Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi to deliver lecture on the first anniversary of ‘Woman, Life, Liberty’ movement in Iran
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi is returning to the University of Toronto to deliver a lecture on the women’s uprising in Iran. Ebadi, an honorary doctorate holder at the University, is known worldwide for staunchly supporting the rights of women, children and refugees in Iran.
Ebadi will deliver her lecture, “Women, Life, Liberty: Human Rights and the Women’s Uprising in Iran,” on September 22 in Convocation Hall. Ebadi’s visit coincides with the one-year anniversary of the start of the Iranian “Woman, Life, Liberty” movement that began in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
The lecture is a partnership with U of T’s Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science, a world leader in the study of Iranian history and culture. The institute runs regular symposiums, including in the weeks leading up to Ebadi’s lecture.
Dr. Stephanie Cronin is currently the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Research Fellow (2018-2025) at St. Antony’s College and in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She previously wasRoshan Institute Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford (2015-2018); Senior Research Fellow at the University of Northampton (1999-2009); Lecturer in the Contemporary History of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1993-1997); Lecturer in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge (1993-1994); and Fellow of the British Institute of Persian Studies (1983-1987). She is the author of Armies and State-building in the Modern Middle East: Politics, Nationalism and Military Reform (I. B. Tauris, 2014); Shahs, Soldiers and Subalterns in Iran: Opposition, Protest and Revolt, 1921-1941 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); Tribal Politics in Iran: Rural Conflict and the New State, 1921-1941 (Routledge, 2006); and The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910-1926 (I. B. Tauris, 1997). She received her Ph.D. in History (1992) and her M.A. in Middle East Studies (1981) from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Explores and theorises the modern and contemporary art of Iran from the mid-twentieth century to the present
- Critically rereads the concepts of modern and contemporary art in the context of Iran
- Discusses discourses such as nativism, nationalism, anti-westernism or Gharb-zadegi (Westoxification), modernism, secularism, Islamicism, identity versus cultural globalisation, cultural essentialism, global market demands and exoticism
- Looks at the representation of these discourses in art and artistic movements such as Saqqā-khāneh, revolutionary art and diasporic art or artistic strategies such as humour, criticism of cultural past, deconstructive and subversive language, etc.
- Shows how globalisation and its attendant cultural transformations and alternative visions of cultural particularities have emerged as new themes for Iranian artists
- Based on primary sources including interviews with artists, curators, art critics and cultural activists from a range of disciplinary media such as painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance, installation, and participatory projects
- Examines how political events such as the 1979 Revolution, its aftermaths and the so-called Reform period (1997-2005) impacted cultural and artistic modes in Iran
“This book deals with the exploration and theorisation of Modern and Contemporary art of Iran through the examination of art movements and artistic practices in relation to other cultural, social and political discourses during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It focuses on discourses and their impact on art movements and practices and aims to selectively explore certain prevailing debates in action during this time. To come to grips with the way that artistic trends in Iran can be traced within the intellectual and political landscape of the country mainly from the 1940s to the present, Keshmirshekan articulates new ideas for relating art to its wider context – whether social, cultural or political – and to bring together critical and historical evidence in order to provide an insight into current artistic concerns. The book explores these underlying themes and discourses through a series of case studies, including through close scrutiny of works of artists.
UW: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations has a New Name, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
The Unviersity of Washington is excited to share that the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization has a new name: Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC). They have made this change to acknowledge and embrace the diversity of the regions they study, to raise the visibility of the courses and activities offered, and to stay up-to-date with developments in their fields of study. This name reflects the great variety of approaches and interests in their scholarly work and course offerings, and believe it best represents the work they do and the communities they serve, now and in the future. MELC’s new webpage can be found at https://melc.washington.edu and for more information, visit https://melc.washington.edu/news/2022/09/20/nelc-has-new-name
Dear Friends, We’re just over a week away from our first in-person event in almost 3 years! We can’t wait to see you all so soon. Come for music, poetry, multimedia exhibitions, and more!
