Programs & Events

Iran Nameh

The Foundation for Iranian Studies has published Iran Nameh, a quarterly journal of Iranian studies, for thirty years, the last and closure issue of which, volume 30 number 4, was printed in March 2016. Issues are available free of charge to readers on the Foundation’s website. Articles are in Persian, with summaries in English. Iran Nameh was originally launched to help keep alive Iran’s cultural traditions. In its last twenty years of publication, its focus has been mainly on problems of contemporary Iranian society and government featured in special issues edited by guest scholars. Iran Nameh has also provided a forum for original research on Iran’s literary and artistic heritage. The journal remains one of the most respected and acknowledged publications of its kind inside and outside of Iran. In the past several years the journal has been digitally available free of charge to individuals and institutions across the world, and used especially in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Russia, CIS, East Asia, South Asia, Australia, North Africa, and Iran.


The Board of the Foundation for Iranian Studies is grateful to Professor Jalāl Matini, the first editor-in-chief of the FIS journal Iran Nameh (1982-1988), for placing Iranshenasi in the site of the Foundation for Iranian Studies. Professor Matini founded Iranshenasi, a journal of Iranian studies, in the winter of 1989 and edited and published it regularly, with no hiatus, from its first issue Volume 1, Number 1, Spring of 1989 to its last, Volume 27, Number 4, Winter of 2016. This is a great and most valuable contribution an academic colleague could have made to the Foundation for Iranian Studies.

Oral History Program

The Foundation’s Oral History Program compiles a record of Iran’s modern history  through interviews with Iranian statesmen, diplomats, scholars, officials, artists, literary figures, newspaper editors, and other decision-makers as well as witnesses to the events that have shaped Iranian contemporary history. These memoirs are an invaluable resource for future scholars. In 1991, the Foundation published a catalog of the archives entitled The Oral History Collection of the Foundation for Iranian Studies. The catalog, edited by Gholam Reza Afkhami and Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, contains the methodology of the Oral History Program, a list of interviews, major subjects discussed in each interview, indexes of names and subjects, several appendices and other relevant information.

Dissertation Award

The Foundation for Iranian Studies has awarded an annual prize to the best PhD dissertation in the field of Iranian studies. From 1984 to 2022, it has been awarded for imagination, novelty of approach, clarity in stating the problematic, methodological rigor, efficient and intelligent use of primary source material, quality of field work among others.

Noruz Lectures

The Noruz lectures are a collaborative effort between FIS and George Washington University. From 1992 to 2017, each year around Noruz, (Iranian New Year at the Spring equinox on 20th or 21st of March), a public lecture was given by a distinguished scholar of Iranian studies. Each lecture was a statement of a new idea or the summation of the work of a scholar in his or her field of concentration.
This event was also a reaffirmation of Iranian culture and lectures were followed by a reception around the “haft-seen”, the new year table symbolizing renewal and rejuvenation.

Economic and Social Development Series

Connected to the oral history program is the Foundation’s project to record and publish in monograph the experiences of the Iranians in public and private sectors who were directly involved in planning and administering Iran’s socio-economic development before the Islamic revolution. To date, eleven volumes have been published.

Cooperative Activities

From its inception, the Foundation has strived to perform its mission in cooperation with other institutions with similar interests and goals. Over the years, it developed special collaborative relations with several institutions, chief among them the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the Society for Iranian Studies (SIS), the George Washington University, and, in the world of culture and the arts, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.