February 26th, 2010
The two day conference on Iranian Studies that was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th at Cambridge University has been canceled.
Cambridge University’s had planned this two day conference that was to receive financial assistance fro the Cultural division of the Iranian government, in London for the end of this past week. However Cambridge issued a statement maintaining that “the time is not right for this conference”.
Professor Charles Melville spoke to the BBC Persian reporter and said that the reason for the cancellation of the conference was “the lack of support by people” and added that in fact it had nothing to do with the ongoing popular protests in Iran. He continued: “As usual we put out calls for papers and presentations and we specified a deadline for the submission, however we only received one or two introductions to papers and neither in fact were relevant to the subject matter of the conference which was on the nature of Iranology in Britain. A number of my colleagues told me that organizing such a conference with the direct backing of the Iranian embassy at a time like this is actually inappropriate. This conference was suggested by the Iranian cultural division and I was simply acting as host to the event. At this juncture however, we have no choice but to cancel the event simply because no one wanted to participate” Melville also emphasized that the Iranian cultural attachees had become upset by the situation and were disappointed considering the beautifully designed posters they had printed for the occasion.
Despite the situation, the Iranians cultural office in London continues to advertise the event on its website.
Another one day seminar entitled “The Relationship between Culture and Politics in Iran Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran” was also organized and funded by the Iranian cultural office at in the UK, on January 28th. , professor at Oxford University and Azadeh Kian-Thiebaut, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris 8 and researcher at le Monde Iranien of from the