Health and Safety Update

UPDATE May 6, 2020
Don’t Stop Working on Your Conference Paper - The AIS Virtual Workshop

While we have been waiting to see when our actual conference can take place, we have been working on setting up a virtual workshop space in AIS’ G Suite domain using the Classroom tool.  The space will be organized on the basis of the AIS 2020 program. Everyone who was accepted to the program can present a draft of their paper in order to receive informal feedback from fellow panelists and any AIS members who decide to “attend” the virtual workshop.  The virtual workshop will be free.  Participation is optional and will not change the conference program.  This way you can make some progress on your research now and share a more polished version when we are actually able to meet again.

When will this take place?  Stay tuned for an announcement on that. We aiming for the August-September 2020 timeframe.  We are testing out a “beta version” of the virtual workshop space this month.  One thing I can say now:  although panels will have the option to meet in “real time” via web conference, the default will be asynchronous participation.  This means we’ll open the space for a period of days (maybe even a week or two), so folks can post, reply,  and otherwise interact as they are able.  I’m pretty sure the novelty of “Zoom” style meetings has long since worn off for all of us!

Stay well and safe,

Cam Amin
AIS President


AIS 2020 Conference is Cancelled, But Plans to Reschedule are Underway

Were you thinking that you needed more time to get that conference paper ready? Well, we got you covered.

For the past few weeks, AIS Executive Committee has been making contingency plans in the event that the COVID 19 pandemic made cancellation necessary. After consultations with our Conference Chair, Miguel Angel Andres Toledo, it is time to implement those plans.

Here is what you need to know now:

1) The AIS Conference scheduled for August 25-28, 2020 is cancelled. 2) Registration fees for AIS 2020 will be honored at the next conference. 3) The rescheduled conference will be at the University of Salamanca, Spain. 4) Awardees will be announced this year, but we’ll celebrate properly at the rescheduled conference.

It is still too soon for us to offer the precise dates for the rescheduled conference. We will advise on that as soon as possible. But, let us assure you of something: the registration fee you have paid will be honored at the next conference you are able to attend. So, if, for some reason, you cannot make the rescheduled conference, you can apply your registration to the next conference.

In the coming weeks, in addition to working on rescheduling the conference, we will be studying ways to support Iranian Studies activity in the near term. I hope to present those initiatives to you soon.

For those of you who were looking forward to an AIS conference in Spain, as I most certainly was, the good news is that we can still look forward to it. Our conference will come.

In the meantime, I know every single one of you is working extra hard to support your students, your communities, and your families through this crisis. In the midst of all that, academic study - even of something so dear to us as Iranian Studies in all its forms – may seem like a misplaced priority. But that is not so. History is so often the miserable tale of disasters and suffering. But, it also the story of people like you who reclaim our common humanity with every act of learning.

I look forward to hearing about your scholarly accomplishments during this difficult time, in person; and I will. So, stay well in the meantime.

Cam Amin
AIS President


Re:2020 Conference based on information from the Conference Chair Miguel Ángel Andrés-Toledo

1) As part of a nationwide Covid-19 mitigation effort, the University of Salamanca is going to close through the end of March.

2) At the end of this mitigation effort, AIS Exec will assess how things look for the summer.  The expectation now is that circumstances will permit the conference to proceed as planned in August 2020.

3)  Nonetheless, we are formulating specific contingency plans with our partners at the University of Salamanca for postponing the conference.  These plans will seek to minimize inconvenience to members and to make the most of the substantial planning that has already gone into AIS 2020.

4) We will continue to update our membership on where things stand.


General guide on COVID-19


AIS 2020 information concerning Covid-19

As the Program and Conference Chair of the 13th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference (AIS 2020) in Salamanca, I have been asked during the last few weeks about the possibility that the spread of the coronavirus known as Covid-19 in Spain might affect the plans of our conference. In this regard, I want to address all participants at the AIS 2020 to communicate the most current information we have, most of which is reassuring.

I have contacted the public University Hospital of Salamanca (the most important in the city, and an international reference in disciplines related to respiratory diseases) regarding the situation of the Covid-19 in Salamanca. They confirm that, at present, there is no need of cancelling or postponing the conference. If there is any drastic change that requires the cancellation of the conference, something that so far is not indicated, I will inform all participants. Your safety and health is obviously our priority.

Although we cannot foresee how the situation may develop in Europe and particularly in Spain in a few months, the sections of Pneumology and Epidemiology of the University Hospital of Salamanca confirmed to me that coronaviruses in general (not only the Covid-19) could hardly survive in summer here, because of the weather conditions. Here it is dry and quite warm in August, so the probabilities of this Covid-19 or any other coronavirus spreading are minimal under such conditions. Moreover, we must take into account that the situation so far is controlled in Spain, and that we have a universal and public health system, which is considered one of the best in the world.

Again, although the situation is under control here and the possibilities of contagion in August here are very unlikely, participants can be sure that they would be in very good hands in the unlikely event they have any health issue in Salamanca.

All the best,

Miguel Ángel Andrés-Toledo
Conference Chair