IQSA 2011 Conference:
Conference jointly organized by
IQSA and the International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam

~Princes and Courtiers in Qajar Persia~

Conference Locations:

Amsterdam and Leiden

Conference Dates:

Friday June 3 and Saturday June 4, 2011


Conference Presenters and Speakers:

Iradj Amini

Ambassador Iradj Amini was born in Tehran in 1935. He has a BA in Political Science from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., an MA in Sociology from Tehran University and a Diploma of International Relations from the University of Oxford. He joined the Iranian Foreign Service in 1965, and was the last Ambassador of the Shah of Iran to Tunesia. He currently lives and writes in Paris. He is the author of the acclaimed Napoléon et la Perse (Fondation Napoleon, Paris, 1995), translated into English as Napoleon and Persia: Franco-Persian Relations Under the First Empire, (Mage Publishers, Washington, D.C., 1999) and of L'Inde du Kooh-i-Noor (Editions François Bourin, Paris, 1992), a book about the saga of the twin diamond to the Darya-e Noor, and most recently of biographies of his father Prime-Minister Dr. Ali Amini (Tehran 2010) and his grandfather Mirza Ali Khan Amin-ed-Dowleh (Tehran 2011), Prime-Minister under Mozaffar ed-Din Shah.

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Touraj Atabaki

Dr. Touraj Atabaki holds the endowed chair of 'Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia' at the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Middle East of the Leiden University. He also holds the Senior Research Fellow position at the International Institute of Social History in charge of the Department of the Middle East and Central Asia. Dr. Atabaki has been visiting senior research fellow at the Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford and visiting fellow at the Academy of Sciences of Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the International Institute of Asian Studies and member of editorial boards of: Journal of Iranian Studies, Journal of Azerbaijani Studies, Review of International Affairs, Journal of Iran and the Caucasus and Journal Central Asian Survey. His main research interest is historiography of everyday life and comparative subaltern history.

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Ferydoun Barjesteh

Ferydoun Barjesteh is the Vice-President of IQSA and Editor-in-Chief of its Journal Qajar Studies, which is now in its tenth year. He has published extensively on Iranian history, in particular focusing on genealogical research. He is the director of IQSA's Fath Ali Shah Project, tracing the descendants of Fath Ali Shah in the male and female lines. He is also the founder of the DNA research project on the Qajars, which has already yielded groundbreaking results. He has written and co-edited many volumes on Qajar history, including Qajar Era Dress; Health, Hygiene and Beauty in the Qajar Era, the Montabone Album and a volume on the work of Sevruguin.

He can be reached at:

Marcello Cerruti

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Stephanie Cronin

Dr. Stephanie Cronin is Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Iranian History, University College, Northampton. She is the author of The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910-1926, (I. B. Tauris, 1997) and editor of The Making of Modern Iran; State and Society under Riza Shah, 1921-1941 (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003) and Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran: New Perspectives on the Iranian Left (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004). Her most recent work looks at subaltern responses to modernity in early Pahlavi Iran. Tribal Politics in Iran: Rural Conflict and the New State appeared in 2006. An edited collection, Subalterns, Marginality and the State: Strategies of Survival, Protest and Resistance in the Middle East and North Africa, also appeared in 2006.

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Therese Englebert

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Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar

Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar is Professor of Political Science and Director of Middle Eastern Studies at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). He is also President and co-founder of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA). Together with Mr. Ferydoun Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn, editor-in-chief, he edits the Journal of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA), Qajar Studies, which is now in its tenth year and the latest issue of which is the ten-year anniversary double issue: "Life at the Court of Fath Ali Shah Qajar" (An expanded and edited translation of the Tarikh-e Azodi by Fath Ali Shah's son Soltan Ahmad Mirza Azod ed-Dowleh). His most recent publications include: "The Story of the 'Fair Circassian' and Mirza Abol Hassan Khan Shirazi, 'Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary' of Fath Ali Shah to the Court of St. James," in Qajar Studies, Vol. VII, June 2007; Guest Editor, Iranian Studies, Vol. 40, September 2007; "Novellas as Morality Tales and Entertainment in the Newspapers of the late Qajar Period: Yahya Mirza Eskandari's 'Eshgh-e Doroughi' and 'Arousi-e Mehrangiz', in Iranian Studies, Vol. 40, September 2007; "Between Scylla and Charybdis: Policy-making Under Conditions of Constraint in Early Nineteenth Century Persia," in War and Peace in the Qajar Era, ed. Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Routledge, 2009; "The Message of the Negarestan Mural of Fath Ali Shah and His Sons: Snapshot of Court Protocol or Determinant of Dynastic Succession," in Qajar Studies, Vol. VIII, June 2008; "Persian Ambassadors, their Circassians, and the Politics of Elizabethan and Regency England," in Iranian Studies, Vol. 44, Number 2, March 2011, and the translation of the Tarikh-e Azodi by Soltan Ahmad Mirza, in Qajar Studies, Vol. X-XI, June 2011.

