AUTHOR: Khodadad DATE: 7:30:00 AM ----- BODY: A Little Bit of Iranian Studies

I guess I have been neglecting this weblog for awhile, at least since I had to go for the Iranian Studies conference in Ravenna. But not that I am back, maybe I should write some.

The Fifth European Conference of Iran Studies was organised by the Societas Iranologica Europea, which is an academic groups trying to bring people involved in Iranian Studies together. I came to know about it through Prof. Martin Schwartz with whom I study in an informal manner. I submitted a paper to the conference, and since it was accepted, I decided to make the trip.

Ravenna itself is a nice city, full of mosaics on the walls of the churches and medieval buildings (hence the name "city of mosaics"!!). It is also the death and burial place of Dante Alighieri, the author of "The Devine Comedy". Additionally, it was a capital of Theodoric the Ostrogoth, and an early medieval trading centre. All in all, it was a good place for an Iranian Studies conference.

The organisation of the conference was rather bizarre, might I say "Italian"??! The lectures were scheduled haphazardly, but all in all, it was a nice place to be; it was like being among the people who spoke the same language as I (Iranian Studies can get very lonely when you are studying a language that has been dead for 3000 years or resrearch the history of kingdoms long gone!). I got to know some excellent people. I heard some fascinating presentations (and some dreadfully under-researched or pointless ones), and I was delighted to see some of the professors from whose books I have been studying for ages!

All in all, it was a positive and nice and fun trip. I travelled the last three days to Germany to see my girlfriend, and then went to Amsterdam to fly to the US. Unfortunately, my flight was cancelled and we were forced to stay in Amsterdam for one night, courtsey of KLM (not bad at all!). Now, I am back in the USA, and am wondering why? I really should find a way and move back to Europe! A Ph.D. place in a European University! My Kingdom for a place?

Click here for some photos of the conference.