SOAS's Persian Literature Studies receives boost with $50K donation

The study of Persian Art and Literature at SOAS has been bolstered by a $50,000 Deed of Gift agreement between the School and the Persian Heritage Foundation.

The donation will go towards funding a new Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series in Persian Literature, which will be hosted by the School’s Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute (LMEI).

SOAS Director Valerie Amos said: “Our thanks to the Persian Heritage Foundation and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, for whom the existing SOAS Lecture series on Persian Art and the new Lecture series on Literature are named, for this gift. This donation will help the School ensure that Persian culture can be discussed and debated by our students for years to come.”

Dr Hassan Hakimian, Director of the LMEI, said: “We see the lectures as an important opportunity to promote the profile of Iranian Studies at SOAS, which has a long tradition. We also hope that this will assist us in the long-term to seek support for an endowed chair in Persian Studies.”

The new lecture series is due to take place every second year, in alternation with the highly successful Yarshater Lectures in Persian Art, which was created through an endowment fund set-up at SOAS in 1992 by the Persian Heritage Foundation.

The 2015 lectures in Persian Art were delivered by Professor David J. Roxburgh of the Department of History of Art and Architecture of Harvard University. Previous Yarshater lecturers have included Professor James Allan of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, Sheila Canby, previously of the British Museum and now the Met, and Prudence Harper of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Centre for Iranian Studies

The Centre for Iranian Studies was established in 2010 under the umbrella of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS. The Centre for Iranian Studies draws on the range of academic research and teaching across the disciplines of SOAS, including Languages and Literature, the Study of Religions, History, Economics, Politics, International Relations, Music, Art and Media and Film Studies. 

The Centre organises lectures, seminars and conferences and is dedicated to promoting high quality research on Iran.