Persia and the Persian Question

by Professor Ali Ansari

Persia and the Persian Question

by Professor Ali Ansari | on 29 November, 2017

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.

About the speaker: Professor Ali Ansari FRAS FRSE (Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of St Andrews). Professor Ansari is President of BIPS.

Join our mailing list
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.