Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Weekly Edition): On Culture Watch


Winter Quarter Event Recordings
Song Sparrow: Film Discussion
Farzaneh Omidvarnia 
February 9, 2021
Beholding Beauty: Sa'di of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry
Domenico Ingenito
February 4, 2021
Islam, Iran, and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change
Ali Ansari
January 28, 2021
America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present
John Ghazvinian 
January 21, 2021
In Solitary: Then the Fish Swallowed Him
Amir Arian
January 14, 2021
Upcoming Events
 Iran's Experiment with Parliamentary Governance 
Mangol Bayat

Thursday, March 11, 10:00 AM PST

Book cover: Iran's Experiment with Parliamentary Governance

For the past several decades, scholars have studied and written about the Iranian constitutional revolution with the 1979 Islamic Revolution as a subtext, obscuring the secularist trend that characterized its very nature. Constitutionalist leaders represented a diverse composite of beliefs, yet they all shared a similar vision of a new Iran, one that included far-reaching modernizing reforms and concepts rooted in the European Enlightenment. The second national assembly (majles), during its brief two-year term, aspired to legislate these reforms in one of the most important experiments in parliamentary governance. In her recent book Iran’s Experiment with Parliamentary Government: The Second Majles 1909-1911 (Syracuse University Press, 2020), Mangol Bayat provides a much-needed detailed analysis of this historic episode, examining the national and international actors, and the political climate that engendered one crisis after another, ultimately leading to its fateful end. Bayat highlights the radical transformation of old institutions and the innovation of new ones, and most importantly, shows how this term provided a reasonably successful model of parliament imposing its will on the executive power that was primarily composed of old-guard, elite leaders. At the same time, Bayat challenges the traditional perception among scholars that reform attempts failed due to sectarian politics and ideological differences. She also describes in detail the role of the European  nineteenth-early twentieth century Great Game in Asia, and more specifically the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention dividing Iran into two spheres of influence, in causing the abrupt closing of the second majles that temporarily halted the reform project.

Mangol Bayat has taught Middle Eastern history at several universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Iowa, Harvard University, and Shiraz University (formerly Pahlavi University). She is the author of Mysticism and Dissent: Socioreligious Thought in Qajar Iran and Iran's First Revolution: Shi'ism and the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909.

RSVP for Webinar
Co-sponsored Events
"Distant Performances" Music Festival 
Iranian Students of California
February 27 and 28

Doornazavi festival brochure cover page

The ISC proudly invites you to watch the live stream of performances from our Doornavazi Music Festival. The festival features home-recorded musical performances by students and graduates from all across the U.S. plus talks and speeches by renowned cultural and scholar figures such as Dr. Hossen Omoumi, Dr. Abbas Milani, Kambiz Roshanravan and Mahsa Vahdat, in addition to special performances by guest musicians.

The festival will be live-streamed on YouTube on Feb 27 and 28 from 4-6PM PST.

More information and to RSVP
Mapping the Islamic World: The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires
Virtual Exhibition Opening March 26

Archival map of the Islamic worldDavid Rumsey Map Center Virtual Exhibit: Guest Curator Alexandria Brown-Hedjazi, Stanford PhD candidate, will discuss the maps and cartographic studies of Ottoman Turkey, Safavid Persia, and Mughal India. 

The exhibition opens Friday, March 26 on Zoom: 
2:45pm PST: Zoom opens
3:00pm PST: Talk by Alexandria Brown-Hedjazi, followed by Q&A.

Sponsored by the David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries, and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies
More information and to RSVP
News & Updates
Conversation with Mohammad Reza Shajarian (2010)

Now available with English translation subtitles  (click "CC" on video)

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