Iranian Studies is a dynamic academic field full of events such as conferences, seminars, lectures, lecture series, and opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, awards, grants, and prizes.
There are three major Iranian Studies regular conferences in the world. These conferences gather once per two or once per four years and are the best medium for networking and sharing new Iranian Studies research.
- Biennial Conference of the Association for Iranian Studies
- Quadrennial Conference of the Societas Iranologica Europaea
- Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies
- Association of Iranica in Australasia Conference
- Symposia Iranica
BA, MA, Ph.D. and Research Opportunities
There are many centers, departments, and schools that offer degrees in Iranian Studies. In many Universities, the Iranian Studies program is included in the wider Middle Eastern Studies department or center.
- Iranian Studies at the University of Goettingen
- Iranian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles
- Iranian Studies at the University of London, SOAS
- Program in Iranian Studies, Yale MacMillan Center
- Institute of Iranian Studies, University of St. Andrews
- Department of Iranian Studies, Yerevan State University
- Iranian Studies at the University of California, Irvine
There are not many foundations that offer grants for individuals and organizations in Iranian Studies. Many foundations are in the USA and UK, and Iranians living in those countries are the primary founders of these foundations.
- Iran Heritage Foundation
- Soudavar Memorial Foundation
- Persian Heritage Foundation
- Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute
Around hundred academic periodicals in different disciplines such as history, literature, sociology, economics, anthropology, archaeology are open for students and researchers in Iranian Studies to publish their articles. Some of the most influential journals in Iranian Studies that publish articles mainly related to Iranian and Persian Studies are listed below:
- Iranian Studies
- Iran and the Caucasus
- Indo-Iranian Journal
- Journal of Persianate Studies
- Studia Iranica
Twitter accounts to follow in Iranian Studies
What is Iranian Studies?
What do the students of Iranian studies study? The first thing that comes to one's mind is, of course, Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a fascinating and politically vital country to study. Still, there is more to Iranian studies than merely researching Iran in its present borders.
Iranian Studies is the discipline that studies Iranian-speaking populations' ethnic, linguistic, political, and religious aspects or anything related to Iran as a broader geographical concept.
Throughout its 2500 years' history, Iran and its peoples have left their indelible mark on the history of Eurasia. For millennia the people of Iranian origins and speaking Iranian languages have built empires, founded religions, written pieces of literature, and traded goods all over Asia.
One who knows Persian does not automatically become an Iranologist, even though Persian's study might be (and rightly so) considered the crown jewel of the Iranian studies.
Students of Iranian Studies need to know many other relevant disciplines such as history, anthropology, linguistics, sociology, literature, religions, archeology.
The vast territories extending from modern Western China down to the Nile banks, from the Yemeni shores of Arabia up to the Russian steps are the research domains of Iranian Studies specialists. Thus the knowledge of several other languages is also necessary for Iranologists - Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Hindi, Urdu, Armenian, Georgian. As a massive bulk of Iranian Studies research during the last centuries was in European languages, an Iranologist also needs to have good reading command of English, German and French.
The Iranian studies student may study religions like Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism, and Islam! Thus, many old languages may also be necessary to master to become an Iranologist. Moreover, it may be required to read cuneiforms to read inscriptions in different old and middle Iranian languages. Persian empire has left so many treasures that reading the ancient languages is a pathway to spread light on Iran's history.
Languages like Persian, Dari, Kurdish, Balochi, Ossetian, Talyshi, Avestan, Old and Middle Persian, Parthian, Bactrian, Sogdian, Saka, and many other Iranian languages (and non-Iranian also, like Sanskrit, Greek, or Akkadian) are of primary interest for an Iranologist.
A question might arise among the students who, say, are interested only in modern politics. Why study classical Persian literature, the history of the Achaemenids, the history of Islam, or the Balochi language?
In general, the Middle East and Iran have complex, multicultural, and multiethnic societies. It took hundreds, nay thousands of years for these societies to form.
Iranian Studies gives its students the opportunity to understand this area in all its complex relationships, seen in the background of a long and at times problematic historical memory and religious loyalty.
Iranian Studies vs. Persian Studies
Before 1935, Iran was officially Persia in Europe. The Iranians themselves did not call it Persia; they referred to it as "Irān" in Persian.
However, this is not our central question: Is Iranian studies the same as Persian studies? It is tempting to say "No" immediately! Nevertheless, let us give a complete answer to this intriguing question.
Though Iran may be the same as Persia, "Iranian" is not the same as "Persian".
"Iran" and "Iranian" are related to a geographical area between Chinese Turkestan and Mesopotamia. It was the ancient homeland of the Iranian peoples.
"Persia" is the homeland of the ancient Persian (Pārsa) tribes, who lived in the south-western part of modern Iran (in what is today the Fars province of Iran).
Thus, while the "Persian" is about one particular area and language, "Iranian" refers to a more extensive geographical and cultural space and defines dozens of co-related languages, peoples, and cultures, including "Persian".
The students of Persian studies specialize in the New Persian language and literature. Persian Studies is a vast and complicated area, though it forms only a small part of Iranian studies' broader field.
Iranian Studies Centers in Iran
This article will regularly update information about Iranian Studies centers in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The available list of Iranian Studies centers in the world is also be updated regularly.
Although there are numerous Iranian studies centers worldwide, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the major centers of the study of Iran and its culture. Many universities and several important institutions are engaged in promoting progress in this field. Comparatively, less attention is given to pre-Islamic Iran's history (unlike when the Pahlavi dynasty ran the state). However, this is compensated by the more extensive study of Islamic Iranian culture.
Iranology Foundation (بنیاد ایرانشناسی)
Iranology Foundation is a research institute based in Iran, which specializes in Iranian studies. Its main goal is to advance scholarly research into Iranian history, literature, ethnology, linguistics, philology. Another primary goal is to promote academic connections and cooperation in this area, fostering further progress in this field.
Iranology Foundation is one of the most prominent institutions specializing in Iranian studies. It has branches in different Iranian cities, like Tehran, Urmia, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Yazd, Kerman, Ardabil, Yasuj.
Here is the official Persian-language website of the Foundation: http://www.iranology.ir/
Here is the English-language version: http://en.iranology.ir/
Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies (پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطالعات فرهنگی)
The Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies is another critical research institute based in Tehran. It is composed of 14 different branches or institutes (پژوهشکده), namely:
- Faculty of Languages and Literature
- Faculty of Linguistics
- Faculty of History
- Faculty of Social and Human Sciences with a Practical Approach
- Faculty of Economics and Management
- Faculty of Occidentalism and Studies of Science
- Faculty of Political Thought, Islamic Revolution and Islamic Civilization
- Faculty of Ethics and Training
- Faculty of Cultural Studies and Communications
- Faculty of Contemporary Culture
- Faculty of Quranic Studies
- Faculty of Political Theorization and International Relations
- Faculty of Contemporary Hikmah (Wisdom)
- Faculty of Social Studies
The IHCS is a prominent institution in Iranian studies, and the faculties of Literature, Linguistics, and History positively contribute to its progress. Every year numerous important publications appear by this institution.
Check the link to their website: http://www.ihcs.ac.ir/fa.
The website http://ensani.ir/fa, in which researchers can find numerous accessible articles related to various fields of Iranian studies, is also associated with this institution.
Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (مرکز دائره المعارف بزرگ اسلامی)
The CGIE is another authoritative institution specializing in Iranian Studies. Despite its name, and besides the work on Encyclopaedia Islamica, the CGIE is an excellent source for a wide range of topics related to Iranian studies.
Check the link to their website: https://www.cgie.org.ir/.