Symposia Iranica


Symposia Iranica: The First Biennial Graduate Conference on Iranian Studies
Hosted by the University of St Andrews;

Symposia Iranica’s First Biennial Graduate Conference on Iranian Studies inaugurated at the University of St Andrews in spring 2013. More than 150 people converged on St Mary’s College from near and far for a rich and varied programme of twenty-four panels, an ‘Early Career Scholars Q&A’ with a publishing focus, and three colloquia specially organised by Professors Ali M. Ansari of the University of St Andrews, Robert Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh and Charles Melville of the University of Cambridge.

They were joined by ninety-nine graduate speakers who came from across the United Kingdom as well as Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland in Europe, and from Australia, Canada, China, India, Israel, Russia, Turkey and the United States. It is an encouraging testament to the vitality of Iranian studies internationally that the Review Committee fielded almost four hundred applications in total from over thirty countries, of which 86 were from the UK. Topics covered the length and breadth of the field, ranging from: The Aegean Policy of Darius the Great (Daniel Beckman, UCLA, United States) to The Building Legacy of the Ishqiya: The Mosque and Mausoleum in Katta Langar, Uzbekistan (Mustafa Tupev, University of Bamberg, Germany) and Western Ears in Iran: Early Modern European Travel Literature and the Sonic Culture of Safavid Iran (Huub van der Linden, University College Roosevelt Academy, The Netherlands) to Religious Nationalism vs. Secular Nationalism: ‘Nationalism’ in the Political Thought of Ayatollah Khomeini and Kemal Ataturk (Izzettin Sumer, University of Exeter, UK).

Prizes donated by I.B.Tauris Publishers for the two best papers were awarded to Denis Volkov from the University of Manchester (UK) for Persian Studies and the Military in Late Imperial Russia (1863-1917): State Power in the Service of Knowledge? and Jaimee Comstock-Skipp from Williams College (US) for Persian Style, Christian Subject: Edmund Dulac’s Rendition of the Adoration of the Magi Using Persian Painting Techniques.

The next Symposia Iranica will take place 7-9 April 2015 at Downing and Pembroke Colleges, hosted by the University of Cambridge.

The conference was sponsored by the Iran Heritage Foundation, the British Institute of Persian Studies, the Soudavar Memorial Foundation, Magic of Persia, the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, the Royal Historical Society, the Bibliographical Society, I.B.Tauris Publishers, the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development and the School of History at the University of St Andrews in addition to generous support provided by the faculty and staff of the Institute of Iranian Studies.