Published in association with Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Founder and Chair, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute
Series Editor: Professor Stephanie Cronin
Covering the history of Iran and the Persian world from the medieval period to the present, this series aims to become the pre-eminent place for publication in this field. As well as its core concern with Iran, it will extend its concerns to encompass a much broader and more loosely defined cultural and linguistic world, including Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Xinjiang, and northern India. Books in the series will present a range of conceptual and methodological approaches, looking not only at states, dynasties, and elites but at subalterns, minorities, and everyday life.
Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto celebrated Persian New Year
Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto celebrated Persian New Year by hosting the Nowruz Festival of Women Poets on Saturday, March 26, 2022, co-presented by the Aga Khan Museum. The event sold out within days and featured both live and virtual performances from some of the world’s most celebrated poets and musicians dedicated to Persian art, language, and culture.
April 29, 2022 – 5 PM GMT(9 AM PST, 12 PM EST)
What fellowships and grants exist out there?What are the different options for students & postgraduates? What do students or postgraduates need to secure one?
Mark your calendars for our next Presidential Session on “Fellowships and Grants in Iranian Studies” with AIS President, Naghmeh Sohrabi, AIS Council Member, Dr. Hosna Sheikholeslami, and Dr. Stella Morgana.https://tinyurl.com/AISPresidentialSessionsThe online event will be held on Friday, April 29 at 12pm EST and will be moderated by AIS Student Representatives Dr. Rowena Abdul Razak and Layah Ziaii-Bigdeli. To register, visit:
James F. Harris, 81, eminent scholar of 19th-century German history and longtime dean of the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) at the University of Maryland, died Feb. 22, 2022, of heart disease at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. His deanship was marked by numerous academic and philanthropic achievements, including the development of an integrative approach to Middle East studies delivered in part through the creation of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, the first centers of their kind in the U.S. under his leadership, the college also collaborated with the UMD Libraries and Office of Information Technology to establish the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, which has become a leading intellectual hub and international center for digital humanities.
The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund within the Louvre Endowment Fund has received an exceptional donation of $2.3 million from American Friends of the Louvre thanks to the generosity of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute.
In 2011, Dr Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali and her son Pierre Omidyar became the first philanthropists to support the Louvre Endowment Fund through Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. They created a specific fund to advance research in art history and promote cultural outreach linked to the Persian world. Thanks to this partnership, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute has also created the first Louvre fellowship programme.
This new donation will allow for the creation of a second Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali fellowship for the Louvre: the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Department of Islamic Art will therefore each benefit from a new fellow. The donation also brings greater funding for cultural outreach and research relating to the Persian world within the Musée du Louvre.
Congratulations to Dr. Mojtaba Ebrahimian on the new position of Preceptor in Persian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University
We at RCHI are very pleased for Mojtaba, our former PhD fellow, and wish to extend our congratulations to all who have assisted him on his journey. This new position speaks volume of the reputation of the Persian Studies program at UArizona, which we are proud to have been supporting for years.
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute extends its best wishes to eveyrone for the celebration of Noruz 1400.
Noruz – literally “New Day” – is the Persian New Year, a most cherished celebration that goes back 3,000 years and symbolizes life renewal in health and harmony with nature. Noruz starts at the exact instant of the Vernal Equinox, which occurs each year around the 21st of March, the first day of spring. This most important Iranian holiday is a time for family and friends to gather together and is marked with a myriad of activities affecting everything from preparations and celebrations to food, clothing, gift giving, charity, and many other social and family activities.
Haftsin (Haft Seen) is the spread, around which the Family gathers to celebrate Noruz. Iranians take pride in putting together an attractive and elaborate spread to represent both spiritual and worldly symbols promising a happy start of the New Year. The Persian word Haft means seven and Sin refers to the sound /S/ in the language. Usually a nice embroidered fabric is used as the foundation of the spread. On the spread seven specific items starting with the sound /S/ are displayed. The set is prepared a day or two before Noruz and given a place of honor in the house to remain 13 days following Noruz. Additional items are also placed on the Haftsin that will signify renewal, life, happiness, spiritual purity, prosperity, fertility, growth, good health and all things one desires for the New Year.
