A M E R I C A N   I N S T I T U T E   O F   I R A N I AN   S T U D I E S

  

   

  

 PURPOSE

       The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS) is a non-profit consortium of US universities and museums, founded in 1967, for the purpose of promoting the interdisciplinary study of Iranian civilization and US-Iran cultural dialogue. Its trustees are scholars of Iranian Studies representing the member institutions and serving voluntarily. In the belief that person-to-person connections are essential for fostering mutual understanding, AIIrS serves as the main conduit for academic and cultural exchange between Iran and the US. It is the only organization in the country dedicated to funding research in Iranian Studies. Its purview comprises the historical Iranian world of Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia as well as the modern political state of Iran. The Institute’s grants and programs, including language training, research grants for pre-doctoral students and for senior American and Iranian scholars, and conference support, aim to create and maintain expertise on an important geographical region and interest in bi-national cooperation. Opportunities for direct contact invigorate the academic resource base and increase the depth of knowledge in the field. The larger objectives of AIIrS are to represent American institutions of higher education and research in the field of Iranian Studies, and to promote the study of Iran as a significant component of global history, thereby exposing new generations of students and scholars to Iran and the wider Persianate world.

HISTORY

       Following its founding in 1967, AIIrS maintained a Center in Tehran from 1969 until late 1979. The Center provided hostel facilities and assistance to American scholars undertaking research in Iran. AIIrS was obliged to suspend the activities of the Center after the rupture of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran. For the next two decades, AIIrS devoted itself to furthering Iranian Studies in the U.S. by offering grants to students, holding conferences and fostering a sense of community in the field. When AIIrS was presented with the possibility of renewing programs in 1997, it sent graduate students to Iran for language study and instituted research grants for senior American and Iranian scholars. AIIrS occasionally supports conferences, exhibitions, publications and other relevant projects.

 
     AIIrS is a founding member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) in Washington: www.caorc.org