The Conference Programs


Convened by:

Professor James W Allan University of Oxford

Mr Pedram Khosronejad
University of Oxford

Coordinated by:

Dr M Abecassis
University of Oxford

Despite the numerous studies of Iranian art and material culture, covering architecture, object studies, flat art and photography, very little work has been published on the subject of Shiite art per se.

On 7th-8th July 2006, the first interdisciplinary conference on the Art and Material Culture of Iranian Shiism will take place at the University of Oxford. The aim of this conference is to bring together for the first time the Anthropologists, Folklorists, Historians of Islamic Art, Theologians and Historians who work on the Material Culture of Iranian Shiism. At this conference we will discuss further the specifics of the Material Culture of Shiism in Iran and its influence on and its exchange with other Shiite communities around the world. The conference will cover Iran from earliest Islamic times until the 21st century, but expects to focus on four main periods, Safavid, Qajar, Pahlavi and post-Revolutionary Iran . Our speakers will come from the United States, Norway, Germany, France, Uzbekistan, Iran, Lebanon, England and Pakistan and we are honoured to count amongst them many renowned researchers in the field of Shiism studies, Pr. M. A. Amirmoezi from France, Pr. P. Chelkowski from the United States and Pr. U. Marzolf from Germany to name a few of our speakers. This conference is financed by the Iranian Heritage Foundation, The Institute of Ismaili Studies in the U.K and Mondes iranien et indien- UMR 7528, CNRS, Paris.


Friday 7 th July (Maison Française d’Oxford)

Registration (8.30)

Welcome Tea (8.30-8.55)

 Shiism and Islamic Mortuary Architecture 


(Chair: Prof. J. W. Allan, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK )

Dr. Kishvar Rizvi ( Columbia University , New York ) (9.00-9.40)

Sufi and Shii: Religious Identity and the Architectural Patronage of Shrines in Safavid Iran
Dr. Yasser Tabbaa ( Oberlin College , Oberlin , Ohio ) (9.40-10.20)
Invented Pieties: The Revival of Shiite Shrines in Contemporary Syria
Dr. Aftandil S. Erkinov (National University of Uzbekistan , Tashkent ) (10.20-11.00)
Ahmad Yasavi: An Ismaeli Pir of the Turkestan Region ('North')
Tea Break (11.00-11.25)

Shiism, Ritual and Material Culture (11.30-13.30)
(Chair: Dr.J. P. Luft, Centre for Iranian Studies, Durham University, UK)

Prof. Peter Chelkowski (New York University, New York) (11.30-12.10)
Nakhl and Nakhl Rituals in Central Iran
Dr. Sabrina Mervin (Institut Français du Proche-Orient, Beirut) (12.10-12.50)
The Shiite Theatre in South Lebanon: The Karbala Drama and the Sabaya
Dr. Ziva Vesel (CNRS/Monde Iranien-Indien, Paris) (12.50-13.30)
Inscriptions and Representations on Iranian Talismans: A Millenary Tradition

Lunch (13.30-14.15)
Shiism, Nomadism and Material Culture (15.40-17.40)
(Chair: Prof. R. Tapper, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of London , UK )

Mr. Ali Akbari (Organization of Nomadic Peoples of Iran, Iran) (15.40-16.20)
Shiite Material Culture the Nomadic Peoples of Iran
Dr. Inge Demant Mortensen (Denmark) (16.20-17.00)
Shiite Iconography in a Nomadic Funeral Context
Mr. Pedram Khosronejad (University of Oxford ) (17.00-17.40)
Lion of God, Lion of 'Ali: Shiite Material Culture among the Bakhtiari

Tea Break (17.40-18.00)

Evening Film Presentation (18.15-19.30)

Nissan Lecture Theatre, St.Antony’s College

The Procession of the Captives: a Shiite Tragedy

A film by Sabrina Mervin, 2006, 54 min

Debate with film director

Official Dinner of Conference (20.00)

Saturday 8th July (Maison Française d’Oxford)

Shiism and Material Culture (9.00-11.00)
(Chair: Dr. L.Treadwell, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK )

Dr. Robert Gleave ( University of Exeter ) (9.00-9.40)
Prayer Paraphernalia in Iranian Shiism
Dr. Sadiq Naqvi ( Osmania University , Hyderabad ) (9.40-10.20)
The Impact of the Material Culture of Iranian Shiism on Shi'a Art
Dr. Firuzeh Abdullaeva (University of Oxford) (10.20-11.00)
Firdousi's 'Shahnama' as a Shiite Book

Tea Break (11.00-11.30)

Shiism, Symbols and Iconography  (I) (11.30- 12.50 )
(Chair: Dr. S. Canby, The British Museum, UK)

Prof. Ulrich Marzolph (Enzyklopaedie des Maerchens, Goettingen) (11.30-12.10)
The Pictorial Representation of Shiite Themes in Lithographed Books of the Qajar Period

Dr. Fahmida Suleman (The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London ) (12.10-12.50)
The Iconography of 'Ali as the Lion of God in Shiite Art

Lunch (12.50-13.20)

Shiism, Symbols and Iconography  (II) ( 13.30-14.50 )
(Chair: Dr. S. Canby, The British Museum, UK)

Dr. Juergen Wasim Frembgen (Museum of Ethnology , Munich) (13.30-14.10)
The Horse of Imam Husain. Notes on the Iconography of Shiite Devotional Posters from Pakistan and North India
Dr. Ingvild Flaskerud (University of Tromsø) (14.10-14.50)
The Votive Image in Shiism

Evening Film Presentation (16.00-16.50)

(Nissan lecture Theatre, St.Antony’s college)

Standard bearers of Hussein, Women commemorating Karbala

A film by Ingvild Flaskerud, 2003, 35 min

Debate with film director

Closing of Conference (16.50-17.15)

Nissan lecture Theatre, St.Antony’s college

Prof.J.W.Allan & Mr.P.Khosronejad




















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