For the Study of the History, Languages, and Cultures of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus and Central Asia
ONGC Visiting Fellow
Aida Gasimova is a professor of Arabic Literature at Baku State University. Her research interests cover a wide range of topics within Classical Arabic Literature, Mental-Spiritual State of pre-Islamic Arabs, Qur’anic Symbolism in Azeri Turkic Sufi Poetry. She holds a PhD (1989) from Institute of Oriental Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1998 she was awarded “Abdulaziz Saud al-Babtain’s prize for grandchildren of Imam al-Bukhari”. In 2013 she was granted Open Society Foundation’s Global Faculty award and held visiting fellowship at Duke University. In 2016 she held Library research fellowship at California State University, Sacramento.
She is currently working on two projects “Qur’anic Symbolism in Depiction of the Facial Features in Azeri Turkic Sufi Poetry” and “Mental-Spiritual State of pre-Islamic Arabs”. Her ONGC project entitled “Qur’anic Symbolism of the Facial Features of Beauty in Classical Azeri Turkic Sufi Poetry: Intersection of Corporeal and Spiritual” aims to investigate the influence of Qur’anic symbolism on figurative depictions of the facial features in Classical Azeri Turkic Sufi poetry – the unique literary tradition which has not yet received its deserved attention in Western scholarship. Besides advancing studies on Western Turkish literature, the proposed research would provide a relevant contribution to studies on medieval Muslim heterodox thought, particularly Hurufism and Shi‘ism, cross-cultural dialogue, and mystic symbolism.