The research that has developed over the past fifteen years is oriented by three broad areas. These areas are not separate categories, but intersecting and are invariably trans-/inter-disciplinary. They reflect the past disciplinary training as well as academic appointments and big and small grants acquired since 2003. As such, the projects defined within these broad areas represent a continuum, one that began inside Iran and has moved outward from there while maintaining a focus on Iran.
This research conceptualises the relationship between the past and the present in the developmental context of Iran. The core argument is that in societies such as Iran, development and its associated projects cause a shift in historical consciousness, which in turn causes different and novel cultural expressions, leading to the formation of heritage.
The output of this research is a monograph is currently (in 2020) in production by Manchester University Press.
Kerman University, Kerman, Iran
Architectect: Usef Shariatzadeh
This area of research is concerned about the ideological import of the past in the formation of the discourse of Islamic Architecture. this is a complex discourse with hybrid routes dating back to the late
Tehran Sacred Defence Museum (Iraq-Iran War Museum)
The relationship between image, especially moving image, and the uses of the past in the present (thus heritage) is significant and yet there is a shortage of a systematic approach to the topic. This area of investigation seeks to fill this gap.
This project, which began as a collaborative endeavour between Ali Mozaffari and Tod Jones, was an attempt to understand the relationship between social movement and cultural heritage. It tresponded to a methodological and theoretical gap in critical heritage research, namely the systematic approach to and analysis of collective action in heritage production and contestation. Our approach was informed by theories advanced by James Jasper.
Project outputs included a number of journal articles and an edited volume.
Sponsoring bodies include:
Heritage Protests at the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) HQ
This line of enquiry follows the formation and contestation of heritage in modern Iran. The research, which falls within the domain of critical heritage studies, has drawn on theories and methodologies in anthropology, museum studies, architecture, urban studies and history. The outputs have pioneered the interpretative study of the National Museum of Iran (in Forming National Identity in Iran), the relationship between heritage and place through with a particular focus on Pasargadae World Heritage site (in World Heritage in Iran), examination of site museum architecture in World Heritage site of Pasargadae (also in World Heritage in Iran), activism in heritage and heritage NGOs (in multiple articles and book chapters), formation of and idea of Iran as the frame for tourism in contemporary Iran (book chapter), and a few other contributions available here.