5:04 p.m., Sept. 10, 2008----Rudolph Matthee will deliver his Inaugural Lecture as Unidel Distinguished Professor of History at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the Louise and David Roselle Center for the Arts. A reception will follow the lecture.
His lecture is titled “The Land of Sophy: The Western Image and Imagination of Early Modern Iran.” The focus of Matthee's research is early modern Iran and the Persian Gulf.
An award-winning author, Matthee received the prize for the best non-Persian language book on Iranian history from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and honorable mention for the British-Kuwaiti Friendship prize for the best book on the Middle East published in Britain for his book, The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730.
For his book The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900, he received the Hourani Book Prize from the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the Saidi Sirjani award for the best book on Iran from the International Society for Iranian Studies.
Matthee recently published Iqtisad va siyasat-i khariji-yi 'asr-i Safavi, translated and edited by Hasan Zandiyeh in Tehran. He was coeditor of Iran and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Nikki Keddie, his professor when he was a graduate student at the University of California Los Angeles, and coeditor with Keddi of Iran and the Surrounding World: Interaction in Culture and Cultural Politics. Following a conference he organized at the Freer and Sackler Museum in Washington, D.C., in October 2007, Matthee served as coeditor of the forthcoming Portugal and Iran in the Safavid Period.
His upcoming book with I. B. Tauris is Persia in Crisis: The Decline of the Savafids and the Fall of Isfahan. Matthee also has published numerous articles in journals and book chapters on the political, socio-economic and material history of Safavid and Qaja Iran.
He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Arabic and Persian language and literature from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and studied in Iran and Egypt. He has his doctorate in Islamic studies from UCLA and joined the UD faculty in 1993.
Matthee was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University in 2002-03. He served as president of the Association of Persian-Speaking Societies and organized its second biennial conference in Yerevan, Armenia. He also served as book review editor of the Journal of Iranian Studies and consulting editor for Encyclopaedia Iranica on the Safavid period.
The lecture is open to the public, but it is asked that those who plan to attend call (302) 831-2793 or e-mail [email@example.com].
Article by Sue Moncure
Photo by Sarah Simon