2015 Gingko Library – British Institute of Persian Studies Conference Programme
Iran’s Constitutional Revolution of 1906 and the Narratives of the Enlightenment

(subject to change)

All the conference sessions, as well as the receptions on Monday and Tuesday evening, will take place at the British Academy (10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH).

Monday 14 September

17.00 – 18.00 Registration Opens Speakers and Sponsors Reception at the British Academy
Keynote Address: A Sufi’s Roadmap to Civil Society: Hamadan 1906/7
Professor Bert Fragner, Institute of Iranian Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Tuesday 15 September

08.30-09.30 Coffee and Registration

09.30-09.45 Welcoming Speeches
Ali Ansari, British Institute of Persian Studies Barbara Haus Schwepcke, Gingko Library

09.45-11.45 First Session: Narratives of the Enlightenment: Part I
Chair: Tony Lang (Director of the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, St Andrew’s)

Pejman Abdolmohammadi (LSE):
The influence of Mirza Aga Khan Kermani’s Political Thought on the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

Ali Gheissari (San Diego):
Iran’s Dialectic of the Enlightenment: Notes on Constitutional Experience in Theory and Method

Mira Xenia Schwerda (Harvard):
Picturing Revolution: Social and Political Aspects of Qajar Photography

Joanna de Groot (York):
Gender, enlightenment, and revolution: reframing analytical and methodological approaches to the Iranian constitutional revolution

11.45-12.15 Coffee Break

12.15-14.00 Second Session: Dialogue About Ideas
Chair: Vanessa Martin (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Marziyeh Bakhshizadeh (Ruhr Universität):
The contact between West and Iranian women activists during the Constitutional Revolution (1905-11) by video link

Evan Siegel (New York):
Social Democrats in Constitutionalist Tabriz by video link

Ali Tarafdari (National Library and Archives, Teheran):
A New Glance at Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri’s Legitimate Constitutional Theory by video link

14.00-15.15 Lunch

15.15-17.45 Third Session: History and Memory
Chair: Oliver Bast (University of Manchester)

Elahe Helbig (Geneva):
From Narrating to Constructing a Visual Memory: The Role of Photography in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

Rebecca Gould (Bristol):
Iranian Constitutionalism, Russian Style: Mirza Abd al-Rahim Talibov in Daghestan

Siavush Randjbar-Daemi (Manchester):
Looking Back at Mashruteh: Late Pahlavi Narratives on the Constitutional Revolution

Roman Seidel (FU Berlin):
Early Translations of Modern European Philosophy

Payam Sharifi (Slavs and Tatars):
Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis

17.45-18.30 High Tea

18.30-20.00 Special Session: Launch of the New Divan Project Joachim Sartorius and Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
– introduced by Narguess Farzad and Barbara Haus Schwepcke

On the occasion of the launch of this great project of lyrical dialogues between East and West the former head of the Goethe Institut will be in conversation with one of Iran’s foremost contemporary novelists.

In 2019 the Gingko Library will publish New Divan, an anthology of 24 poems, twelve by poets of the MENA region and twelve from the West, inspired by the culture of the Other. Building on the rich tradition of poets who have sought inspiration from, and responded to, other cultures, and particularly in relation to their poetry, New Divan will demonstrate how the Other can be a source of inspiration rather than fear. Each poem will appear in New Divan in English and, where the poem was not written in English, both in its original language of composition and in English translation.

19.30-20.00 Drinks Reception for the New Divan Project

Wednesday 16 September
09.00-09.30 Morning Coffee

09.30-11.30 Fourth Session: Narratives of the Enlightenment: Part II
Chair: Touraj Atabaki (International Society of Iranian Studies)

Urs Goesken (Bern):
Enlightenment in Iran in the eyes of Western-inspired counter-Enlightenment

Milad Odabaei (Berkeley):
Translation and History in Modern Iran: the case of the Enlightenment

Kamran Matin (Sussex):
The Enlightenment and Historical Difference: The Case of Iran’s Constitutional Revolution

Salour Malayeri (St Andrew’s):
Realism, Nationalism and Criticism: Iranian Enlightenment and the Philosophy of Literature in the thoughts of Mirza Fatali Akhundzade

11.30-12.00 Coffee Break

12.00-13.30 Closing Keynote: In Search of Modern Iran
Professor Abbas Amanat, Yale

13.30-14.30 Lunch

14.30-16.30 Closing plenary: British-Iranian Relations – A Historical Perspective
Chair: Ali Ansari

This panel will bring together academics, diplomats/policy makers and politicians in a discussion how one can inform the other and how history can provide a perspective for contemporary policy making. Speakers and delegates of the Gingko Library – British Institute of Persian Studies Conference will debate with a panel of invited special guests the current situation in the relations between Iran and the West.

– Prof. Touraj Atabaki, President, International Society of Iranian Studies
– Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian (tbc)
– Jonathan Shaw (Maj-Gen. Rt)

16.30-16.45 Concluding speeches
Ali Ansari and Barbara Haus Schwepcke