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February 2018

The Hungry 1890s: A Prelude to the Constitutional Revolution: Dr Stephanie Cronin

February 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This talk will look at the conditions of the urban poor in Iran at the end of the nineteenth century, focusing in particular on the repeated crises caused by sharp rises in the price of bread. It examines the evidence which supports the notion that Iran experienced a “golden age” of bread riots in the 1890s and early 1900s, just before and indeed contributing to the outbreak of the constitutional revolution. The 1890s are often seen as an interregnum, a…

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April 2018

“Speaking of the Devil” – Images of Divs (demons) in the Persian Pictorial Tradition: Dr Francesca Leoni

April 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Why does evil look the way it does? In this richly illustrated talk, Dr Francesca Leoni addresses this question by examining divs or demons, the quintessentially evil creatures of Persian mythology and folklore. Dr Francesca Leoni is Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, as well as Research Associate at the Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford. She has previously held curatorial and research posts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston…

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May 2018

Flowers, trees and poetic inscriptions. The art of carpet making in Safavid Iran – Roberta Marin

May 29, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Army & Navy Club, 36-39 Pall Mall
London, SW1Y 5JN United Kingdom
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Roberta will take us on a journey along the history of the most remarkable carpets ever made, the ones produced under the rule of the powerful Safavid Shahs. Through the analysis of the most iconic carpets, held in famous museums and collections in Europe and abroad, she will discuss their iconographies and patterns and she will illustrate materials and trends as well as patrons and places of manufacture. Roberta Marin completed her BA in Fine Arts in Italy and holds…

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June 2018

Thwarting Iranistan: Iran and the USSR in the 1970s and early 1980s: Savka Andic

June 18, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The remarkably settled nature of the Soviet-Iranian relationship during the late Pahlavi period was followed by a period of cautious Soviet activism in the early revolutionary years (1979-1980). In a bipolar world, the Shah had apparently succeeded in tempering his pro-American orientation by establishing multiple cultural, technical and economic ties to the Soviet Union – just enough investment to provide good insurance against a possible souring of relations. The Soviet leadership was not unappreciative of his efforts and reciprocated as…

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October 2018

Dr Melanie Gibson: “Enigmatic Figures: Sculpture in Medieval Iran”

October 2, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Dr. Melanie Gibson is Executive Trustee of the Gingko Library and Editor of the Gingko Library Art Series. She is a convenor of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS, London University. She lectures on Islamic ceramics and glass, as well as more widely on Islamic art and architecture, for SOAS, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Courtauld Institute. From 2012-2016 she was head of the Art History department at the New College of the Humanities, London. Her…

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November 2018

Dr Stephanie Cronin: “Hunger in the 1890s – a prelude to the Constitution?”

November 19, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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December 2018

Brian MacDonald: “Tribal rugs of Iran and the tribes who made them”

December 11, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

This event will be held at St Columba's Church, Pont Street,  followed by the Christmas dinner.  Admission to members and their guests only. Tickets cost £35 each and can be bought by clicking on the link below. During the 1970s, whilst carrying out reconnaissance work for two university archaeological expeditions in southern Iran, Brian travelled extensively throughout that country as well as in Afghanistan and Turkey. In 1972, he lived and worked amongst two tribal groups in Iran – the…

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January 2019

Aeron O’Connor: “Tajikistan: Persian Poetry to Soviet Realism”

January 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Aeron O'Connor is an anthropologist based at UCL, where she is completing her PhD. Her research focuses on the intellectual history of modern-day Tajikistan. She has lived and carried out ethnographic research in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for two years, working in Tajik Persian. There, she worked extensively with artists, musicians, writers and scholars. Her research ultimately reflects on how ideas and artistic and literary movements have been produced, shared and transformed during Tajikistan's fast-changing history in and out of communism.

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February 2019

Lucy Deacon: “The Traditional Ta’zieh Mourning Plays of Moharram”

February 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Zanjan tekkiyeh Introducing the Iranian Ta’ziyeh Cycle and the Curious Addition of Non-Religious Characters to The Martyrdom of Imam Husain Before entering the field of Persian Studies, Lucy Deacon had worked for more than a decade as a performing arts professional. Upon coming across the Iranian ta’ziyeh repertoire, a brand of theatre focussing on commemoration of the Karbala martyrdoms, she became fascinated with this anonymous cycle of plays. Combining analysis of the historical ta’ziyeh scripts held by the Vatican Library…

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April 2019

Anahita Alavi: Manuscript Illumination – Process and Examples

April 10 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Anahita Alavi is an Iranian artist who has learned Persian Miniature, Islamic Illumination and Geometric design under the supervision of the great masters in Iran.  She has taught Persian painting and Islamic illumination at the Payam-e Noor University of Tehran and a number of schools and institutes in Iran.  Since 2016, she has been engaged in teaching and producing Persian painting and illumination at SOAS. In this talk she will go through the process of preparing the materials and production…

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