Russian Orientalism to Soviet Iranology

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) presents “Russian Orientalism to Soviet Iranology: The Persian-speaking World and Its History Through Russian Eyes” (Oxford, United Kingdom)

November 30 – December 1, 2012

Convened by Professor Edmund Herzig and Dr. Stephanie Cronin and supported by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. The Soviet Union possessed a long tradition of Iranian studies, a tradition which it inherited from imperial Russia but transformed to suit its sense of its own historical mission.

This workshop proposes a re-examination of this tradition, taking, as its disciplinary focus, Russian/Soviet historical research on Iran and the Persian-speaking world. It has three objectives. It seeks to acquaint a wider audience in western Europe and the US with the work of Russian/Soviet scholars of the history of Iran and the Persian-speaking world; to initiate a discussion of possible new directions in historical research on this region opened up by the wider availability of Russian source materials, and to begin to integrate an analysis of Russian/Soviet Iranian studies into the critique of Russian Orientalism, derived from Edward Said, which has emerged since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

For information, contact: Stephanie Cronin or visit