Side projects

I have many little projects in various stages of development; a few of them are described here. Several more are listed in a post on my blog.

Calendar Converter for Near East Historians

This is a simple web app, which allows quick and formally accurate conversion of dates among the Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, and Persian calendars. It is adapted from the work of John Walker, with new features gradually being added to meet the needs of researchers.

Abjad Calculator

This is another basic web app, which calculates the numerical abjad value of a string of Arabic or Persian text. The Mashriqi and Maghribi letter orders are both supported.

Tazkirah Database

Among my broader research goals is to contribute to our understanding of the role of biographical anthologies of poets, or tazkirahs, in the development of the classical Persian literary tradition. (Tazkirahs are also referred to in English as “biographical dictionaries,” “compendia,” and “lives of the poets,” among other terms.) Scholarship on this rich category of texts has advanced considerably in recent years, building upon foundational work carried out in the second half of the twentieth century—largely published in Persian by Iranian philologists, foremost among them Ahmad Gulchin-i Ma‘ani.

I thought it might be helpful, at least for my own purposes, to collect and organize information about those tazkirahs that were particularly influential in Persian literary history. Toward that end, I started to add data to a Google Spreadsheet. Many gaps remain, and the number of works included so far is modest (around thirty). Nevertheless, there may be value in this nascent database of tazkirahs, organized chronologically, with the publication details of scholarly editions listed alongside certain other data. If you’d like to help me fill in blanks and add more sources, feel free to contact me directly.