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-17thcenturies), 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.
Dr Firuza Melville is a graduate (BA, MA hons.) of the Iranian Philology Department, Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg University, where she received her PhD in Iranian philology, Art and Islamic Studies in 1989. She was an Associate Professor at the University of St Petersburg when she joined the Cambridge Shahnama Project after a term at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and a term at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) as a Fulbright Professor. From September 2005 until September 2010 she was Lecturer in Persian Literature at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Keeper of the Firdousi Library of Wadham College. From October 2010 she was the Iran Heritage Foundation Research Associate of the Cambridge Shahnama Project. Since September 2013 she is the Head of the Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies, University of Cambridge.
Her main research interests include Classical Persian literature, Medieval and contemporary Persian art, Persian codicology, Travelogue literature of the Qajar period, Persian literary classics in contemporary art and Russian cultural Orientalism in Iran, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Lecture in English