News from the Faculty of Oriental Studies 2011-2012


Multilingualism and Language Use in South Asia and Beyond

Friday 18 May 2012 Oriental Institute

Workshop poster
Workshop programme and abstracts


The Thirty-Six Immortals of Waka

A Symposium in honour of Dr. Phillip Harries

The Shulman Auditorium, The Queen’s College, High Street, Oxford
University of Oxford, Friday, 23 March 2012


The Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI, SOAS and the Faculty of Oriental Studies
are pleased to announce the ninth annual
Soudavar Memorial Foundation Symposium

The Idea of Iran: the age of the great Saljuqs

Saturday 4th February 2012
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, WC1H 0XG

9.40am - 6.10pm

The ninth programme in our ‘The Idea of Iran’ series will focus on the age of the great Saljuqs (11th and 12th centuries CE). The new Turko-Persian symbiosis that had emerged under the Samanids, Ghaznavids and Qara-Khanids came to fruition in a period that combined imperial grandeur with extraordinary artistic achievement. Under the Saljuqs a system of government based on Turkish ‘men of the sword’ and Persian ‘men of the pen’ was consolidated and subsequently endured for centuries. The Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford remain deeply grateful to the Soudavar Memorial Foundation for their continued support for this series.


Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project

The ancient walls of Balkh (A.Azad, July 2009).

Oxford University launches the ‘Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project,’ funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project has a dual aim of undertaking new research on Afghanistan’s early Islamic history, and in building the capacity of Afghan colleagues in cultural heritage research. For three years, from September 2011 to September 2014, a team of scholars in the UK and abroad will be studying the textual and material culture of Balkh in northern Afghanistan. Historical Balkh (near modern-day Mazar-i Sharif) was one of the oldest, largest and most important cities of Afghanistan until late medieval times. The study opens up exciting new areas of knowledge on Afghanistan’s pre-Islamic past, and the way in which Islam was incorporated into historical memory. The project is led by Professor Edmund Herzig, and includes a team of experts with specialist knowledge on Afghan archaeology, coins, ceramics, and Persian and Arabic texts. The project partners with several research and cultural heritage organisations in Afghanistan, including the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Kabul National Museum and the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan (DAFA).