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Rescheduled Eighth Biennial Convention

Association for the Study of Persianate SocietiesRescheduled Eighth Biennial Convention

Ilia State University
Tbilisi, Georgia
March 15 - March 18
Registration is open only for ASPS members

The Eighth Biennial Convention of the Association took place in historic Tbilisi, Georgia which lies on the banks of the Kura River. Founded in the fifth century C.E., Tbilisi has been a major cultural and economic center throughout the ages and boasts strong ties to the larger Persianate world. The convention was graciously hosted by Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies at Ilia State University. The Institute warmly welcomed ASPS and hosted our third biennial conference in June 2007.

Ghazzal DabiriGhazzal Dabiri (Ghent University), Chair

Ghazzal Dabiri holds a Ph.D. in Iranian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ghent and has taught at Columbia University, UCLA, and CSUF. Her research focuses on the development of and cross-sections between Iranian historiography and Persian epics as well as on the social history of early Islamic Iran. She has published the following articles: “Visions of Heaven and Hell from Late Antiquity in the Near East” in Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei (Winter 2009) “The Shahnama: Between the Samanids and Ghaznavids” in Iranian Studies, the Shahnama Special Issue (February 2010). “Historiography and the Sho’ubiya Movement” in Journal of Persianate Studies (2013) Other publications include: “The Mother Tongue: An Introduction to the Persian Language.” PBS Frontline: Tehran Bureau and ;“Shiraz Nights.” PBS Frontline: Tehran Bureau, August 10, 2009. She is currently working on a book project entitled “Kings as Moral and Heroic Types in Early Islamic Historiography and Persian Epics,” which was the subject of her dissertation, “The Origins and Development of Persian Epics” which won Honorable Mention for Best Dissertation from the Foundation for Iranian Studies in 2007. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Research Grant for the 2011-2012 academic year. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS)

Pooriya AlimoradiUniversity of Toronto

Pooriya Alimoradi is a PhD student at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization at University of Toronto. He holds a MA degree in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University and another M.A. in Ancient Iranian History from University of Tehran. He is interested in Iranian history, languages and culture in the Late Antiquity, religions of ancient Iran including Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Mazdakism, as well as the study of Zoroastrianism in the early centuries of Islam in Iran. Since 2000, he has been working on ancient Iranian languages including Avestan, Old Persian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Manichean. He is a recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Doctoral Scholarship (SSHRC 2015-18), “Houtan Scholarship” (2013, 2014, and 2015), “Soudavar Memorial Foundation Travel Grant” (2013), “Concordia University Conference and Exposition Award” (2013), “Concordia University, Faculty of Arts and Science student conference travel support” (2013), “Houtan Scholarship” (2012), “Concordia University Merit Scholarship” (2011) and “Concordia University International Tuition Fee Remission Award” (2011). As of December 2012, he is the student member of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS). Since December 2011, Pooriya Alimoradi is the webmaster of Additionally, he is the former Editor and webmaster of the Bulletin of Ancient Iranian History (BAIH), former Editor of a few advertising magazines and several students’ magazines.

Saïd Amir ArjomandSUNY Stony Brook

Saïd Amir Arjomand (Ph.D, University of Chicago, 1980) is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and Director of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies. He is the founder and former President (1996-2002, 2005-08) of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies, and Editor of its organ, Journal of Persianate Studies. He served as the Editor of International Sociology, the journal of the International Sociological Association (1998-2003) and Editor-in-Chief of Studies on Persianate Societies (2003-05). He has been Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, 1982-83, Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, 1984-85, and Visiting Professor of Sociology and Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1989, the Sharpe Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies, the University of Chicago, 1993-94, Member of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Social Sciences, 1998, the inaugural Crane Fellow and Visiting Professor of Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, 2004-05, and Carnegie Scholar, 2006-08. He has published over a hundred articles in the humanities and social science journals in the last thirty-five years, and is the author of The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion, Political Organization and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to l890 (l984), The Turban for the Crown. The Islamic Revolution in Iran (1988), After Khomeini. Iran under his Successors (Oxford University Press, 2009), and the editor of several books, including Rethinking Civilizational Analysis (With Edward Tiryakian, 2004), Constitutionalism and Political Reconstruction (2007), and Constitutional Politics in the Middle East (2008), The Rule of Law, Islam and Constitutional Politics in Egypt and Iran (with Nathan J. Brown, 2013), Worlds of Difference (with Elisa Reis, 2013), and Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age (in press).

