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Announcing the Winners of the Inaugural ASPS/JPS Early Career Prize

By June 5, 2023No Comments

The Association for the Study of Persianate Societies and its flagship Journal of Persianate Studies are delighted to congratulates the inaugural co-winners of the ASPS/JPS Early Career Prize: Dr Mariano Errichiello (SOAS) for his paper, ‘Beyond the Theosophical paradigm: Ilme Kṣnum and the entangled history of modern Parsis’, and Dr András Barati (Institute for Mediæval Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences), for his article, ‘The Chessboard toghrās of the Safavid royal decrees’. A prize committee consisting of JPS Associate Editor D Gershon Lewental (chair), Alyssa Gabbay, and Evrim Binbaş selected these winners based upon the creativity of topic and source materials, originality of analysis, and overall scholastic contributions, and announced their decision at the recent ASPS convention in Yerevan in June 2023. The winners will share a cash prize of $250 and their articles will be published in the Journal of Persianate Studies.

The prize committee thought that Dr Errichiello’s submission was a well-written and intriguing study of an esoteric interpretation of Zoroastrianism that developed in the early Twentieth Century amongst the Parsis in India, making use of Gujarati primary sources to enhance our understanding of Parsi historiography and contributing to our broader knowledge of intellectual and religious history in India and the Persianate world.

As for Dr Barati’s article, the prize committee noted that this meticulous study of toghrās on Persian documents expands our knowledge of the function of this calligraphic signature as a royal emblem in the Ṣafavid period, while also touching upon its use in Mongal, Timurid, and Mughal royal decrees. Through careful use of both pre-Ṣafavid and Ṣafavid-era sources, he provides insight into how toghrās served as authenticating symbols endowed with authority and prestige.

The biennial prize seeks to encourage and reward scholarship about the broader Persianate world by individuals at the beginning of their careers and we encourage end-stage doctoral students and early-career scholars to look out next year for the call to submit original and unpublished work for the prize to be awarded at our next convention in 2025. For more information on JPS, as well as past issues, visit