About Us

Thanks to the vision and generosity of the Persian Heritage Foundation, UCLA has established the Yarshater Center for the Study of Iranian Literary Traditions. The Yarshater Center, conceived as a leading research hub for the publication and dissemination of Iranian literary traditions worldwide, will have a momentous impact on the study of the Iranian world. Through the active dissemination of its research ventures and publications, the Center will set new standards of excellence and attract a new generation of scholars to the field.

The creation of the Yarshater Center will make it possible to carry forth the legacy of an iconic scholar, the late Professor Eshan Yarshater, the inaugural Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University, by initiating a robust publication program at UCLA. The establishment of the Yarshater Center under the aegis of the Pourdavoud Institute for the Study of the Iranian World shall allow the new center to benefit from the institutional infrastructure of a well-established and successful institute and dedicate itself wholly to the advancement of its research mandate.

Within this framework, the Yarshater Center’s position in academia will be bolstered by a series of initiatives to forge an enhanced vision of the field for decades to come. These endeavors, which will ensure the Center’s global presence and its ability to impact the scholarly and public discourse on the Iranian world, include the Iranian Library, the Encyclopaedia of the Ancient Iranian World and A History of Persian Literature.

Investment in these proposed initiatives will ensure that, in face of the vulnerabilities to which the cultural heritage of Iran has been subject within the politically unstable confines of West Asia, an institutional home dedicated to the preservation of the literary and cultural patrimony of Iran is created. What is more, when combined with the extensive resources devoted to Iranian Studies already in place at UCLA, these initiatives shall not only be the source of manifold synergies and innovations that will be transformative for the field, but more importantly ascertain that the holistic study of the Iranian civilization is secured in perpetuity in the Americas.