Issue 16&17 - Spring & Summer 2021

Issue 16&17 - Spring & Summer 2021

Issue 20 - coming soon! 

Mardomnameh Issue 20 

Issue 20 - coming soon

 Issue 20

​Issue 20 (Spring 2022) covers a diverse range of topics, with a predominant focus on water conflicts and water shortages in Iranian history. We also look at the history of wage earners from the constitutional period to the Reza Shah era; the history of sound and recording in the Reza Shah era as well as 1925 police records, documenting the figures and lives of female beggers in Isfahan. Other sections include articles on the history of architecture, history of cuisines and cooking and book reviews. In our 'history in scale' section, we discuss the portrayal of women in Iranian historiography, the role of scholars in the historical representation of events and the implications of under-representing women.

Print Edition
Online Edition

  We study the stories and histories of everyday people  ​​​​​​​

Water Conflicts in People's Culture

Fazollah Boraghi - PhD in Iranian History

Water Conflicts in Iranian History

Mehdi Mirzaei- PhD in Iranian History

Hassan Zolfaghari- Tarbiat Modarres University

Featured in Issue 20

​As a result of water mismanagement and recurring droughts in recent decades, water scarcity has reached dangerous levels across Iran. In addressing this crisis, implementing water resource management plans is key. However, it is also important to change practices and train society on sustainable water usage. History, alongside other fields of knowledge, can contribute to this significant objective.

The roots of the Helmand/Hirmand River dispute between Iran and Afghanistan lie in British demarcation and mapping policies in Iran-Afghan borders in the late 1800s. The water dispute has been a major source of conflict between the two countries and remains unresolved. Initial attempts at reconciliation in 1973 were sidelined by political climates in both countries in the late 1970s and subsequent wars that followed.

​Water disputes were common among farmers throughout Iranian history. Conflicts intensified during summer water shortages. Interferences by officials with self-serving agendas only added to the tension. Water disputes were predominantly prevelant in dry areas such as Yazd, Qom and the south of Khorasan. The post-constitutional parliament became one of the institutions where disputes were processed.

The late Hassan Zolfaghari

(Translated from Persian)

Helmand river in Iran-Afghanistan relations

The Crisis of Wage Earners

Gramaphones in Reza Shah Era

Pouya Nekouei- PhD Student, University of Texas at Austin​​​​​​​

​Safaeieh Garden in Rey

Maryam Ebrahimi - Master's in Architectural Studies

Amin Mohammadi- PhD in Iranian History

​The number of wage earners was notable in the Qajar era. Records document a wide range of people who were regular recepients of salaries from the government. Princes, courtiers, writers, ulema, Prophet descendants and the khans and khanates were among the most important groups of earners. Since wages were transferred to the earners' heirs after death, the number of earners increased in the long run and created a serious crisis for the government.

Gramophone companies began operations in Iran in the Reza Shah era, shortly after the end of the Qajar dynasty. The Pate Company, founded in Iran in 1927, recorded 102 audio tracks of Iranian artists and musicians, including invaluable pieces by female artists of the time. The recordings represent one of the most prominent periods in the history of sound in contemporary Iran by perserving some of the finest music pieces of the era.

From the Safavid era onwards, the city of Rey, where the shrine of Shah Abdol Azim’s was situated, gained religious prominence. In the Qajar era, it was the leading religious centre of Tehran, with a significant influence over political affairs, such as the 1905 constitutional revolution where the revolutionaries twice took sanctuary in its grounds. Thus, the Safaeieh Garden in Rey became a place of intellctual gatherings to exchange new ideas.


 We seek fresh perspectives on the study of People's History 

People's History of Architecture 

Photo Narratives 

(Afsaneh Najmabadi, Issue 4&5)​​​​​​​

History and Literary Criticism 

(Hossein Payandeh, Issue 1)

Differentiating between writings on the history of literature on the one hand and historical fiction on the other is a complex task which brings us back to a central epistemological debate : To what extent can literature be a medium of historical reflection? What is the significance or influence of historical knowledge in understanding works of literature? 

(Mehrdad Qayoomi, Issue 6&7)

Issue 6&7
Issue 4&5

In Sherry Turkle's words, photos and family photos are "evocative objects underscoring the inseparability of thought and feeling in our relationship to things. We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." Family photos that come to life through family recollections are significant sources in family historiography​​​​​​​.

The distinguishing feature of people’s history of architecture is not a just a matter of subject or methodology but a matter of perspective. From a broader viewpoint, an architectural site represents not just the final construction but a process of people as forces of construction. In people's history of architecture, the traces and faces of such forces are explored.

Issue 1

People's History in Tanavoli's Work

Lion is a recurring pattern in Tanavoli's work, depicted both individually and next to the sun in sculptures, rugs and paintings. The oil paitining of a lion pictured above is a compilation of different rectangles, resembling Bakhtiari stone lions. The half circle sun behind the lion embodies a cedar tree which is one of the oldest design patterns in Iranian history. 

History of Theft in Iran 

The groundwork for the publication of satirical periodicals in Iran was laid by the constitutional revolution in 1906. In five months, the Azarbaijan Periodical was published with the backing of figures such as Sattar Khan. The periodical was modelled after the famous Molla Nasredin periodical (1906-1931) that was printed in Tiflis (Tbilisi) at the time.

(Lotfollah Kargari Aryan & Morteza Afshar, Issue 8&9)

​(Hossein Bayatloo, Issue 4&5)

Omitted Voices in Satirical Media 

(Farhad Dashtakinia, Issue 2&3)

Robberies were planned in different ways. Thieves adopted new methods of stealing after previous methods were exposed to the public. In urban areas, robberies occurred predominantly in shops where access to cash or commodities was presumed. Stealing tactics from shops varied depending on the shop location, time of day and crowd numbers.​​​​​​​

Issue 8&9
Issue 2&3
Issue 4&5

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