This international conference, timed to coincide with the launch of the new Edinburgh Masters in Persian Civilization(from September 2014) and the anniversary exhibition of Rashid al-Din’s World History in Edinburgh (1 August – 31 October 2014), will explore the importance of the visual in the Persian world. The conference aims to examine the historic role of visual culture in the shaping, influencing, and transforming of Persian cultures over successive centuries. An immensely rich visual culture has always existed in Iran and the surrounding regions from early antiquity, often shaped by encounters with different zones of contact and patronised by ruling elites and dynasties with a myriad of artistic and cultural traditions, needs and agendas. This conference seeks to attract scholars working in diverse fields of study connected by the overarching theme of Persianate civilization. We aim to provide a forum to discuss the visual world of globally defined “Persianate” culture across the various historical periods, ranging from pre-Islamic cultures (Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian), medieval / early modern Islamic cultures, to Iran’s modern visual cultures (including film and media).
This conference is jointly organised by Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES), the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh.
The conference organisers greatly acknowledge the sponsorship of the Iran Heritage Foundation.
The anniversary exhibition of the “World History” of Rashid al-Din is open on 2 August (see “Rashid al-Din 1314/2014” for further information).