This celebration is one of hope, promise and good fortune to enjoy and share with friends and family.
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce a new endowment that establishes two doctoral fellowships for students pursuing Iranian studies at the University of California, Irvine – the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Fellowship in Ancient Iranian Studies and the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Fellowship in the Study of the Persian/Iranian World. The $1.5 million endowment enables UCI to expand its current graduate specialization in ancient Iran and the premodern Persian world into a Ph.D. concentration that is expected to be available for student applications in fall 2022.
The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Fellowship in Ancient Iranian Studies will support Ph.D. students who are studying the ancient Iranian/Persian world (550 BCE to 650 CE) and are advised or co-advised by the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History & Archeology of Ancient Iran, currently Professor Matthew Canepa. The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Fellowship in the Study of the Persian/Iranian World will be open to students studying the Iranian world in any time period or discipline, in any UCI Ph.D. program that participates in the concentration.
The two fellowships established by this grant are among the only permanent, endowed Ph.D. fellowships in the world dedicated specifically to ancient Iranian studies. Administered by the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair and the Dean of Humanities, the fellowships will be part of a competitive five-year funding package guaranteed to Ph.D. students upon admission.
“The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Fellowships will be transformative both for UCI – which will attract top doctoral students as a result – and for the field of Iranian studies more generally,” said Professor Canepa, who directs the graduate specialization. “By graduating with a disciplinary Ph.D. as well as credentials in Iranian studies, doctoral students will be ideally equipped to compete for the widest possible range of positions at the widest possible range of institutions and programs.”
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute has supported several Persian-focused initiatives at UCI, and this new grant marks our second endowment. The $2 million Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History & Archaeology of Ancient Iran was created in 2017.
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute notes with deep regret the passing of Dorn C. McGrath, Jr., FAICP, on January 25, 2021. Professor McGrath provided valuable inspiration and guidance to the Institute as an active member of the Board of Directors for 14 years and as Emeritus Director since 2017.
Professor McGrath was a brilliant scholar, administrator and public servant. He received his BA from Dartmouth College and his MCP from Harvard University.
As a member of the faculty of George Washington University for 35 years, he was the founder of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Director of the Institute for Urban Development Research, Chairman of the Department of Geography and Regional Science, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, and one of the founders of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. Professor McGrath also served as a member of the adjunct faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies and of Goucher College.
Professor McGrath was equally well known as a civic activist. Throughout his career, he worked closely with neighborhoods, as well as with various agencies of the District of Columbia, state and federal governments. Professor McGrath also served for a decade as chairman of the prestigious Committee of 100 on the Federal City, a group started a century ago to promote sound planning for the nation’s capital.
Professor McGrath was an author or coauthor of dozens of articles in wide variety of professional journals. Over his long career, he received numerous awards and other distinctions from GWU, numerous civic and governmental groups and even foreign governments.
Dorn will be sorely missed by the Institute as well as by countless family, friends and admirers. The Institute has no information at this time concerning services or other memorials.
The Board of Directors of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute (RCHI) is excited to announce a US$6 million endowment to the University of Toronto for the establishment of the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies. Named in honor of RCHI Founder, President and Board Chair, the new Institute will focus primarily on research and outreach by leveraging the strong educational programming already in place across the university, fostering advanced research in a collaborative community, and promoting intercultural dialogue.
With investments allocated over a multi-year period, the endowment–RCHI’s largest to date–will significantly expand the University’s prestigious Iranian Studies program by:
- Providing substantial support for a world-leading scholar who will serve as the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute’s Director;
- Launching a regular Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Lecture Series and international conference to facilitate exchanges and discussions for the academic community;
- Enhancing the graduate experience by awarding annually up to two Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Dissertation Completion Fellowships to top doctoral students in Iranian-related studies; and at least two Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Graduate Scholarships to pursue Persian language training abroad, participate in conferences or conduct research in the field;
- Establishing a two-year Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship to enable recently graduated Ph.D.s to deepen their expertise in Iranian studies and further their own research at the University;
- Launching the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Scholar Award program for tenure-track U of T faculty members in Iranian studies to assist them in compiling successful tenure files; and
- Engaging the public and bring focus to the richness of the Iranian culture by hosting annual cultural programs celebrating Persian holidays.
