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Editor's Note

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2024

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Editorial Note
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Association for Iranian Studies

This first issue of the fifty-seventh volume of Iranian Studies showcases a rich palette of works by scholars from Canada, Israel, Iran, Turkey, and the US. The articles in this issue range in focus from art and architecture to history, language, and religion.

Dr. Alireza Anisi's study of the Friday Mosque in Urmiya, a Saljuq domed mosque dating from the middle of the twelfth century, reveals its expansion and embellishment with an Ilkhanid prayer niched in the thirteenth century. In “Cultural Impact of Persian Language in and around Bidlis,” Vural Genç offers an analysis of the influence Persian exerted as the lingua franca of Bidlis, a Kurdish principality on the Ottoman-Iranian frontier, which was eventually subsumed by the Ottoman Empire. In “Canonization and the Sacred Text in the Yārsān Religion,” Dr. Rahman Veisi Hasar explores the heterogenous process of canonizing the sacred texts of Yārsānism, a secretive religion whose believers reside primarily in Iran's Kermanshah province, with a smaller number in Iraqi Kurdistan. In their collaborative study, “Two Raji Dialects Converge with Persian: Contrasting Responses to Contact Influence,” Dr. Mahnaz Talebi-Dastanaei, Hamideh Poshtvan, and Dr. Erik Anonby examine how the lexicon of two closely related Raji dialects, a language spoken in the Kashan district, has been impacted by the infiltration of Persian.

Dr. Willem Floor's account of the history of foreign trade in Tabriz from 1800 to 1900 traces Tabriz's development from a little-known provincial town to a center for trade. In their collaborative study, Yunos Kojuri Goshniani, Dr. Ali Bagheri Dolatabadi, and Dr. Abouzar Fattahizadeh challenge the assumption that Reza Shah's ascension to power was facilitated by the British and opposed by the clergy, providing evidence that casts new light on the clergy's supportive role in the transfer of power from the Qajar to the Pahlavi dynasty. Finally, Dr. Soli Shahvar offers analysis of Soviet sources from the Russian State Archives on the challenges faced by the Tudeh party under the Allied occupation of Iran during WWII.

These research essays, and additional books reviews, reflect the state of research in Iranian Studies.

We are grateful to our colleagues Dr. Bernard Hourcade and Dr. Houchnag Chehabi for commemorating Christophe Balaÿ, a scholar of Persian literature whose loss is deeply felt by Persianists across the globe.