News & Events

Event
1 Apr 2014, 6:30pm Jordan Hall, Building 420, Room 041

Charles Melville is Professor of Persian History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. He has a BA (Hons.) in Arabic and Persian from Cambridge (1972), an MA in Islamic History (SOAS, 1973) and a PhD on the Historical seismicity of Iran (Cambridge, 1978). His main research interests are in the history and historiography of Iran in the Mongol to Safavid periods (14th-17th centuries), and the illustration of Persian manuscripts. Recent publications include “The illustration of history in Safavid manuscript painting”, in Colin P. Mitchell (ed.) New Perspectives on Safavid Iran: Empire and Society, London 2011; “The itineraries of Shahrukh b. Timur (1405-47)”, in D. Durand-Guédy (ed.) Turko-Mongol Rulers, Cities and City Life, Leiden, 2013, and “The Royal image in Mongol Iran”, in Lynette Mitchell & Charles Melville (eds), Every Inch a King: Comparative studies on kings and kingship in the ancient and medieval worlds, Leiden, 2013. He is currently working on the illustration of mediaeval Persian history.

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Event
10 Dec 2013 (All day) Russian Academy of Fine Arts, Moscow, Tsereteli Centre

Opening of the solo exhibition of Sergey Feofanov ‘The Flight of Simurgh’. The opening ceremony included many speeches, among them by the newly appointed ambassador of Iran to Russia, HE Mehdi Sanai; a Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, Vladimir Molchanov; a Member of the Board of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and President of the Artists of Moscow, Boris Messerer; and the Head of the Cambridge Shahnama Centre Dr Firuza Melville.

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News
29 Nov 2013

A Cambridge University project analyzing and promoting the Shahna-meh has been given a funding boost of $2 million by Iranian-American philanthropist Bita Daryabari, the former wife of Google executive Omid Kordestani.

Set up in 1999 by Professor Charles Melville, a fellow of Pembroke College and a Persian studies professor, the project aims to study and translate anew the 1000-year-old Persian epic.

Daryabari, who fled Iran as a child after the revolution, set up the endowment as part of an ongoing project to promote Iranian heritage...

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Event
28 Oct 2013 (All day) West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

First exhibition of contemporary art ‘Imagining Shahnama in the 21st century’ in the series of the project Shahnama Forever. Shahnama Forever is a fresh sub-project that grew out of the bigger ‘mother’ Cambridge Shahnama Project started in 1999 and originally funded by the AHRC and later supported from several private sources, including the Iran Heritage Foundation and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

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Event
26 Oct 2013, 11:00am Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA

Cambridge University Festival of Ideas: Ancient stories of the Persian Book of Kings in Modern art, included lectures by Professor Charles Melville, Dr Firuza Abdullaeva, Dr Mahbod Ghaffari and presentations by the artists who participated in the art show ‘Imagining Shahnama in the 21st century’, curated by Veronica Shimanovskaya.

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Event
26 Oct 2013 (All day) RADA Studios, 16 Chenies St, London WC1E 7EX

Under the auspices of the Cambridge Shahnama Centre there was the premiere of a new contemporary stage work by Dr Hossein Hadisi for voices, percussion and dance. The piece celebrated the Persian traditional art of storytelling (naqqáli) by reenacting the ancient myth of Zahhák, a symbol of tyranny and evil in the Shahnama. The music is performed by EXAUDI, one of Britain’s leading contemporary music ensembles, and six dancers from the London Contemporary Dance School. The performance also features paintings by Iranian surrealist master Ali Akbar Sadeghi.

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News
25 Oct 2013

There are hundreds of manuscripts of the poem in existence around the world, created over eight centuries, often accompanied by intricate and fabulous illustrations and miniature paintings. The Shahnama Project was set up in 1999 by Charles Melville, Professor of Persian History with the support of the British Academy grant of £500,000, to hold an archive of images and other records of these manuscripts. The Project became the natural basis of the newly established Pembroke Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies which is currently directed by Dr Firuza Abdullaeva, who formerly taught Persian literature at Oxford and St Petersburg. Symbolically, while a Tutorial Fellow at Wadham College, she was also a curator of the College Firdausi...

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News
15 Oct 2013

The endowment will go towards work on enhancing and developing the Shahnama Project website (http://shahnama.caret.cam.ac.uk); staffing the Shahnama Centre; supporting travel for research and attending conferences; organizing workshops and events; maintaining and making accessible a reference library of scholarship on Persian literary and artistic culture, and preparing publications.

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