Daniel BebenNazarbayev University

Grigol BeradzeIlia State University

Mehdi FarajiNew York University

Jo-Ann GrossThe College of New Jersey

Jo-Ann Gross (Ph.D, New York University, 1982) is Professor of Middle Eastern and Central Eurasian History at The College of New Jersey. She serves as Vice-President of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) and is the Director of the Central Eurasian Research Fund (CERF), which she founded in 2005 to support the publications of scholars in Central Asia. Her past professional activities include her position as Executive Secretary for the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) from 1987-90, member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Central Asia Studies from 1995-2005, and member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies from 1996-2000. She has been a member of the School of Historical Studies of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, 1995-96 and was elected as an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2012. She has published widely on aspects of Sufism, shrine culture, and oral narratives in Central Asia and is the author (with Asom Urunbaev) of The Letters of Khwaja ‘Ubayd Allah Ahrar and his Associates (Brill, 2002) and Musul'manskaya Tsentral'naya Aziya: Religioznost' i Obshchestvo - Izbrannye Stat'i [Islamic Central Asia: Religiosity and Society - Collected Works] (Dushanbe, 2004), and the editor of Muslims in Central Asia: Expressions of Identity and Change (Duke University Press, 1992). In 2012 she guest-edited a volume of the Journal of Persianate Studies entitled, “The Pamir: Shrine Traditions, Human Ecology and Identity” and is currently completing two books: Muslim Shrines and Spiritual Culture in the Perso-Islamic World, under contract with IB Taurus, and a co-edited volume (with Devin DeWeese) entitled, Sufism and Islam in Central Asia. Her most recently published articles are “Foundational Legends, Shrines, and Isma’ili Identity in Tajik Badakhshan,” in Muslims and Others in Sacred Space,” ed. by Margaret Jean Cormack,” (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 164-192 and “The Motif of the Cave and the Funerary Narratives of Nāṣir-i Khusraw,” in Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World, ed. byJulia Rubanovich and Shaul Shaked (Brill Series, Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture, in press).

Irina KoshoridzeGeorgian National Museum

Tamar LekveishviliIlia State University

Louise MarlowWellesley College

Rudi MattheeUniversity of Delaware

Rudi Matthee (Ph.D. UCLA, 1991) is Munroe Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of Delaware. He is the former president (2002-05 and 2008-11) of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies. He served as book review editor for Iranian Studies, 1996-2006, is coeditor of Der Islam, and the consulting editor for Safavid history for the Encyclopaedia Iranica. In 2002-03 he was at a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton. In 2011 he served as the Roshan Professor of Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. He has published some fifty articles on Safavid and Qajar Iran as well as Egypt. He authored The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730 (Cambridge University Press, 1999), recipient of prize for best non-Persian language book on Iranian history, 1999, awarded by the Iranian Ministry of Culture; honorable mention for British-Kuwaiti Friendship prize for best book on the Middle East published in Great Britain, 1999; as well as The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900 (Princeton University Press, 2005), recipient of the MESA Albert Hourani Book Prize, and of the ISIS Saidi Sirjani Prize; Iqtisad va siyasat-i khariji-yi `asr-i Safavi, trans. and ed. Hasan Zandiyeh. (Tehran, 2008); Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012), recipient of the British-Kuwaiti Friendship Prize; and, with Willem Floor and Patrick Clawson, The Monetary History of Iran, 1500-1925 (London, I.B. Tauris, 2013). He coedited Iran and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Nikki R. Keddie (with Beth Baron, Mazda, 2000); Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics (with Nikki Keddie, University of Washington Press, 2002); and Portugal, the Persian Gulf and Safavid Persia (with Jorge Flores, Leuven: Peeters, 2011).

Tamar MosiashviliIlia State University

Nikoloz NakhutsrishviliIlia State University

Aida NikouSUNY Stony Brook

Parvaneh PourshariatiThe City University of New York

George SanikidzeIlia State University