The Historiography of Persian Architecture

Gharipour, Mohammad (ed.). 2015. The Historiography of Persian Architecture. (Iranian Studies 29). New York, NY: Routledge.

Historiography is the study of the methodology of writing history, the development of the discipline of history, and the changing interpretations of historical events in the works of individual historians. Exploring the historiography of Persian art and architecture requires a closer look at a diverse range of sources, including chronicles, historical accounts, travelogues, and material evidence coming from archaeological excavations.

The Historiography of Persian Architecture highlights the political, cultural, and intellectual contexts that lie behind the written history of Persian architecture in the twentieth century, presenting a series of investigations on issues related to historiography. This book addresses the challenges, complexities, and contradictions regarding historical and geographical diversity of Persian architecture, including issues lacking in the 20th century historiography of Iran and neighbouring countries. This book not only illustrates different trends in Persian architecture but also clarifies changing notions of research in this field. Aiming to introduce new tools of analysis, the book offers fresh insights into the discipline, supported by historical documents, archaeological data, treatises, and visual materials. It brings together well-established and emerging scholars from a broad range of academic spheres, in order to question and challenge pre-existing historiographical frameworks, particularly through specific case studies. Overall, it provides a valuable contribution to the study of Persian architecture, simultaneously revisiting past literature and advancing new approaches.

This book would be of interest to students and scholars of Middle East and Iranian Studies, as well as Architectural History, including Islamic architecture and historiography.

Table of Contents:

  • Mohammad Gharipour: Introduction: Shifting the Historiography of Persianate Architecture
  • Manu Sobti and Sahar Sadat Hosseini: Persian Civitas: Revised Readings on Networked Urbanities and Suburban Hinterlands in Erich Schmidt’s Flights over Ancient Cities of Iran
  • Carol Bier: Geometry made Manifest: Reorienting the Historiography of Ornament on the Iranian Plateau and Beyond
  • Yuka KadoiThe Myth-making of the Masjid-i Jamiʻ of Isfahan: Arthur Upham Pope, Architectural Photographs, and the Persian-Gothic Thesis in the 1930s
  • Shawhin Roudbari: Instituting Architecture: A History of Transnationalism in Iran’s Architecture Profession,1945–1995
  • Patricia Blessing: From the Survey of Persian Art to the CIA: Donald N. Wilber and Ilkhanid Architecture in Iran
  • Shima Mohajeri: The Shahestan Blueprint: The Vestigial Site of Modernity in Iran 

About the Editor:

Mohammad Gharipour is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore, USA and director and founding editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture.