News and Events

 

Professor Carole Hillenbrand awarded the 2016 British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding


The 2016 British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding has been awarded to Professor Carole Hillenbrand OBE FBA, for her book ‘Islam: A New Historical Introduction’.

The jury, chaired by Professor Dame Helen Wallace DBE CMG FBA in nominating Professor Hillenbrand for this Prize said: ‘The jury applauds Professor Hillenbrand’s endeavours in translating scholarly analysis and deep historical knowledge into a volume designed to promote public understanding. These reflect her active engagement throughout her professional life in promoting the study of the Islamic world in the wider academic community.’

 

 


Culture and Cultural Production in Iran: Past and Presen

17th, 18th and 19th June 2016
Culture and Cultural Production in Iran: Past and Present’
School of Modern Languages and Institute of Iranian Studies

http://forumfortheculturalstudiesofiran.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/

This conference aspires to encourage the application of the evolving approaches to the study of culture to the history of artistic production in Iran. The unifying element of the conference, therefore, is artistic cultural production and the spaces in which it has occurred as an aesthetic, economic, socio-political phenomenon in Iran, particularly during the last two hundred years. We welcome a variety of submissions: from those that offer overviews of a particular form in a given period, to very specific studies of individual artists, works, practices, or material culture. We are also interested in the role these cultural products have played in the expansion of the concept of art and 'the redistribution of the sensible'— what can be seen and heard in society due to the machination of political, cultural and religious aesthetics that confine these sounds and images in a hierarchical system of values. Of particular interest are also those papers that explore the theoretical aspects of the meaning and functions of art in Iran by studying specific topics. The conference, thus aims to encourage analytical and theoretical discussions on the multiplicity of locations that art (literature, cinema, theatre, music, dance, visual arts, architecture, etc.) occupies in Iranian discourse on modernity and post-industrial contemporaneity.

Conference Programme

 

Chevening Scholarship Scheme

The FCO’s Chevening scholarship scheme will soon be accepting applications from Iranian students for the academic year 2015/16. 

A Chevening Scholarship will enable successful candidates to study at one of the UK’s top universities and become part of an influential and highly regarded global network. The programme covers tuition fees, travel and visa costs as well as a monthly stipend. 

Chevening has been running for over 30 years.  The wider benefits of a Chevening Scholarship include a tailored engagement programme, creating opportunities for Scholars to network with fellow Scholars and alumni, the FCO, high profile speakers, and select UK organisations. Through this, the Scholarships provide a unique opportunity for leaders of the future to build a global network of continuing professional significance and to establish social, cultural, academic and commercial partnerships with the UK.

Applications open on 1st August 2014.  If you want to find out more about the scheme and the eligibility requirements, please check http://www.chevening.org/iran/ or contact Helen Flewker (Helen.Flewker@fco.gov.uk)

Public lecture series: Kingship in ancient Iran

30th April, 7th May, 14th May 2014, Room S11, Swallowgate, School of Classics

Speaker: Dr Arash Zeini, Research Fellow, School of History (Iranian Studies)
Organised jointly by the School of Classics, School of History and Institute of Iranian Studies

More information

Kingship in Ancient Iran Workshop


12–13 June 2014, University of St Andrews

The attempts of the Sasanian kings to define themselves as the heirs of the Achaemenid dynasty on the one hand, and the rivalries with the Roman Empire on the other, offer a variegated backdrop against which the idea of kingship and religious authority can be fruitfully examined. This interdisciplinary workshop will seek to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in ancient Iran. Some of the pertinent questions we wish to examine include: Does the Middle Persian literary tradition, including the exegetical literature, reflect the imperial aspirations of the Sasanians? In which ways does the centre of gravity shift between sovereignty and religious authority during the Sasanian era? And how did other, non-Zoroastrian religious communities interact with and interpret the image of the Sasanian kings? This workshop’s ultimate aim will be to move beyond the paradigm of sacred kingship, assessing how recent developments in Iranian Studies and neighbouring disciplines impact our knowledge of ancient Iranian forms of sovereignty.

More information is available by visting the workshop website

 

Public lecture series: Kingship in ancient Iran

30th April, 7th May, 14th May, Room S11, Swallowgate, School of Classics

Speaker: Dr Arash Zeini, Research Fellow, School of History (Iranian Studies)
Organised jointly by the School of Classics, School of History and Institute of Iranian Studies

Modern politics are nurtured worldwide by interpretations of myths surrounding ancient and legendary kings. In modern Iran, the legacy of the Achaemenid Empire and its founder Cyrus the Great has endured across centuries, exerting a profound cultural and political influence that holds strong to this day. Although the more recent revival of this king's memory is a contemporary phenomenon bound up in questions of post-revolutionary national identity, other kings have been invoked similarly at other times. The Sasanians, for instance, defined their own royal lineage by identifying Ardashir, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, as a descendant of Dara son of Dara. As large, multinational dominions, stretching from the Indus Valley to the Eastern borders of Greece at their greatest extent, these Persian empires were intimately linked to various forms of Zoroastrianism. These lectures will discuss and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in ancient Iran

Further information about the lecture series can be found on the School of Classics website

 

Kingship in Ancient Iran Workshop

12–13 June 2014, University of St Andrews

The attempts of the Sasanian kings to define themselves as the heirs of the Achaemenid dynasty on the one hand, and the rivalries with the Roman Empire on the other, offer a variegated backdrop against which the idea of kingship and religious authority can be fruitfully examined. This interdisciplinary workshop will seek to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in ancient Iran. Some of the pertinent questions we wish to examine include: Does the Middle Persian literary tradition, including the exegetical literature, reflect the imperial aspirations of the Sasanians? In which ways does the centre of gravity shift between sovereignty and religious authority during the Sasanian era? And how did other, non-Zoroastrian religious communities interact with and interpret the image of the Sasanian kings? This workshop’s ultimate aim will be to move beyond the paradigm of sacred kingship, assessing how recent developments in Iranian Studies and neighbouring disciplines impact our knowledge of ancient Iranian forms of sovereignty.

