This lecture will look at the ways in which the study of the history, language and culture of Iran and the wider Persianate world has developed in recent years, assessing the areas of growth and interest before looking specifically at questions of methodology and historiography. It will ask how these have affected our understanding of Iran’s past, and its implications for our appreciation of the present, using as a case study, our understanding of British-Iranian relations. Turning specifically to Orientalism and its malcontents, the presentation will look at key writers – including the British statesman, George Nathaniel Curzon – to show how enthusiasm for methodological rigour can lean dangerously towards ideological closure and that the analysis of text without sufficient context tilts the balance inexorably away from history towards mythology.
Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 6.00 pm at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.
The event is FREE & open to all but BOOKING BY WEDNESDAY 22 November 2017 IS ESSENTIAL. Please reserve a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The lecture will be given by Professor Ali Ansari FRAS FRSE (Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of St Andrews). Professor Ansari is President of BIPS.