The Yarshater Lectures in Persian Art

Persian art on a building

The Yarshater Lectures in Persian art are a series of academic lectures on the subject of Iranian art and culture.

This year, the lectures will be delivered by Professor Robert D. McChesney, New York University on the subject of Four Central Asian Shrines: Islamic Architecture in Society.

The four shrines considered are the Tomb of Tamerlane in Samarkand; the mausoleum of Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa at Balkh; the burial place at Mazar-i Sharif of Ali ibn Abi Talib; and the Mantle of the Prophet at Kandahar.

The Yarshater Lectures on Persian art are hosted by the London Middle East Institute and funded by a donation from the Persian Heritage Foundation.

Professor Ehsan Yarshater

The lectures themselves are named after Professor Ehsan Yarshater in recognition of his scholarly achievements in the field of Iranian Studies.

Professor Yarshater studied Persian language and literature at the University of Tehran and is also an alumnus of SOAS, where he studied Old and Middle Iranian with W. B. Henning.

He is the founder and director of the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, where he is Hagop Kevorkian Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies.

Encyclopaedia Iranica

Professor Yarshater has authored, and been editor of, numerous academic works, including the Cambridge History of Iran and A History of Persian Literature, but perhaps his most enduring achievement is as editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia Iranica, an ambitious project, started in 1973, to create a definitive English-language, multi-disciplinary, reference work of the history, culture and civilisation of the Iranian peoples from prehistory to modern times.

The encyclopaedia currently consists of fifteen printed volumes, with a further thirty volumes planned. Articles from the encyclopaedia are available online.

The current series of Yarshater Lectures start on 12 January, are free to attend and no registration is required. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis.

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