More information is available by visting the workshop website


Intensive Persian Language Training Programme

The Institute for Iranian Studies in association with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London  is hosting an intensive 6-day Persian language training programme for intermediate and specialist users of Persian. The event begins 21 January 2013 in St Andrews. We would like to thank the British Academy and the British Institute of Persian Studies for their generous support of this event.


Eastern Iran and Transoxiana 750-1150 Conference, 8-9 March 2013

The Institute of Iranian Studies is hosting this two day conference in which a number of leading specialists in the field will explore why and how Khurasan and Transoxiana became one of the most culturally and politically dynamic areas of the Muslim world, from the launch of the Abbasid revolution to the empire of Sanjar.

The conference is being run in association with the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame. We are also grateful for assistance from the Department of Arabic - School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews. Our sponsors include the British Institute of Persian Studies, The Honeyman Foundation, Iran Heritage Foundation, University of St Andrews and University of Notre Dame.

More information


 

SYMPOSIA IRANICA: 1st Biennial Iranian Studies Graduate Conference


Hosted by the University of St Andrews, 13-14 April 2013

More Information
For details on the conference, prizes, & more, please visit: http://www.symposia-iranica.com
To get updates directly to your newsfeed, see: http://www.facebook.com/SymposiaIranica

Plenary Sessions
‘Iranian Nationalism and the European Enlightenment’, Chaired by Prof. Ali M. Ansari, University of St Andrews
‘The Art and Architecture of Islamic Iran’, Chaired by Prof. Robert Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh
‘The Hagiography and Historiography of Iran’, Chaired by Prof. Charles Melville, University of Cambridge

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Iran Heritage Foundation, the Soudavar Memorial Foundation, I.B.Tauris, and the University of St Andrews.

View the Conference Report

 


Recent Research


The proceedings of the conference, on Iranian Historiography  is due for publication this year by I B Tauris. For detail see here:


'Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran

Professor Ansari's recent book length study of the 'Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran' is due for publication with Cambridge University Press in 2012. 

Ali Ansari, explores the idea of nationalism in the creation of modern Iran. It does so by considering broader developments in national ideologies which took place following the emergence of the European Enlightenment, and showing how these ideas were taken up by a non-European state.  The book charts a course through twentieth-century Iran, analyzing the growth of ideas and their impact on the state, and demonstrating the connections between historiographical and political developments. In so doing, the study shows just how the different regimes manipulated ideologies of nationalism and collective historical memory, to suit their own ends. Firmly relocating Reza Shah within the context of the Constitutional Revolution the study argues that his son’s identification with a monarchy by Divine Right bore a greater resemblance to, and facilitated the religious nationalism that catapulted Ayatollah Khomeini to power on the back of a populist and highly personalized mythology. Drawing on hitherto untapped sources, the book concludes that it was the revolutionary developments and changes that occurred during the first half of the twentieth century, which paved the way for the radicalisation that was to follow


 

Professor Ansari was elected Vice President of the British Institute for Persian Studies in June 2011 for a period of three years


Crisis of AuthorityProfessor Ansari recently discussed his latest book 'Crisis of Authority: Iran's 2009 Presidential Election' (Chatham House, London, 2010) with a panel chaired by The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times Columnist Roger Cohen.

This new study of the contested Iranian presidential election of 2009 examines its historical, social and political context, setting it within the framework of the rise of Principle-ist project under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Professor Ansari assesses the various campaigns, the allegations of fraud and the subsequent political fallout and argues that the crisis of authority facing the Islamic Republic is at the heart of an ideological crisis over the meaning and legacy of the revolution.

Click here to listen to the discussion and here to listen to the Question and Answer session The full transcript of the interview can be downloaded from the Chatham House website.


Professor Ansari talks to Inside Story's Peter Clarke about the growing split in Iran’s ruling elite. Listen to the broadcast online or download the podcast.


Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election
Ali Ansari, Daniel Berman and Thomas Rintoul, Chatham House, June 2009

Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005 results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior, and from the 2006 census as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, this paper offers some observations about the official data and the debates surrounding the 2009 Iranian Presidential Election.

. Download the Paper from the Chatham House website here (PDF Format)


Professor Ansari discusses the Iranian Presidential Elections with Inside Story's Peter Clarke. Listen to the broadcast online or download the podcast [Part 1, Part 2]


Historiography & Iran in Comparative Perspective
Institute of Iranian Studies, University of St Andrews / Iran Heritage Foundation
10-13th September 2009

More information about the conference.


9-12th April 2010: The Shahnameh and Identity in the Persianate World
Click here for more information


10-13th September 2009: Iranian Historiography in Comparative Perspective.
Click here for more information.


13-14th March 2009: Sasanian Historiography & modern Iranian identity