived with an Afghan family in Kabul in 1963 and with nomads of the western highlands in 1970–1972), Barry graduated from Princeton University in 1970 as a major in Near Eastern Studies, and later took higher degrees in anthropology and Islamic studies from Cambridge University in England (post-graduate diploma in anthropology), McGill University in Montreal (MA), and finally the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (PhD).
Barry has lectured in Princeton’s Near Eastern Studies Department on the medieval and modern Islamic cultures of Iran, India, Pakistan, and most especially Afghanistan—where his work over more than four decades has ranged from anthropological research to defense of human rights and coordinating humanitarian assistance for the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, for Médecins du Monde, and for the United Nations. He has published extensively in both his writing languages, English and French; his academic works have been translated into Persian and a half-dozen European versions; and he holds seven literary prizes from France and Iran.
A recognized expert on Islamic art, Barry further conceived the reorganization of the New York Metropolitan Museum’s galleries of Islamic art scheduled for reopening in autumn 2011 (as consultative chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Islamic Art in 2005–2008), and has served since 2009 as special consultant to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture on museum issues, in view of the forthcoming openings of the Aga Khan’s Museum of Islamic Art in Toronto, and the Aga Khan’s Museum of the Civilizations of the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar. He contributed major chapters to the catalogues of the international exhibitions held in Paris and Lisbon in 1992 and 1998 commemorating the great Iberian discoveries of 1492 and 1498, and also to the catalogues of the Aga Khan exhibitions of Islamic Art in Madrid, Barcelona, and Berlin in 2009–2010. He has lectured on Islamic art at the Accademia Museum in Venice, at the shrine of Rûmî in Konya, Turkey, and for the Aga Khan organizations in the United States, Spain, and Afghanistan; presided with Tunisian scholar Abdelwahhab Meddeb over the Round Table on Islamic Art held by the Fundación de las Tres Culturas in Seville, Spain, in 2008; and has lectured on Islamic art and participated every spring since 2007 in the cultural debates sponsored by the International Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco.
Prior to coming to Princeton, Barry spent many years in Afghanistan with the International Federation for Human Rights, Médecins du Monde and the United Nations, working in often perilous conditions to provide and coordinate humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people from 1979 to 2001.
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