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FIS Best Ph.D. Dissertation Award Recipient for 2015 announced


Best Ph.D. Dissertation on a Subject of Iranian Studies Recipient, Academic Year 2014-2015

November 20, 2015

The Foundation for Iranian Studies is pleased to announce that the Committee on Selection of the Best Ph.D. Dissertation of the Year on a Topic of Iranian Studies of the Foundation for Iranian Studies has chosen Daniel Beben’s dissertation “The Legendary Biographies of Nâsir-i Khusraw: Memory and Textualization in Early Modern Persian Ismâ`îlism,” submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Indiana University, as the recipient of the Foundation's annual Ph.D. dissertation award for the academic year 2014-2015.

In making its decision, the Committee, following the criteria established by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, noted that Daniel Beben has made an "exceptional contribution to the field of Iranian and Central Asian Studies” by, among other achievements, “stating clearly the study’s problematic… constructing an adequate and efficient theoretical framework…developing and employing successfully a rigorous methodology to bring together a significant array of primary and secondary sources in Europe and Central Asia, including critical information secured through interviews judiciously conducted in the field in Tajikistan and elsewhere to support an innovative approach to the study of Nâsir-i Khusraw’s intellectual and religious influence on the form and force of the Isma`ili da`wa…  methodically connecting data, text, and speech to construct a credible framework for evaluating the effect of chanced confluence of ideas, values, socio-political tensions, and time on the evolution of Ismâ`ili organization and faith in Central Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere and, by extension, potential applicability of the lessons derived to studies of other historically relevant events … excellent organization of the work.”

The Committee also cited Seyyed Ahmad Hashemi’s dissertation “The Question of Freedom within the Horizon of the Iranian Constitutional Movement, 1906-1921” submitted to the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and Keenan Baca-Winters’ dissertation “From Rome to Iran: Identity and Xusro II” submitted to the Graduate Division of the University of California, Irvine, with honorable mention for superior scholarship, originality, clarity, and significant contribution to Iranian Studies.

Notice of the awards will appear in the Foundation’s interactive web, in Iran Nameh, MESA and ISIS journals, and in various Persian and English language academic publications.


Gholam Reza Afkhami


Ph.D. Dissertation Awards Committee

Foundation for Iranian Studies


Applications for 2016 FIS Best Ph.D. Dissertation Award

The Foundation for Iranian Studies invites applications for its annual award of $1000 for the best Ph.D. dissertation in a field of Iranian Studies. Students completing their dissertations between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 are eligible to apply for the 2016 award. 

Deadline for Submissions is August 15, 2016.

Dissertations must be nominated by the author's advisor and be accompanied by the Dissertation Committee's letter of acceptance. Both documents may be emailed provided they contain appropriate official insignias and signatures.

Applicants for the 2016 award should submit a digital copy of the dissertation, either mailed on disc to


Foundation for Iranian Studies 
4343 Montgomery Avenue 
Suite 200 
Bethesda, MD 20814


or emailed to:

fis@fis-iran.org or



For further information about the award, selection criteria, and previous winners consult the Foundation’s Website at www.fis-iran.org, Programs, Dissertation Awards. Inquiries should be emailed to fis@fis-iran.org.

Gholam Reza Afkhami


Dissertation Award Committee

Foundation for Iranian Studies

4343 Montgomery Avenue

Bethesda, Maryland 20814





To view the announcement of the winner of the best Ph.D. award for the academic year 2012-2013 please visit http://fis-iran.org/en/programs/dissertationaward