Undergraduate and graduate student research funded by the Iranian Studies Program
Alexandria is a PhD student in the department of Art History. She studies early modern art and architecture, with a particular focus on Renaissance Italy and Safavid Iran. She is especially interested in the design of Italian and Islamic palatial complexes as architectural expressions of power. Her dissertation, “The Art of Diplomacy: Visual Exchange Between Italy and Iran, 1600-1650” examines diplomatic relations between the two countries in the first half of the seventeenth century. The research explores how Venice, Florence, and Rome each crafted individual relationships with Safavid Iran, as communicated and commemorated through visual and spatial mediums.
During the summer of 2018, with funding support from Iranian Studies, Alexandria will continue her research on the intersection of politics, aesthetics and new media technologies during Iran's Shiraz Arts Festival (1967-77). The festival brought together musicians, dancers, and performance artists from diverse nations onto the shared landscape of Iran’s ancient and Pre-Islamic past—Shiraz and Persepolis. Bridging the disciplines of Cold War communication and art history, this project explores the Shiraz Arts Festival in light of the developing nucleus of communication theorists in Tehran. The project ultimately shows how Iran’s developing new media and communication goals were played out on avant-garde and cross-cultural performance spaces.
Summer Language Study
Parsa (class of 2019): "I am studying social and cultural anthropology. This summer, thanks to the generous funding from the Iranian Studies Program, I am attending a second-year Kurdish program at Indiana University. After my language program, I will be conducting field-work among Kurdish-Americans in Nashville, Tennessee for my honors thesis research. My research is concerned with the linguistic diversity among Kurdish-Americans and explores the different ways in which they use language to navigate through social spaces. I am looking forward to using my language skills in Nashville and speaking Kurdish with others!"
Summer Research Travel
Daniella Farah is a PhD candidate in Jewish History at Stanford University. She examines the cultural, religious and social facets of Jewish communities in Iran and Turkey in the twentieth century, with a specific focus on how nationalistic campaigns came to affect these communities. During the summer of 2017, with the help of the Iranian Studies Program, Daniella conducted archival research on the assimilation of Jews into Iranian society under the Pahlavi Dynasty at a few institutions in Jerusalem, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s archive, the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, and the National Library of Israel.
Rachel (class of 2018) is from Seattle Washington and is studying International Relations and minoring in Iranian Studies and the Arabic track of the Middle Eastern Language, Literature and Culture minor. She hopes to learn more about the role of religion in democracies in the Middle East. Her favorite experience at Stanford so far has been doing a directed reading with Professor Milani on the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Anna (class of 2017) studied history and Iranian Studies while at Stanford. A growing interest in Iranian Studies combined with her interest in her native country, Russia, led her to the archival collections at the Hoover Institution where she examied top-secret documents from the Soviet Union about the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Her research included translating around 30 pages of memoranda sent internally within the Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and she read over 400 pages of archival documents regarding the Soviet Union and the Tudeh Party in Iran. “It enriched both my academic and personal experience at Stanford,” Polishchuk said of her research experience.
Alina (class of 2017) is an undergraduate majoring in History and the Law and minoring in Human Rights. She is a recipient of the 2017 Marshall Scholarship, and is planning to attend Queens University Belfast for her master's degree in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice. Alina has worked at the Asian International Justice Initiative in Phnom Penh, the Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation in Sarajevo, the State Department in Washington D.C., and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford. Her paper "A Greek and a Persian: Plato’s Influence on Ayatollah Khomeini" was published in the Stanford Journal of Muslim Affairs.
Summer Travel Research
Jack (class of 2016) majored in international relations and specialized in international security and economic development. Jack and fellow Stanford student Hannah Long received funding for their project on Iranian LGBT refugees in Turkey for the summer of 2015. “[This project] was an incredible capstone experience to my Stanford career. Being able to apply the knowledge I had gained in Iranian Studies courses to a novel research topic has been truly rewarding,” he said. “Moving forward, I hope to continue building upon my understanding of Iranian politics and history and keep involved in similar journalistic and oral documentary projects.”