Cover Art—“ Corona de Rosas Espinosas”
01 Jan 2019-
TL;DR: The Burgess MS 43 manuscript of Sa'di's Bustan and Gulistan, now at the University of Oregon Special Collections Archive, was created in 1615 CE in Persia and was later transported to Europe, where the original Persian leather binding was swapped for a more European style: soft, red velvet with two silver clasps.
Abstract: The Burgess MS 43 manuscript of Sai'di's Bustan and Gulistan, now at the University of Oregon Special Collections Archive, was created in 1615 CE in Persia. It was later transported to Europe, where the original Persian leather binding was swapped for a more European style: soft, red velvet with two silver clasps. John Ruskin, the preeminent art theorist of Victorian England, once held this manuscript in his own private collection. Ruskin’s view of a Persian manuscript eloquently depicts the richly decorated first page, "wrought with wreathed azure and gold, and soft green and violet, and ruby and scarlet, into one field of pure resplendence. It is wrought to delight the eyes only; and it does delight them.” The intricate illuminated ornaments open a window to the Safavid dynasty. In this paper, I will reconstruct the manuscript's original historical and cultural context, returning us to seventeenth-century Shiraz. In 1615 CE, the Burgess MS 43 manuscript of Sa’di’s Bustan and Gulistan was created in Persia. At some point in its life, the manuscript was transported to Europe, where the original Persian leather binding was swapped for a more European style: soft, red velvet with two silver clasps. According to a book seller’s catalogue entry, this manuscript once belonged to John Ruskin, the preeminent art theorist of Victorian England. His view of a Persian manuscript eloquently depicts the richly decorated first page, “wrought with wreathed azure and gold, and soft green, and violet, and ruby and scarlet, into one field of pure resplendence. It is wrought to delight the eyes only; and it does delight them.”1 Gold, red, and blue colors border the text in a frame and illuminate the pages with varying floral and leaf patterns. Microscopy of a similar Persian manuscript suggests that vermilion may have been used as red ink and in the floral decorations, while red lead was employed as a principal hue or tempered with vermilion.2 The brilliant blue pigment most likely comes from ultramarine, a highly expensive material, yet common for important, well-done illuminated manuscripts. The generous use of gold on every page further adds to the expense and high value of this manuscript, both in its time and beyond. While this intricate design is typical for Persian works of art, and can even be found in the patterns of modern Persian carpets, this paper reconstructs the original historical and cultural context of this manuscript based on the design of the first page. The Burgess Sa’di Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal Louie Volume 15 Issue 1 Spring 2019 2 traveled throughout Persia and Europe, and now has made its way to the University of Oregon Special Collections Archive, adopting a whole new set of contexts and associations. Yet, it can serve as a lens into Persia and, given its known date of creation, leads us back to the Safavid period. The Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) cultivated a culture of the arts, including calligraphy, painting, literature, and decorations, during their more than two-century rule of Persia. This high esteem for the arts stemmed from the fact that “virtually every member of [the royal] family (both male and female) was accomplished as a calligrapher and poet and active in the patronage and collecting of art.”3 While the royal court commissioned “the great masterpieces of Iranian painting,”4 they themselves practiced the arts as well. For instance, Sultan Ibrahim Mirza (1540-1577), prince of the Safavid family and later the governor of one of the key cities, Mashhad, composed verses, bound books, and decorated pages with gold and varying colors. His artistic endeavors were encouraged by his uncle, Shah Tahmasp, the second Safavid ruler. Shah Tahmasp was not only an avid patron of the arts, but also established the imperial workshops called “kitabkhana (literally, ‘book house,’ but actually signifying both artistic studio and library) where numerous calligraphers, painters, illuminators, binders, and other specialists created deluxe volumes of classical Persian texts.”5 Each decadent text coming out of the kitabkhana was a miniature treasure, not only decorated in highly valuable and expensive material like gold and ultramarine, but also produced by the best calligraphers, painters, and illuminators in all of Persia. Kitabkhana were established in all of the large cities and provincial centers, including Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Mashhad, and the works created were almost always either directly for the Shah (king) or other members of the royal court. Each town, however, had multiple bazaar workshops for themselves, where local artists, most often apprentices, practiced their skills and created manuscripts for the general public, rather than for the elites.6 Manuscripts that came out of the bazaar workshops are of lower quality, both in terms of materials and artistic skill. They also have fewer decorations and ornaments, whereas each page of kitabkhana