Back Issues

Old Bath Houses in Reza Shah Era​​​​​​​
(Case study of Isfahan)

Qanats and People's History 
(An overview)

​Morteza Daneshyar, Issue 16&17

Villages in Modern Iranian History
(​​​​​​​Case study of Torosk)

Abdolmehdi Rajaei, Issue 16&17

Leila Tabatabaei, Issue 16&17

From Back Issues

​Three main sectors of Torosk’s economy were livestock farming, self-sustaining agriculture, and carpet weaving. WWI brought big changes to Torosk. On the one hand, it restricted access to Russia’s big market follwing the 1917 Russia Revolution and the founding of the Soviet Union. It also led to mass unemployment, resulting in population displacement within the village region and beyond. 

Perhaps ​one reason that this architectural heritage has been somewhat neglected in historical studies is its lack of connection to institutions of power. Qanats and underground villages were mainly built by everyday people, used in everyday life and crucial to survival. In addressing this gap, we will increasingly focus on the study of this architectural and artistic heritage.

​​In the Reza Shah era, plumbing technology reached Iran. Public bath owners had the option to replace clay pipes with internal plumbing and showers. Yet, there were cultural and economic barriers. Muslims approved of ghusl (washing) in bath water but were not keen on imported showers due to unclear religious codes and lack of economic incentives due to no more water recirculation in the new setup. 

Photo: Ruhollah Vahdati - ISNA

Photo: Torosk Instagram Page

Photo: Georg Gerster - Qanats at Yazd - 1976​​​​​​​

(Translated from Persian)

Water in Popular Culture​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​(Case study of Meimand)

Discipline and Hygiene in Modern
(Case study of Kermanshah)

Farhad Dashtakinia, Issue 16&17

History of Mentalities in Saedi's Monographs​​​​​​​

Majid L. Khaniki, Issue 16&17

​Mohammadali Alavikia, Issue 16&17

​Saedi was a psychiatrist. He studied at the University of Tabriz and wrote his thesis on the impact of social factors on psychological crises. This background influenced him in approaching his monographies from the perspective of his profession. His writings revealed dark and obscure features of the psyche through his characters while also reflecting on the roots of popular beliefs.

​​One of the best practices in modern schools was the supervision of education officials over the education process. Supervisions concentrated on education, hygiene, and disciplinary measures. Principals were obliged to oversee hygiene protocols when admitting new students. Pupils were required to present doctor notes, certifying they did not have diseases such as eczema, impetigo and granulomatous.

​Meimand village is in Kerman province. One of its most important indigenous technologies is the qanat water system, a historically crucial source of irrigation for agricultural lands and satellite gardens. Qanats in Meimand are notable for their spatial structure, positioned consecutively and connected through hydraulic underground channels, resulting in​​​​​​​ maximum use of water resources.  

Gholman hossein Saedi

​​Photo: Meimand Village -​​​​​​​

Photo: Inst of Iranian Contemporary HIstorical Studies​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​Hosseinieh Ershad & History

​Shahr-e no (From Construction to Demolition)

(Mohammad J. Abdollahi, Issue 12-15)

Social Housing in 1960s Tehran

(Saba Madani, Issue 12-15)

(Elham Azhari, Issue 12-15) 

​The relocation of the poor from the city centre to the 9th of Aban district in the south of Tehran improved their living conditions but deteriorated their income opportunities. In previous locations, they lived closer to more affluent parts of the city which provided them with job opportunities such as domestic service, laundry service, car-washing, ticket selling, etc.​​​​​​​ 

​After the 1979 revolution, there has been less talk of Tehran's Shahr-e no (red-light district) but it is still possible to find people with past associations to the district. More than fourty years after the demolition of Shahr-e no, I spoke to one of the women who worked there. Moones, now aged 60, worked in the district with her mother from the age of 13.

​​Hosseinieh Ershad holds the history of a collective vision and a sense of determination in building an influential and popular medium for intellectual exchange. New and tolerant approaches defined the eventual success of its visionaries, most notably building, within the religious construction, a fully equipped meeting hall where the stage replaced the pulpit.

Ayadegan Newspaper, March 3rd,1979

​Source: Eugene Aftandilianz​​​​​​​

​Photo: Khadijeh Kiakajouri

Public History of Architecture

Modern Leisure (A View from Rasht)

​​(Dorota Aslapa, Issue 12-15)

A Writer Beyond Fixed Realities 

(Samaneh Mohseni, Issue 12-15)

(Zohreh Tohidi, Issue 12-15)

​Olga Tokarczuk (born in 1962) is a Polish writer and the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in literature. Her writings address issues such as identity crises, the passage of time, the finite nature of life, the ethnic and religious minorities of Poland and their way of life, women's rights, animal rights and the overall narratives and stories of people that are less heard.  

​From the 1900s and with the construction of the first modern street in Rasht (Pahlavi Street, now Imam Khomeini Street), leisure moved from nature to the city. With no electricity in most parts of Rasht, the streetlights and the various shops and window displays added to the attraction and fascination, making leisure a more accessible feature of daily city life. 

​What is the nature of people's interest in the history of architecture? In my view, the general public prefer to move beyond the physical structure and discover the stories behind them. Devising factual and engaging narratives that inspire empathy and appreciation for historical constructions is essential in building a public history of architecture. 

Photo: Thilo Schmulgen/Reuters

Photo: Farsheed Nasrabadi

People's History of Architecture 

​History and Literary Criticism 

(Afsaneh Najmabadi, Issue 4&5)​​​​​​​

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Photo Narratives ​​​​​​​

​(Mehrdad Qayoomi, Issue 6&7)

​(Hossein Payandeh, Issue 1)

​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.

​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? 

​Omitted Voices in Satirical Media 

History of Theft in Qajar Iran ​​​​​​​

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

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People's History in Tanavoli's Work​​​​​​​

​(Farhad Dashtakinia, Issue 2&3)

​(Hossein Bayatloo, Issue 4&5)

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. 

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.​​​​​​​

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.