Call for Articles: Special Issue of Iranian Studies Journal: Revisiting the Historiography: New Approaches to the Study of Persian Architecture, Deadline: 30.03.12

Special Issue of Iranian Studies Journal
Revisiting the Historiography: New Approaches to the Study of Persian

Guest-editor: Dr. Mohammad Gharipour

Deadline: March 30, 2012

Initiated in the nineteenth century, the study of Persian architecture
was advanced by such twentieth-century archeologists and Iranologists
as Arthur Upham Pope, Ernst Herzfeld, Andre Godard, Roman Ghirshman,
and Erich Schmidt. These studies, accompanied by archaeological
discoveries, the establishment of archives, and the activities of the
British and German Institutes in Tehran, resulted in numerous
publications, including chronological surveys of Persian art and
architecture. These surveys covered the cultural boundaries of the
Persianate world, including but not limited to modern day Iran,
Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus, and subcontinent India.
Despite their limitations, including an Orientalist bent, these works
challenged the Eurocentric views of the architectural history of the
Near East, and evolved historical understandings of the region that
were less projections of pre-conceived European mentality and more
based on facts emerging from the locale. This research approach based
its theories on archeological findings, field investigations, and
analysis of buildings and artifacts, a trend that has defined, and
somewhat dominated historiography of Persian architecture to date.

While this approach offers valuable knowledge derived from the
analytical documentation of monuments in situ, it can be argued that
it neglected a wide range of primary historical resources. This was
due to the scholars’ unfamiliarity with the culture and, most
importantly, a research atmosphere that prioritized data collection
and fact-based historical research. Now, in the twenty-first century,
scholarship has shifted from strict documentation and its analysis, as
conducted by investigators like Pope and Herzfeld, to more
interpretative studies. This transformation also accords with the
emergence of qualitative research and a passage from a positivist
paradigm in the academic community, particularly in the last decades
of the 20th century. Although we will certainly continue to see the
imprint of early 20th century perspectives, further developments in
the field are contingent upon re-visiting past literature and
advancing new approaches to the study of Persian architecture.

This special thematic issue of the Journal of Iranian Studies offers
the opportunity to publish new interdisciplinary research on aspects
of the history and historiography of Persian architecture. We will
particularly welcome research that considers the historiography of the
study of Persian architecture from the early 20th-century to the
present, and reconsideration of historical sources from all periods.
This issue invites papers that address the following issues:

1. Examining basic definitions and terminologies in the field;
2. Introducing and analyzing new resources for the study of Persian
3. Addressing challenges, complexities, and contradictions regarding
the historical and geographical diversity of Persian architecture,
particularly issues that seem to be lacking in the 20th century
4. Investigating the history of vernacular architecture, since the
traditionally dominant research paradigm concentrated on major cities
and monuments;
5. Continuity and disjuncture in Persian architecture, especially
between the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras;
6. Mutual exchange and interaction between Persia and neighboring
cultures and courts;
7. The impact of cultural, social, and political conflicts and
symbioses on the development of monumental and vernacular
8. Sociopolitical, religious, economic, or cultural dimensions of
patronage and its role in the development of Persian architecture;
9. Investigation of style from a macro-scale (city) to micro-scale
(ornamentation) in relation to local, regional, and national
10. Patterns of using and inhabiting architectural space and human
behavior in certain typologies of spaces in select precedents from
macro to micro;
11. Processes of construction and elements of the built environment in
different historical periods in terms of form, construction, and

The submitted papers should bring new insights supported by historical
documents, archeological data, treatises (e.g. artisan manuals), and
visual materials (e.g. book illustrations). Authors are encouraged to
question and challenge pre-existing historiographical frameworks,
especially through the study of specific cases. Please send a paper
title and a 400-word abstract to the guest-editor, Dr. Mohammad
Gharipour ( by March 30, 2012. Authors of selected
proposals must submit the full paper by November 30, 2012. All papers
will be subject to peer review. All papers should follow ISIS journal
guidelines in terms of format and transliteration.

Journal of Iranian Studies is published on behalf of the International
Society for Iranian Studies. Articles must be submitted electronically
as email attachments. The articles should be between 6,000 and 10,000
words in length, including notes and proper citations (in lieu of a
separate bibliography). Submissions – abstracts and final articles —
must be in Word document, double-spaced, with at least one-inch
margins, in a standard typeface (preferably Times New Roman), of 12
points font. A maximum of eight images are allowed per article. Please
include the title of your intended illustrations along with the
abstract. If the article is accepted, illustrations may be submitted
either electronically as TIFF files at 300 dpi or as scanner-ready
hard copy. For more information, please consult with the journal

Mohammad Gharipour
Morgan State University