Book launch: Four Central Asian Shrines: A Socio-Political History of Architecture

Nov 15, 2021, 12:00 pm1:20 pm
Open to public



Event Description

Speaker: Robert McChesney

Four Central Asian Shrines

R. D. McChesney, Emeritus Professor at New York University, is the author of Waqf in Central Asia (1991), Central Asia: Foundations of Change (1996), and Kabul Under Siege (1999), and editor and co-translator of the eleven-volume The History of Afghanistan: Fayz Muhammad Katib Hazarah’s Siraj al-tawarıkh (2013-2016) and of _Afghan Genealogy_and Memoir of the Revolution (2019). He has authored more than fifty journal and encyclopedia articles and book chapters on Iranian, Afghan, and Central Asian social and architectural history and is the founder and director of the Afghanistan Digital Library.


Beatrice Forbes Manz is Professor of History at Tufts University. She has published two books, The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane (Cambridge University Press, 1989) and Power, Politics and Religion in Timurid Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2007), along with numerous articles on ideology, historiography and political practice in the Mongol and Timurid periods. Her third book, Nomads in the Middle East, is forthcoming at Cambridge University Press. The next research project planned is a study of the Mongol conquest of Iran. She is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Persianate Studies, Vice-President of the American Research Institute in Turkey, and on the board of the American Institute of Iranian Studies as past President.

Devin DeWeese is Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. He is the author of Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde (1994) and (with Ashirbek Muminov) of Islamization and Sacred Lineages in Central Asia, vol. I: Opening the Way for Islam: The Ishaq Bab Narrative, 14th-19th Centuries (2013). His numerous articles on the religious history of Islamic Central Asia focus chiefly on Islamization, the social and political roles of Sufi communities, and Sufi literature and hagiography in Persian and Chaghatay Turkic.

Wheeler Thackston (AB ’67) is retired from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, where he taught Persian, Arabic, and other languages for nearly 50 years. His textbooks for Persian, Arabic, Syriac, and Kurdish are widely used across the English-speaking world. From 2005–2009, he directed the Harvard-Koç Ottoman Summer School on the island of Cunda, Turkey. In addition to his distinguished career as an educator, Thackston is a prolific translator. His major translations include Persian literary texts such as Nasrullah Munshi’s Kalila wa-Dimna (2019), Saʿdi’s Gulistan (2008), Nasir-i Khusraw’s Book of Travels (2001), and Jalaluddin Rumi’s Signs of the Unseen (1994); historical texts from Persianate South and Central Asia, including Abu’l Fazl’s Akbarnama (2015–), Three Memoirs of Humayun (2009), Baburnama (trans. 2002, ed. 1993), Jahangirnama (1999), Rashid al-Din’s Jamiʿ al-Tawarikh (1998), and Khwandmir’s Habib al-Siyar (1994); and works relevant to Islamic art history, including Album Prefaces and Other Documents on the History of Calligraphers and Painters (2001), A Century of Princes: Sources on Timurid History and Art (1989), and contributions to The Arts of Ornamental Geometry (2017), and Muraqqa‘: Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library (2008). A festschrift in his honor was published in 2014, edited by Alireza Korangy and Daniel Sheffield.

Maria E. Subtelny is Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at University of Toronto


Department & Program in Near Eastern Studies