manuscripts brim with geometric designs and often included miniature paintings.7 The Burgess Sa’di manuscript’s high quality material and design – with its generous use of gold, vibrant colors on every page, uniform and symmetric calligraphy, and strong, durable paper – is most likely not a product of modest bazaar workshops. However, its lack of full-page miniature paintings within the text suggests that though it was created in a kitabkhana, it was perhaps meant for a member of the outer royal court rather than, say, the Shah himself. Indeed, “if the Shah was Iran’s leading patron, he was not the only one. While employed at court, royal artists augmented their incomes by illustrating humbler manuscripts for government officials or rich merchants,”8 and so it is perhaps to the favor of such officials or merchants that our Burgess Sa’di came to be. Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal Louie Volume 15 Issue 1 Spring 2019 3 For sixteenth and seventeenth-century Persian artists, “the peak of worldly success was recognition at the Shah’s court and membership in the royal workshop, a virtual magnet to which exceptional artistic talent was drawn.”9 Without the formal job application process that we have today, aspiring artists had to rely on natural talent, a network of connections, and just a bit of luck. The typical acceptance procedure into a kitabkhana might look something like this: “If an apprentice painter in Shiraz revealed extraordinary ability, he was likely to be hired away from the bazaar workshop by the local governor, who would before long offer him to the Shah in hopes of currying favor.”10 Accordingly, kitabkhana and placement into one relied on a network of class structures, social positions, cultural tradeoffs, and a system of favors. The Safavid court’s love of literature and arts thus inspired generations of artists and successfully wove a new system of workshops into the fabric of Persian culture from the sixteenth century onwards. At the kitabkhana, artists produced the greatest masterpieces of Persian literature, had access to the best and most expensive materials, and received training in how to improve their skill and hone it to the specific Safavid artistic taste. Safavid period painters who worked at or trained at the court kitabkhana expressed a principle stylistic characteristic that can be found in almost all manuscripts of this tradition, which includes “large-scale composition that frequently overflow into the surrounding margins; a bright and extensive palette of jewel-like (and often precious) pigments polished to a high sheen; fluid, rhythmic lines...and intricate ornamental patterns.”11 Ornaments were often used to decorate the page margins and served an essential role of establishing page structures and controlling the surfaces. The specific ornament present throughout the Burgess Sa’di, particularly prominent in the carpet-like design on the first page, was referred to in the West as arabesque: “at the time of the Renaissance, entering the vocabulary of a wide range of art forms.”12 However, due to its Orientalist origins and several misleading definitions,13 the more accurate and Persian term for the design on the Burgess Sa’di manuscript is islimi. While the Persian word islimi “means both ‘Islamic’ and ‘arabesque,’” islimi shouldn’t be identified solely with Islamic design because “the definition of islimi-khata’i (used as a doublet) is the lines traced around paintings.”14 This “rhythmic design based upon flowering vines,”15 has now become integrally associated with all Iranian compositions and art work, as seen in architecture, furniture, and paintings. As scholar and curator Stuart Cary Welch observes, without islimi, “these paintings would be as unthinkable as an orchestra playing a Bach suite without rhythm. With it, they are the visual equivalent of poetic verse.”16 The islimi in our Burgess Sa’di thereby compliments the written words themselves, the flowers and leaves symbolically nodding to the literal meanings of Bustan (“garden”) and Gulistan (“place with flowers”), as well as bordering the calligraphy of prose and poetry with a visual, aesthetically pleasing poetry of its own. Although the Safavid court established an artistic style used all over Persia, major cities developed their own particular styles in addition to the broader Safavid style. One such city was Shiraz, depicted as “a city of enduring artistic vitality,” which “had held its Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal Louie Volume 15 Issue 1 Spring 2019 4 position as the centre of commercial manuscript production throughout the sixteenth century.”17 Shirazi artistic style stressed two-dimensional and decorative values, rather than space and volume, and typically Throughout the codex, the written surfaces and the illustrations are enframed with colored and gold lines or rulings...their headings written within a central gold cartouche, which is rounded with either slightly scalloped or distinctly projected ends. The inscribed cartouches
01 Jan 2010
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the attitudes to labour that were crystallized among the monks of two different regions of the Christian world in the late third and fourth centuries and consider the implications, in Western Christianity, of the victory of the commitment to labour associated with the monks in Egypt.
