Call for applicants-Shiism, Death and Funerary Material Religion: cemeteries, tombstones and burial ceremonies (Isfahan, Iran, May 2019)

Pedram Khosronejad's picture
May 1, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Islamic History / Studies

Call for applicants


Interdisciplinary masterclass on:

Shiism, Death and Funerary Material Religion: cemeteries, tombstones and burial ceremonies



Pedram Khosronejad (Associate Director of Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies, Oklahoma State University)

Asghar Montazerolghaem (Director of Safavid Studies Center, University of Isfahan)


On the occasion of the International Conference on Safavid Studies, which will be held in the city of Isfahan in May 2019, the Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies (IPGS) program of Oklahoma State University, with the collaboration of the Safavid Studies Center of the University of Isfahan, will organize an interdisciplinary masterclass on Shiism, Death and Funerary Material Religion: cemeteries, tombstones and burial ceremonies which will be held a week before the main conference.

The aim of this masterclass is to introduce participants to the principal elements of studying death and dying from the viewpoint of Iranian Shiism since the Safavid period. During the six-day program (30 h) participants will be introduced to:

  • The history of death and dying in Shiite Iran;
  •  Methodologies of studying cemeteries and their funerary landscape;
  • Saints, saints’ shrines and sacred topography;
  • Funerary epigraphy and the methodology of analyzing tombstone texts and symbolic images.

The entire masterclass will be organized under the governance of the University of Isfahan and will primarily be held in the cemetery of Takht-e Foulad and its tombstone museum. The Takht-e Foulad complex is one of the biggest cemeteries of the Shiite world which holds not only the tombs of many scientists, philosophers, and theologians since the medieval period, but also contains the shrines, Tekiyeh and funerary complex of Ulema, Sufi masters, and mystic leaders of the Islamic periods of Iran.

Complementary to the theory classes and fieldwork will be the visitation of other Abrahamic saints’ shrines, churches, synagogues and cemeteries of the city of Isfahan for further comparative studies.


This program is only open to university-based scholars, registered students, and official researchers (e.g. museum curators). A selected group of participants will present the results of their work in the form of a special panel during the main conference. The conference fee will be waived for the selected participants.


The University of Isfahan will issue an official invitation for all participants, who should apply for their own visas individually. The University of Isfahan has no responsibility in this regard and cannot guarantee the result of related applications.


For the duration of the masterclass (not the main conference), all participants will stay in the university campus inside the city of Isfahan.

The registration fee (including: program fee, accommodation, food, and transportation for the duration of the masterclass)

  • Registered students: $ 600
  • University scholars and researchers: $ 1000

* The registration fee should be paid in cash during the first day of arrival at the university campus.

*If any participants wish to join the main conference, they should pay separately for their conference registration and accommodation fees.

Deadline for preliminary registration:

October 2018.

For further enquiries, to complete your preliminary registration and reserve your place, please contact Dr. P. Khosronejad (

For further enquiries regarding the main conference, please visit ( or contact (

Contact Info: 

Dr. Pedram Khosronejad
Farzaneh Family Scholar
Associate Director for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies
School of Global Studies & Partnerships/School of Media & Strategic Communications
Oklahoma State University
201 Wes Watkins Center
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078
Phone: 405-744-2507