Issue 16&17 - Spring & Summer 2021

Issue 16&17 - Spring & Summer 2021

Issue 20 - coming soon! 

Watch 3rd session of our joint seminar series: Persianate 
with Mana Kia

Issue 20 - Coming Soon!

 Issue 18&19

​Issue 18&19 (Autumn 2021 & Winter 2022) covers a wide range of topics, beginning with the history of listening and concerts in the Reza Shah era; the conceptual transformation of the word people in modern times and an assessment of the educational role of history in Iran's ongoing water crisis. In the history of beliefs section, we study talismans as well as local healing and mourning traditions in Iran. In our subaltern studies section, we feature 20th century intellectual discourses on prostitutions and an historical overview of the working conditions of the dustmen of Isfahan. Other sections cover Zoroastrian food classification (translated article); Kashan in the Nasseri era and the development of census-taking, document analyses in people’s history, book reviews, interviews and more.

Print Edition
Online Edition

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

History and Water Scarcity 

(Nina Maziar - MA in History)

History of Listening

(Pouya Nekouei - PhD. Candidate, City University of NY)

(Maghsoodali Sadeghi - Tarbiat Modarres University)

Featured in Issue 18&19

​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.

People is a modern concept. Its present connotation differs from past perceptions. In pre-modern history, the masses were regarded as subjects who were largely excluded from political decision-making and regional equations. This does not imply a lack of public activism in pre-modern times. It rather indicates that what separates modern people from their historical peers is primarily a conceptual distinction.​​​​​​​

​History of listening is a sub-discipline of the history of emotions. In post-constitutional Iran, there was a transformation in the social perception of music as a modern public phenomenon. Thus, music was discussed in daily newspapers and melodies could be heard from theatre halls, concert halls, cafes and gramophones. Therefore, public spaces played a key role in this social transfromation. 

Photo: Janine Weidel

(Translated from Persian)

People: A Modern Concept

The Dustmen of Isfahan 

Prostitution and Social Reform

(Elham Azhari - MA in Science Communication)

Holy Trees, Healers & Mourning Customs

(Nasim Khalili - PhD. in History) 

(Abdolmehdi Rajaei- PhD. in History) 

​In 1932, Akhgar Newspaper reported that there were a total of 240 dustmen in Isfahan, with the municipality planning to fire 40 of them. They were not all responsible for collecting garbage. Many were assigned to sweep the streets. 10 years later and with a change of policy, the new mayor of Isfahan was looking to hire 50 more dustmen to improve the quality of street cleaning and sweeping.

​The destruction of walls surrounding Tehran as part of urban development, changed the city borders. Quarters outside of the city such as Shahr-e no where prostitutes gathered, were now visible to the public. Also, STDs such as syphilis and gonorrhoea had reached critical levels across Tehran. Doctors took preventive measures by distributing medical booklets in pharmacies and hospitals. 

​Sadeq Hedayat’s writings on popular culture are pioneering literary sources in studies on people’s history. His monographs present a wealth of information on the culture, beliefs and daily lives of everyday people. Many of his writings have roots in oral literature with specific reflections on cultural taboos, a field that Hedyat addressed frequently and indirectly as a researcher and a writer. 


​Photographer unknown

 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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