In December, the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies and the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) signed an agreement finalizing ASPS’ move to Princeton University, where the Mossavar-Rahmani Center will serve as its administrative home. ASPS is a nongovernmental, nonpolitical, nonprofit professional organization for researchers and scholars interested in the culture and civilization of the Persian-speaking societies and related areas in the Iranian civilizational area. It publishes the Journal of Persianate Studies, a collection of scholarly articles, book reviews and conference reports, and the semi-annual ASPS Newsletter. It also hosts biennial international conferences; the first in-person conference since COVID-19 scheduled for May 28-June 3 in Yerevan, Armenia.
Mossavar-Rahmani Center Director, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, was appointed to ASPS’ Board of Directors in 2022 and is excited about welcoming the Association to its new home at Princeton. “The move will offer better opportunities to scholars of the Persianate world to gain access to resources available at Princeton. It will also help Princeton students and academics connect to the vast network of ASPS that spans from India to Central Asia and beyond.”
“The Association for the Study of Persianate Societies and its Journal of Persianate Studies are delighted to be joining The Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Studies of Princeton University,” said current ASPS President Sussan Babaie who is a professor of Iranian and Islamic Arts at University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. “Our affiliation with Princeton promises new opportunities for advancing our shared interest among an international community of scholars, academics, researchers and others dedicated to the study of Persianate societies.”
ASPS was founded in 1996 to promote the interdisciplinary study of the Persianate world — the civilization encompassing an area ranging from Iran to the Caucasus, India and Central Asia, where Persian and related languages have historically been dominant. Its first Biennial Convention was accordingly held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in September 2002.
ASPS published research on the Persianate world in social sciences and the humanities in Studies on Persianate Societies, and a number of publications in Tajikistan. It became clear, however, that there was an urgent need for a major international journal, as globalization required reorganization of research and learning in the human sciences. In response to that challenge, ASPS founding president, Saïd Amir Arjomand, launched the interdisciplinary Journal of Persianate Studies (JPS) in 2008, compelling the Association to explore the dynamics of major world civilizations, and invited a new interdisciplinary approach to civilizational analysis based on the study of history, culture and literature. Now in its 16th year, JPS has successfully defined the field of Persianate Studies and is a leading international journal in regional studies, which contributed to growth of interdisciplinary scholarly interest in Persianate Studies.
ASPS and JPS’ move to Princeton should also contribute vitally to realizing the mission of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies by promoting the study of a major world region for which Princeton is well-endowed with its Department of Near Eastern Studies and The Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies.