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Best Dissertation of the Year

The Foundation for Iranian Studies

November 15, 1999

The Foundation for Iranian Studies is pleased to announce that the Committee on the Selection of Best Dissertation of the Year on a Topic of Iranian Studies of the Foundation for Iranian Studies has chosen Dr. Negar Mottahedeh's dissertation "Representing the Unpresentable: Historical Images of Reform from the Qajars to the Islamic Republic of Iran," submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, as the recipient of the Foundation's annual Ph.D. dissertation award for the academic year 1998-1999.

In making its decision, the Committee noted, in part, "exceptional contribution to the field of Iranian Studies through an imaginative and innovative approach to the study of culture, nation, and self...creative use of text and image as intellectual and artistic devices to translate and decode expressive forms of Iranian national behaviorclear statement of the study's problematic and judicious use of method to relate general theory to specific arguments ...original use of historical and sociological data to embed image and intellection in history and societyefficient use of primary source material to elucidate the historical meaning of a religious group's impulse to reform...sensitivity to signification, symbolism, and nuance in explicating women and modernization in the Iranian culture...clarity of language and meaning...attention to detail...good organization of the work."

The Committee also cited the following dissertations with honorable mention: Dr. Sunil Sharma, "Poetics of Court and Prison in the Divan of Mas`ud-e Sa`d-e Salman," The University of Chicago. Dr. Maziar Lotfalian, "Technoscientific Identities: Muslims and the Culture of Curiosity," Rice University.

Notice of the awards will appear in the MESA and SIS newsletters, in Iran Nameh, and in various Persian language and other academic publications.

Gholam Reza Afkhami
Dissertation Awards Committee