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2020 CSM Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

26 Aug 2020 9:56 AM | Siobhain Calkin (Administrator)

Congratulations to Dr. Atri Hatef Naiemi, winner of the 2020 Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for "A Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)," completed at the University of Victoria under the direction of Professor Marcus Milwright.

The Prize Committee noted that in her innovative inter-disciplinary thesis, Dr. Hatef Naiemi works with different kinds of sources in a multitude of  languages, including Persian, Arabic and Chinese, and shows how a study of cities and urban development does not necessarily have to rely primarily on evidence drawn from archaeological reports. Dr. Hatef Naiemi consistently challenges the common perception that Mongol conquerors simply adopted the religious and visual culture of their Muslim subjects. Instead she argues that in the architectural design of the cities built by early conquerors, especially those Ghazan Khan founded, one can see clear negotiations between appeals to traditional Mongol culture and forms of
authority and Persian Muslim cultural influences. This intervention is
an important correction; the chapter on the Mongols in the recent
edition of the Oxford Handbook of Iranian History (2012) suggests that
the Mongol acculturation in the Ilkhanate was largely one-way. Dr. Hatef
Naiemi ends her thesis by suggesting the evidence of Mongol cities
demonstrates that the best way to understand the Mongol interaction with
Persian culture is not one of one-way acculturation but one of
transculturation. For its multidisciplinarity and its originality, the Canadian
Society of Medievalists’ Boyle Prize Committee is pleased to award "A
Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in
Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)" the 2020 Boyle Prize.

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