The new endowed position will foster the creation of new courses in Persian and Persianate Studies, support interdepartmental projects and develop regional, national and international appreciation of Persian and Iranian cultural legacies.
The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies will be located at 90 Queen’s Park, a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility adjacent to the Royal Ontario Museum that is currently under construction at the University. At this stunning new building, U of T scholars—more than 18 leaders in the field of Iranian Studies—will work alongside those from the School of Cities, the Faculty of Music, the Institute of Islamic Studies and the Departments of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. They will also have opportunities to connect with U of T’s outstanding network of researchers, across three campuses, and collaborate with Toronto’s lively and growing Iranian community in the heart of one of the world’s most diverse cities.
Please join our Board in celebrating together the announcement of this significant milestone for both U of T and RCHI.
New Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Professor in Persian and Iranian Studies at the University of Washington
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is proud to announce a new endowment to the University of Washington to establish the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Professorship in Persian and Iranian Studies, in support of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) and its successful Persian and Iranian Studies Program. The new endowed position will foster the creation of new courses in Persian and Iranian Studies, support interdepartmental projects and develop regional, national and international appreciation of Persian and Iranian cultural legacies.
This marks the first endowed professorship in NECL and its inaugural holder will be Dr. Aria Fani, who joined UW in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in Persian and Iranian Studies. During his first year, Dr. Fani taught topical courses in Persian literature and popular courses on Near Eastern travelogues and cinematic cultures. Dr. Fani has a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his research focuses on the Persian language and cultural heritage as shared medium for modern literary cultures of Iran and Afghanistan. He has published a textbook for the teaching of Persian as a heritage language and is currently working on a poetry collection by Bizhan Jalali titled Shades of Silence.
The new endowed position will foster the creation of new courses in Persian and Iranian Studies, support interdepartmental projects and develop regional, national and international appreciation of Persian and Iranian cultural legacies.
This is Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute’s second endowment to the University of Arizona. In 2003, an endowment for Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies was established in NELC for outstanding graduate students in the field of Persian and Iranian studies.
Virtual Symposium: Revisiting Discourses of Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Iran and Diaspora: September 5 – October 3, 2020
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce a virtual symposium organized by Dr. Claudia Yaghoobi, Roshan Institute Associate Professor in Persian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Originally scheduled as a one-day symposium to be held at UNC, Dr. Yaghoobi has reorganized the event into a series of virtual panels presented via Zoom webinars, so that registrants may join and enjoy listening to the lineup of papers by well-known scholars in the safety of their homes.
This virtual symposium brings together a range of scholars from different disciplines focusing on modern Iran to analyze the wide variety of ways in which love and desire have been represented, imagined, and discursively constructed. Participants will address discourses of love and desire and revisit those discourses considering the implications that they have for larger theoretical debates.
The series of panels runs from September 5 to October 3, 2020:
- Panel I: Love and Desire Across borders in Modern Iran and Diaspora – Saturday September 5th @ 5pm-6:30pm
- Panel II: Embodied Bodies, Non-normativity, and Power Dynamics in Modern Iranian Literature and Film – Saturday September 12th @ 12pm-1:30pm
- Horner-Jarrahi Keynote Speaker: Professor Janet Afary, Mellichamp Chair in Global Religion and Modernity, University of California, Santa Barbara – Saturday September 19th @ 12pm-1:30pm
- Panel III: Religio-Political Dimensions of Desire in Modern Iran – Saturday September 26th @ 12pm-1:30pm
- Roundtable: Love, Laws, and Changes – Saturday October 3rd @ 12pm-1:30pm
Registrants will be provided with a Zoom webinar link in advance of each panel.