New Fellowship Eyes Iranian History And Politics

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Image credit: 
Ala Mohseni

Stanford is seeking scholars for a new fellowship that aims to examine Iranian politics in the last half of the twentieth century.

The Zahedi Family Fellowship focuses on the newly acquired Ardeshir Zahedi archive at the Hoover Institution.  It is offered through Stanford University’s Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies.

The archive—held at the Hoover—includes more than ninety boxes of official documents, letters, photographs, and diplomatic correspondence related to modern Iran. Last year the university acquired several other archives, including the collected papers of the Iranian writer Houshang Golshiri and the archives of the Iranian-born Dutch filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh. 

The Zahedi acquisition is a result of Stanford Professor and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies Abbas Milani’s almost fifteen-year collaboration with Ardeshir Zahedi—Iran’s powerful one-time foreign minister and ambassador to the US before the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Eric Wakin, director of Hoover Library & Archives, also worked with Milani to develop the collection.

The archive consists of “never before seen” primary source material on Zahedi, Milani said. It includes critical and rare documents from Zahedi’s father, Fazlollah Zahedi, who served as Iran’s prime minister after helping to overthrow the Iranian government of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953. Hundreds of letters from prominent American officials to Zahedi and the Shah are also included.

Milani said, “It is far from hyperbole to say that this collection is not only unique in its scope outside Iran, but also indispensable for the study of modern Iran, particularly in regard to the US-Iran relationship before the 1979 revolution.”

Jean Cannon, assistant archivist for communications and outreach at the Hoover Library & Archives, describes the collection as “one of Hoover Archives’ most significant acquisitions of recent years.”

She added, “We are very excited to partner with the Iranian Studies program for this fellowship.”

How to Apply

The deadline for the fall Zahedi Family Fellowship is May 25, 2018. Click here for application forms. Questions may be emailed to iranianstudies [at]

The twelve-week residential fellowship funds international travel, health insurance, and visa support, in addition to a $12,000 stipend for living expenses. During the fellowship period, the scholar is expected to pursue her or his independent research in residency and to hold a lecture, seminar, or workshop on his or her research organized by Iranian Studies.

Zahedi fellows will have access to Stanford University libraries and the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, as well Stanford’s community of scholars.

To be eligible, fluency in Persian and a terminal degree or equivalent experience is required. Scholars and artists working on the modern history of Iran, particularly the period from 1941 to 1979 are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to scholars who have worked on aspects of modern Iranian foreign policy, history, and culture.

Fellows will be selected by the directors of the Iranian Studies Program, The Freeman Spogli Institute, and the Hoover Archives. 

This photo from the Ardeshir Zahedi archive shows Iran’s royal family at Zahedi’s 1957 wedding to the Shah’s daughter, Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi.