Ehsan Yarshater

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Ehsan Yarshater
Ehsan Yarshater.jpg
Ehsanollah Yarshater

Hamadan, Qajar dynasty
California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Tehran, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
OccupationDirector of the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University
Spouse(s)Latifeh Alvieh (died 1999)

Ehsan Yarshater, (persian: احسان یارشاطر, April 3, 1920 – September 1, 2018) a distinguished scholar of Persian language and literature, and the founder of Encyclopaedia Iranica.

Life and career[edit | edit source]

He received a Ph.D. in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran in 1947. He then moved to England to pursue his studies with W. B. Henning at London University, where he received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Old and Middle Iranian in 1960. He was invited by Columbia University in 1958 as a Visiting Associate Professor and was later appointed to the Kevorkian Chair in 1961. He founded the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University in 1968 and served as its Director until his retirement in 2016. The center was recently named Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies. Yarshater founded the Encyclopædia Iranica in 1973 and remained its Editor-in-Chief until his retirement. Encyclopædia Iranica is arguably the most significant, extensive and comprehensive scholarly work dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. The academic reference work will eventually cover all aspects of Iranian history and culture as well as all Iranian languages and literatures, encompassing the whole range of Iranian studies research from archeology to political sciences. In 1990, Professor Yarshater established the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation to ensure the continuation of this comprehensive scholarly work. He was the Foundation’s President until his death in 2018.

Encyclopædia Iranica[edit | edit source]

The Encyclopædia Iranica is an international, collaborative research project of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, Inc. In recognition of its high academic achievements, the Encyclopædia Iranica has received financial support, since its inception in the 1970s, from major sponsors, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Persian Heritage Foundation, the International Union of Academies, the Iran Heritage Foundation (London), the Semnani Foundation, the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London), and the Les Amies de l'Encyclopedie Iranica (Paris). Until 2018, the project was carried out at Columbia University, Center for Iranian Studies, recently named Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies.

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