Abstract: This article examines the attitudes to labour that were crystallized among the monks of two different regions of the Christian world in the late third and fourth centuries. The monks of Syria opted against work. Along with the Manichaean Elect, they expected to be supported by the alms of the faithful. Work for them was inconsistent with the ‘angel-like’ life of the ascetic. This view was hotly contested by the monks of Egypt, who regarded labour as part of the duty of the monk and as the monk’s link to a common, non-angelic humanity. Having sketched out the social and ideological background of both options, the article considers the implications, in Western Christianity, of the victory of the commitment to labour associated with the monks of Egypt.
TL;DR: The reading span, the number of final words recalled, varied from two to five for 20 college students and was correlated with three reading comprehension measures, including verbal SAT and tests involving fact retrieval and pronominal reference.
Abstract: Individual differences in reading comprehension may reflect differences in working memory capacity, specifically in the trade-off between its processing and storage functions. A poor reader's processes may be inefficient, so that they lessen the amount of additional information that can be maintained in working memory. A test with heavy processing and storage demands was devised to measure this trade-off. Subjects read aloud a series of sentences and then recalled the final word of each sentence. The reading span, the number of final words recalled, varied from two to five for 20 college students. This span correlated with three reading comprehension measures, including verbal SAT and tests involving fact retrieval and pronominal reference. Similar correlations were obtained with a listening span task, showing that the correlation is not specific to reading. These results were contrasted with traditional digit span and word span measures which do not correlate with comprehension.
TL;DR: In this paper, the relationship between reasoning ability and working-memory capacity was investigated in four separate studies (N = 723, 412, 415, and 594) and they found that reasoning ability correlated comparatively highly with general knowledge; working memory capacity correlated comparatively high with processing speed.
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the relationship between two central constructs—reasoning ability and working-memory capacity—which arise from two distinct bodies of literature on individual differences in cognition, the psychometric and the information-processing, respectively. In four separate studies (N = 723, 412, 415, and 594), we assessed reasoning ability using various tests from the psychometric literature, and working-memory capacity using tests constructed according to Baddeley's (1986) definition of working memory. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded consistently high estimates of the correlation between working-memory capacity and reasoning ability factors (r = .80 to .90). We also found differentiation between the two factors: Reasoning correlated comparatively highly with general knowledge; working-memory capacity correlated comparatively highly with processing speed. Inspection of residuals from model fitting suggested the existence of a verbal versus quantitative content factor. We discuss the implications of our results for what they tell us about the nature of reasoning, and the nature of working memory.
TL;DR: An easy-to-administer and automated version of a popular working memory (WM) capacity task (operation span) that is mouse driven, scores itself, and requires little intervention on the part of the experimenter is presented.