He can be reached at:

Anneke Groeneveld

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Herman Maes

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Irene Natchkebia

Dr. Irene Natchkebia was born in 1956 in Tbilisi, Georgia. In the years 1972-1977 she studied at the Department of Human Geography of Tbilisi State University. In 1976-1977 - MA Student at the Department of Human Geography, University of Lodz, Poland. From 1983 to the present she is researcher at Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies of Georgian Academy of Sciences. From 1996 to the present she collaborates with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique -- Monde Iranien in Paris. From 1991 to 2000 she was Professor at The Institute of Africa and Asia and at the Faculty of the Oriental Studies of Tbilisi State University. Courses taught: Human Geography of Asia and North Africa; Human Geography of Iran; Human Geography of Turkey; Geopolitics. Her area of specialisation is the political interests of Europe towards Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Caucasus in the late eighteenth and the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Irene Natchkebia is the author of numerous articles and books focusing on the relatoins between Persia and Georgia and in particular those of France under Napoleon with Persia.

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Jennifer Scarce

Jennifer Scarce B.A., F.S.A.(Scot) was Curator of Middle Eastern Cultures, National Museums of Scotland. She is now an Honorary Lecturer, School of Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, at the University of Dundee, Scotland, a research and travel consultant, freelance curator and author. She has arranged many permanent and temporary exhibitions of Middle Eastern culture for the National Museums of Scotland. She has travelled widely in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe -- Iran, Turkey, the Arab Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco,Tunisia, Romania and Bosnia -- both collecting contemporary textiles and dress for the Museum and also pursuing research projects such as carpet weaving in Romania, Ottoman Turkish court dress, the tilework decoration of 19th century Iranian architecture and the material culture of the North Africa and the Arab world. Her many publications include a survey of Romanian carpet weaving, articles and books on Middle Eastern dress, Kuwait and Iran and most recently Domestic Culture in the Middle East. She is also interested in European travellers to the Middle East especially those of Scottish origin. She has lectured widely for conferences and groups and has accompanied many tours to the Middle East , North Africa and Romania.

She can be reached at:

Fatema Soudavar

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian is an independent researcher and writer of numerous articles on Iran, ancien t as well as modern. She is also a Member of the Board of the Soudavar Memorial Foundation and a frequent contributor to many journals and conferences on Iran and the Persianate world.

She can be reached at:

Iván Szántó

Dr. Iván Szántó is Assistant Professor in Iranian History and Art, Department of Iranian Studies, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (Budapest), as well as Researcher at the Department of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna). He is the author of Safavid Art and Hungary: The Esterházy Appliqué in Context (Avicenna, 2010), and co-curator of the exhibition Artisans at the Crossroads: Persian Arts of the Qajar Period, 1786-1925 (Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts - Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2011). His principal area of research is the Central and Eastern European reception of Iranian Art in the Early Modern period.

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Hans Timmermans

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Arnoud Vrolijk

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Corien Vuurman

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Heidi Walcher

Dr. Heidi Walcher has studied history at the University of Tübingen and Yale. She teaches Middle Eastern and Iranian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and has worked extensively on the political and social history of late 19th century Iran. Her publications include biographical articles, as well as urban, political, and religious topics of the history of Isfahan, including "Face of the Seven Spheres: Urban Morphology and Architecture of Isfahan in the 19th Century" (Iranian Studies); "Between Paradise and Political Capital: The Semeiotics of Safavid Isfahan" (Transformations of Middle Eastern Natural Environments); and In the Shadow of the King: Zill al-Sultan and Isfahan under the Qajars (I.B.Tauris). She has recently worked on various other figures of Qajar politics, including Kamran Mirza Nayeb al-Saltaneh, Mirza Reza Kermani and Mirza Hossein Khan Sepahsalar.

She can be reached at: