Throughout his studies in the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, Amin Mahdavi was a research assistant for the Shahnama Project under the direction of Dr Charles Melville (Cambridge) and Prof. Robert Hillenbrand (Edinburgh). Firdausi’s Shahnama (Book of Kings), completed in eastern Iran in 1010 A.D, is a Farsi epic poem of great beauty drawing upon myths, histories, and literatures of Persian culture. The Shahnama Project digitally catalogued, for the first time, all known illustrated Shahnama manuscripts and acts as an invaluable resource for researchers on the subject.
Dr Mahdavi completed his Doctoral Studies in 2005 at the University of Edinburgh in the Informatics Division of the Institute for Communication and Collaborative Systems. His thesis examines the processing of Persian as a ‘natural’ language, with a particular reference to the interface between illustrations and discourse in the epic poetry of the Shahnama.
Over the years, Dr Mahdavi has presented several conference papers including: “The Layout of Illustrated Persian Manuscripts” (Visual Arts Research Institute of Edinburgh, March 2001, Edinburgh; forthcoming, VARIE Press) and “Genetically Modified Corpus or Critical Edition: The Shahnama Genome Project” at the BRISMES conference in 2001.