Abstract: We present an easy-to-administer and automated version of a popular working memory (WM) capacity task (operation span; Ospan) that is mouse driven, scores itself, and requires little intervention on the part of the experimenter. It is shown that this version of Ospan correlates well with other measures of WM capacity and has both good internal consistency (alpha = .78) and test-retest reliability (.83). In addition, the automated version of Ospan (Aospan) was shown to load on the same factor as two other WM measures. This WM capacity factor correlated with a factor composed of fluid abilities measures. The utility of the Aospan was further demonstrated by analyzing response times (RTs) that indicated that RT measures obtained in the task accounted for additional variance in predicting fluid abilities. Our results suggest that Aospan is a reliable and valid indicator of WM capacity that can be applied to a wide array of research domains.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present an investment theory of creativity, propulsion theory of creative contributions, and some of the data collected with regard to creativity, and draw some conclusions about the propulsion theory.
Abstract: Like E. Paul Torrance, my colleagues and I have tried to understand the nature of creativity, to assess it, and to improve instruction by teaching for creativity as well as teaching students to think creatively. This article reviews our investment theory of creativity, propulsion theory of creative contributions, and some of the data we have collected with regard to creativity. It also describes the propulsion theory of creative contributions. Finally, it draws some conclusions.
TL;DR: Hortense Spillers' "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" essay as discussed by the authors was one of the seminal works in the history of black women's writing, and it has had a profound impact on women's work.
Abstract: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2006 SE Thank you, Hortense, for making time to talk with us. Jennifer and I are really grateful that the three of you came out on a Saturday evening. Can we begin with Farah and Saidiya talking about how "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" has influenced your work, and then maybe Hortense can begin with discussing how you teach or talk about it. FG There are times when I've specifically gone to the essay, knowing that there's something in "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" that will be helpful and useful to me, and then there are times later on I realize without even knowing it consciously, the article has informed and influenced things that I have done. I wrote this essay called "Textual Healing" and I started out by using your sources, by asking, where did she get that information?! How did she even know to go these particular sources? For so many of us, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" was the first time we even thought about some of the things that you cited. When I wrote that essay, which is really about what we call neoslave narratives now, trying to think about the history that these women writers were responding to, the frame that I was beginning to understand, that history was set up for me by "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe." I was writing a review essay for Signs on black feminism in the academy, and as I began to talk about Hortense Spillers, I realized that the work of so many people of my generation has been formed in relationship to this essay. I was focusing on literary critics-Sharon Holland, Elizabeth Alexander, Fred Moten, Lindon Barrett, all of us-and I thought how I literally could not think of another essay, I don't know-maybe "The Souls of Black Folk?"-I really couldn't think of another essay that had that kind of impact on a generation. The essay has profoundly informed my work and the work of the people with whom I consider myself in dialogue. SH Indebtedness is the word that comes to mind that I would use to describe my relation to Hortense's work. That's how I would summarize it. I mean I am still struggling with the problematic terms that "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" has generated, I am still thinking through Hortense's prism. I do have a question about how feminism as a critique or a rubric explains or fails to explain your own critical intervention. It's interesting in that the first paragraph of the essay opens with all the names of the marked woman, but in the second paragraph it's the problem of the color line that explains the territory in which that naming takes place. I'd like to think about your own project's relationship to feminism. I think it has a critical relationship to that project but I don't think that your work can be encompassed by the feminist project. HS You know, I have always been very interested and humbled by people's response to "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe." What I was trying to do when I wrote that essay many years ago was to find a vocabulary that would make it possible, and not all by myself, to make a contribution to a larger project. I was looking for my generation of black women who were so active in other ways, to open a conversation with feminists. Because my idea about where we found ourselves in the late 1970s and the mid-1980s, was that we were really out of the conversation that we had, in some ways, historically initiated. In other words, the women's movement and the black movement have always been in tandem, but what I saw happening was black people being treated as a kind of raw material. That the history of black people was something you could use as a note of inspiration but it was never anything that had anything to do with you-you could never use it to explain something in theoretical terms. There was no discourse that it generated, in terms of the mainstream academy that gave it a kind of recognition. And so my idea was to try to generate a discourse, or a vocabulary that would not just make it desirable, but would necessitate that black women be in the conversation. …