Sixth Biennial Conference of Iranian Studies

Organised by

Association for Iranian Studies,
Iran Heritage Foundation,
London Middle East Institute,
Persian Cultural Foundation
in association with
American Institute of Iranian Studies,
Association for the Study of Persianate Societies,
British Institute of Persian Studies,
Foundation for Iranian Studies,
Oesterreischiche Akademie der Wissenschaften. Institut fuer Iranistik


Houshang Esfandiar Chehabi.

Supervision and co-ordinantion (central office)

Roya Arab, Nahid Assemi, Kaveh Hemmat, Evangelos Venetis, Pegah Zohouri Haghian.

Supervision and co-ordinantion (SOAS)

Vincenzo Paci, Naomi Campbell assisted by Jialing Fan, Saliha Fellache, Viviane Ibrahim, Michael P Jewkes, Goli Metghalchi, Harrison Miller, Fiona O'Cleirigh, Fouzia Ouadi, Kate Parker, Carolina Quintero Paulsen, Lucia H Silva-Clark, Marco Pinfari, Huda Sajwani.

Film screenings

Francisco Machado, assisted by Nishita Sharma, Sarvenaz Fassihi and Nina Khoshnoudi.

Advisory committee

Katryn Babayan, Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, Touraj Daryaee, Mansoureh Ettehadieh, Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Paul Losensky, Shahnaz Nadjmabadi, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi, Mohammad Tavakoli-Targhi.


This conference includes contributions in all fields of Iranian studies, especially new areas of investigation and/or novel approaches to traditional fields. 'Programme - outline' in the left column of this page shows the overall layout of each days schedule. 'Programme - sessions' shows the conference programme listed by sessions and 'Programme - session allocation' shows the session(s) to which each speaker or chair is allocated. The 'Abstracts' page shows abstracts of the presentations and the 'Biographies' page shows a brief biographical information about each speaker.

More than 300 presentations will be made within the context of 80 plus panels. Panel topics include: Achaemenid Era, Agrarian Transition, Ancient Art, Anthropology, Anti Semitism/Bahaism, Archaeology, Arsacid Era, Christian/Safavid Relations, Cinema, Clergy, Culture and Cultural Policies, Demography, Diaspora, Economic Growth and Development, Education, Far East/Persian Relations, Foreign Perceptions, Gender, Geography, Historiography, History from Below, Ilkhanid Era, Intellectual Life, Internet, Julfans Abroad, Languages, Literature (classic, contemporary, mystic, epic), NGOs, Pahlavi Era, Politics and Political Culture, Public Opinion, Qajar Era, Reconstruction, Regional Issues, Religion, Russian/Persian Relations, Safavid Era, Saljuk Era, Sasanian Era, Science and Technology (ancient and modern), Secularism, Urban Change, Zoroastrianism.

The conference is scheduled immediately after the Centenary Conference on the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, which takes place at Oxford University from 30 July to 2 August. 


The primary language of the conference is English. A limited number of presentations will be made in Persian.


For suitable accommodation (university halls and hotels), click on 'Accommodation' in the left column of this page.

Book exhibition

A book exhibition has been organised in conjunction with the conference, at which publishers from Iran, Europe and North America will present their latest publications of Iranian interest.

Film screenings

A film season of documentary films made in Iran or by Iranians in the diaspora will be screened on a continuous basis during the entire three days of the conference. For more details click on 'Film programme' and 'Film synopsis' in the left column of this page.

Special sessions

Five special sessions are incorporated into the conference programme. For details click on 'Special session' in the left column of this page.
- An Encounter with Mahshid Amirhshahi (Mahshid Amirshahi reads from her writing)
- Inside Out - Iranian Contemporary Literature in Diaspora and Translation (reading, discussion, reception)
- Simin Behbehani: Life and Poetry (Simin Behbehani reads from her poetry) 
- Shirin Neshat and Tariq Ali 'In-conversation'
- Iran's Nucelar Programme: Peraceful or Perilous? (panel discussion)

Registration fees

You can register either for the Sixth Biennial only or for both the Sixth Biennial and theConstitutional Revolution (Oxford; 30/7-2/8) conferences at a combined discounted rate. The registration fee includes tea/coffee morning and afternoon but excludes lunch, etc in all cases.

Sixth Biennial fee:
70 GBP - Full
40 GBP - Student
Sixth Biennial plus Constitutional Revolution, discounted combined fee:
110 GBP - Full
60 GBP - Student

- Student rate applies only to currently enrolled full-time students with documentary proof
- In view of the large number of expected delegates, we ask everyone to register on-line prior to coming to London on 3 August. Pre-registration is a compulsory requirements for all speakers, except for individually authorised exceptions for speakers who are not residents of Europe or North America.

Gender & Women Committee lunch/panel

Buffet lunch and panel discussion chaired by Janet Afary on the future of women and gender studies in the field of Iranian studies, following a presentation by Kathryn Babayan, Mansoureh Ettehadieh, Nayereh Tohidi and Houra Yavari.
SOAS, 3 August, 1pm
Price: 13 GBP

Lunch tickets

A fixed price buffet lunch will be served each day. One coupon needs to be purchased for each day (i.e. three coupons for the duration of the conference).
Price: 7.50 GBP/coupon.

Victoria & Albert Museum reception

A reception at the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrating the newly refurbished Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art dedicated to art from the Persian, Turkish and Arab world. The gallery will be opened to the public in late July 2006.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London - 2 August, 7.30pm
Admission: 19 GBP

AIS reception

A reception organised by the AIS. A chance to socialize in an informal atmosphere.
SOAS, London - 4 August, 8pm
Admission: 19 GBP

Window of Hope: Music of the Mashruteh concert

A concert by the Roshani Ensemble presenting the musical repertoire related to period of the Constitutional Revolution. A period of Iran's history, which coincided with important changes in the field of music and musical life in the country.
St. Hilda's College, Oxford - 31 July, 8pm
SOAS, London - 3 August, 8pm
Admission: 10 GBP

The Persian Revolution play

A surreal and comic piece of theatre inspired by the events of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, written by Mehrdad Seyf. Produced by 30 Bird Productions. 
Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London - 3, 4, 5 August, 8pm
Admission: 10 GBP

Association for Iranian StudiesLondon Middle East InstitutePersian Cultural FoundationAssociation for the Study of Persianate SocietiesOesterreischiche Akademie der Wissenschaften. Institut fuer Iranistik