Nader Shah Revisited

International Symposium, Convened by: Giorgio Rota

While Nader Shah Afshar is usually credited with having played a major role in the early-modern history of Iran, little has been done to assess the impact that his reign had on the larger Persianate world and explore the contours of its legacy in historiographies other than Iranian (Afsharid and Qajar). Nader Shah indeed was a driving force behind tectonic shifts occurring in the political field as well as a catalyst of profound cultural realignments in the Middle East, Central and South Asia between the 18th and the 19th centuries. After Timur, he alone was capable to draw Muslims political formations in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent into a confrontation with Iran. His incursions into Transoxiana and Northern India, however, affected not only the power balance between local groups competing for political supremacy, but also precipitated a series of ruptures in the local forms of governance and Muslim culture broadly conceived, which are visible in domains as diverse as the Chinggisid political tradition, Sunni-Shiite sectarianism, the formation of new Islamic scholarly networks and Sufi communal organizations, etc.

Through a critical rather than celebratory approach, this international symposium aims to take stock of Nader Shah’s legacy across the fields of Iranian, Ottoman, and South Asian studies and seeks to historicize the structural changes that his military achievements brought about in the Persianate world.


December 05, 2016

Welcome addresses
Florian Schwarz | Institute of Iranian Studies, Director
Giorgio Rota | Institute of Iranian Studies 

Bert Fragner | Austrian Academy of Sciences
Tahmasp II, the rise of Nader Shah and his problems with legitimacy

Coffee break

Panel 1, chair: Ali Ansari
Rudi Matthee | University of Delaware
The eighteenth century in Iranian historiography: Nader Shah, warlord or national hero?
Christine Nölle-Karimi | Institute of Iranian Studies
The practice of history: Nader Shah and his chroniclers
Michael Axworthy| University of Exeter
Mirza Mohammad Mehdi Astarabadi and his significance for our understanding of Nader Shah


Panel 2.1, chair: Giorgio Rota
Nader Kashani | The International Journal of Research on Islamic and Iranian Manuscripts.
The pious foundations (mowqufāt) of Nader Shah
Goodarz Rashtiani | University of Tehran
The religious policy of Nader in the Caucasus

Coffee break

Panel 2.2, chair: Giorgio Rota
Selim Güngörürler | Georgetown University
Iranian diplomacy with the Ottomans, 1722-1747: continuities and changes with regard to the Safavid era
Ernest Tucker | United States Naval Academy, Annapolis
Nader as mediator: His attempt to broker peace between Russia and the Ottomans in 1738

December 06, 2016

Panel 3.1, chair: Florian Schwarz
Ali Ansari | University of St. Andrews
The reception and perception of Nader in British historiography
Dariusz Kołodziejczyk | University of Warsaw
The reactions to the news of the rise of Nader Shah in Dresden and Warsaw

Coffee break

Panel 3.2, chair: Ali Ansari
José Francisco Cutillas Ferrer | University of Alicante
Nader Shah and the "exotic" idea of Iran in the eighteenth-century Bourbon Spain
Giorgio Rota | Institute of Iranian Studies
The reception of Nader Shah in the German-speaking world
Iván Szántó | Institute of Iranian Studies
The historicisation of the image of Nader Shah in the visual arts


Panel 4, chair: Paolo Sartori
Ulfatbek Abdurasulov | Institute of Iranian Studies
How to manage diversity? State-building project(s) in post-Nader Shah's Khorezm
Andreas Wilde | University of Bamberg
"Tolling the death knell for the Chingizid dispensation": The impact of Nader Shah's policy on Transoxanian patterns of governance
Abhishek Kaicker | University of California Berkeley
The people vs. Nader Shah: The politics and memory of a Qatl-e cĀmm in Delhi



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