Remembering Professor Ehsan Yarshater (1920-2018)

August 29, 2019

Ehsan Yarshater, the first Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University, passed away on the 2nd of September 2018. This is, therefore, a timely moment to commemorate his passing and recall his deep and lifelong commitment to advance the scholarship and understanding of the cultural accomplishments of Iranian peoples throughout history. With unstinting dedication, Professor Yarshater pursued monumental projects of critical importance for the field of Iranian Studies, most notably the Encyclopædia Iranica and A History of Persian Literature seriesBoth projects rely on the cooperation of numerous scholars from many fields, and they serve an international audience eager to keep abreast of the most recent scholarship on the Iranian world in numerous disciplines.

Professor Yarshater’s absence is deeply felt by all of us. We miss his wisdom and his wide-ranging erudition, but his loss has made us even more determined to maintain his legacy at the Columbia center, now named after him, through continued progress on the two projects that were of such importance to him. We are therefore pleased to announce our latest publications in both series:

Fascicle 5 of Volume XVI of the Encyclopædia Iranicawith entries covering Omar Khayyam to Ayatollah Khomeini, is in press with Brill and will be available in September. Publication of Fascicle 6, which will feature the final section of the Khomeini article and a series of entries on the history and culture of Khorasan, is expected in early 2020 and will complete Volume XVI of the Encyclopædia Iranica.  The publication of A History of Persian Literature continues with Volume II, the seventh to be published, scheduled for October 2019 by Bloomsbury Academic publications. It is a monumental work of scholarship on Persian lyric poetry from 800-1500, a period and a topic particularly dear to Professor Yarshater’s heart, and it was edited by him personally for as long as his health permitted.  Volume III, on the narrative poetry of the same period, and Volume V, on Persian prose in different genres, are at their final stages of preparation for publication. 

With your support and assistance, we look forward to continued progress on these research projects as well as the development of new initiatives to enable the Yarshater Center to realize its full potential.