Tag Archives: Iran

Iran and America: A forgotten friendship

Potts, Daniel Thomas. 2018. Iran and America: A forgotten friendship. The Conversation.

As President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Iran heats up again, it is worth recalling a time when the two countries had a distinctly different relationship.

Waterways of Iraq and Iran in the early Islamic period

The waterways of ancient Iraq were crucial to its prosperity. While they were maintained, Iraq and neighbouring Khuzistan, in southwest Iran, were the richest and most productive agricultural areas of the Middle East, supporting the Sasanian, Umayyad and Abbasid empires. When the waterways changed or fell into decay, both the prosperity and the political role of Iraq largely disappeared. Understanding the course of the rivers and how they changed is therefore pivotal to understanding the history of the region. Peter Verkinderen’s important book provides the first major re-examination of the waterways of early Islamic Iraq in almost seventy years. Presenting a much fuller and more accurate picture than has previously been possible through analysis of modern satellite images, this is a work of the utmost importance, unlikely to be superseded for many years to come.
About the Author:
Peter Verkinderen (PhD) is research associate of Islamic Studies in the ERC Project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work – The View from the Regions Toward the Center”, at the University of Hamburg.

Persian Literature from the Constitutional Period to Reza Shah

Seyed-Gohrab, Ali-Asghar (ed.). 2015. Literature of the early twentieth century: From the constitutional period to Reza Shah. (A History of Persian Literature XI). London: Tauris.
The eleventh volume in this groundbreaking series pays special attention to politically engaged poetry, written during a turbulent period which saw the Constitutional Revolution in Iran as well as the rise to power of Reza Shah and his attempts to implement reform. Throughout this time, poets began to turn their attention towards the country’s ordinary people, rather than concentrate on its elites.  This volume also examines the prose fiction of the period, which saw the rise of the novel and the short story. Additionally, Persian satire began to grow in importance, especially with the increased popularity of poets and novelists such as Iraj Mirza and Sadeq Hedayat. This wide-ranging volume is an invaluable companion for anyone who wants to understand how the Persian literary scene changed at the beginning of the twentieth century, reflecting the social and political contexts in which this literature was created.
About the Editor:
A.A. (Asghar) Seyed-Gohrab is associate professor of Persian and Iranian Studies at Leiden University.