MemberGhazzal Dabiri

…Ethics: Between Genre, Reception, and Muslim and Christian Audiences” in Journal of Persianate Studies 11, no. 1: 29-55.
2013. “Historiography and the Sho‘ubiya Movement” in Journal of Persianate Studies 6, no. 1-2: 216-234.
2010. “The Shahnama: Between the Samanids and Ghaznavids” in Iranian Studies, the Shahnama Special Issue, edited by Charles Melville, Volume 43, no. 1 (February): 13-28.
2009. “Visions of Heaven and Hell from Late Antiquity in the Near East” in Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei 2 (Winter): 177-190.
Encyclopedia Articles
(Forthcoming) “Persi…

I hold a PhD in Iranian Studies from UCLA. My research focuses on narratives of power and holiness in medieval Islamic Iran. I am primarily interested in themes related to kingship, sainthood, social identity building, the supernatural. My interest in these narratives partly arises from their fascinating itineraries, which have taken them from the eastern Iranian heartlands in antiquity down to the pre-modern era and from the Balkans to Malaysia. I am currently working on a book project, which has the working title “God’s Kings: The Medieval Reception of Ancient Narratives of Kingship.” And I am also editing two volumes dealing with hagiographies across Eurasia. One, which has the working title, Imitatio Theclae, is on the literary reception of the Acts of Paul and Thecla and the other looks at how various hagiographers across the Indo-Mediterranean world narrated power and authority.   I am recipient of the following grants and awards: 2015, European Research Council fellow at Ghent University in Belgium; 2011, Fulbright Research Fellowship, Cairo, Egypt; and 2008, Honorable Mention for the Best Dissertation from the Foundation for Iranian Studies.   From 2008-2014, I was the coordinator of the Persian Studies Program at Columbia University where, in addition to teaching and mentoring students, I organized a successful lecture series which included talks by established and up-and-coming scholars, artists, film makers, and musicians. From 2006-2008, I was the director for the Persian Studies Program at California State, Fullerton which included a summer study-abroad semester in Yerevan, Armenia.   I have been a long-time member of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) which is committed to bringing scholars from around the world interested in all fields related to Iran and the Persianate worlds, past and present. I served as its newsletter editor, secretary of the association, and member of the board of directors.

MemberNasrin Askari


The Medieval Reception of the Shāhnāma as a Mirror for Princes. Studies in Persian Cultural History 9. Leiden: Brill, 2016. (Winner of the 2017 World Award for Book of the Year of Iran in the field of Iranian Studies.)

Journal Articles

“Élite Folktales: Munes-nāma, Ketāb-e dāstān, and their Audiences.” Special issue, Advice Literature and Persianate Political Ethics, edited by Louise Marlow, Journal of Persianate Studies 12, no. 1 (2019): 32–61. 
  “A Mirror for Princesses: Mūnis-nāma, A Twelfth-Century Collection of Persian Tales Corresponding to t…

I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with full funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I have conducted research and taught at the University of British Columbia, where I developed UBC’s first curriculum in Iranian Studies. I have also conducted research at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, where I was a Bahari Visiting Scholar in the Persian Arts of the Book. My primary areas of research specialization are classical Persian literature, the history and culture of late antique and medieval Iran, the Perso-Islamic literature of wisdom and advice, and medieval Persian popular literature. I am also interested in how literature interacts with other elements of culture, particularly with visual arts. In my first monograph, I explored the medieval reception of Firdausī’s Shāhnāma, or Book of Kings, (completed in 1010 CE) as a mirror for princes. Drawing on evidence from a wide range of medieval sources in a variety of genres, my research demonstrates that Firdausī’s oeuvre was primarily understood by medieval authors as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly elites.

MemberBehnam M. Fomeshi

… Reception Study Society (RSS) 2019
Member, International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) 2017
Member, American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) 2017
Member, German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) 2017
Member, Association for Iranian Studies (AIS) 2017
Member, Iranian Literary Criticism Association 2014…

Specializing in comparative literature, Behnam M. Fomeshi is interested in Iranian studies, American studies and in particular the intersection of the two. He is also highly experienced in literary theory, with experience in teaching and considerable expertise in Persian language, literature and culture. He lectured at various national and international conferences, symposia, colloquia, and workshops. He has taught courses on various genres as well as study skills. Behnam is a fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to conduct research on Whitman and Persian poetry. In addition to a Humboldt fellowship, he has received several grants including two for research at the University of St Andrews and Leiden University. His works have been widely published and his monograph, The Persian Whitman: Beyond a Literary Reception was released with Leiden University Press in 2019. Behnam would like to keep in touch with scholars of Persian and American literature from around the world. Any piece of information regarding the presence of American literature in Iran (e.g. an early translation of American literature into Persian) is highly appreciated.   کوچکترین نکته ای دربارۀ «پذیرش ادبیات امریکا در ایران»، برای نمونه ترجمه های نخستین از آثار نویسندگان آمریکایی به فارسی، به پژوهش من کمک شایانی خواهد کرد. پیشاپیش از عزیزانی که در این باره مرا راهنمایی بفرمایند سپاسگزارم.

MemberEdmund Hayes

…h Rodrigo Adem, Leiden: Brill, in press.
The Ties that Bind: Mechanisms of Social Dependency in the Early Islamic Empire, edited with Petra Sijpesteijn, under review.
Peer-reviewed articles
“The Death of Kings: Group Identity and the Tragedy of Nezhād in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.” Iranian Studies 48, No. 3 (2015): 369-393.
“Alms and the Man: Finance and Resistance in the Legal Statements of the Shiʿi Imams,” Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 17 (2017): 280-298.
 “Early Islamic Cosmopolitanism? Constructing the ʾUmma of India in Pre-Mongol Muslim Scholarship,”…

  Edmund Hayes is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leiden. He gained his doctorate with honours from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in June 2015. He works on early Islamic history, in particular Shiʿi history, focusing on the intersection of intellectual developments and social and political dynamics. He also has interests in group dynamics, ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.   He is working on a book  entitled Agents of the Hidden Imam: the Birth Pangs of Twelver Shiʿism, 850-950 CE. He has published, or has articles forthcoming in Iranian Studies, Comparative Islamic Studies and the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies.   He is  investigating letters as a case-study in the embodiment of authority in pre-modern society. In particular, he uses a comparative perspective to place Shiʿi excommunication letters from the Imams within a typology of excommunication and anathematization practices in Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian and Muslim (Shiʿi and Sunni) communities. This allows us to understand how the ecclesiastical punishment of excommunication can complement, replace or subvert coercive governmental power. He is also looking at tax-demand letters and the relationship between fiscal policy and religious protest in early Islam. This involves  investigating  the development of Islamic canonical revenues, ghanīma, fayʾ, kharāj, khums, anfāl, ṣadaqa, and zakāt, the ways in which these terms overlap and relate to each other, and the ways in which they were both practically applied and conceptualized by early Islamic jurists and thinkers.  

MemberReuven Kiperwasser

…us and Tanja Hidde (eds.), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 305-319
4. Kiperwasser R. and Shapira D. 2012, “Irano-Talmudica II: Leviathan, Behemoth and the “Domestication” of Iranian Mythological Creatures in Eschatological Narratives of the Babylonian Talmud,” Shoshanat Yaakov: Ancient Jewish and Iranian Studies in Honor of Yaakov Elman, Steven Fine and Shai Secunda (eds.), Leiden: Brill, 203-236
5. Kiperwasser R. 2013, “Matters of the Heart – The Metamorphosis of the Monolithic in the Bible to the Fragmented in Rabbinic Thought,” Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience, S…