Launching the Achaemenid Workshops (AchWorks)

Over the past few years we have been conversing with our international colleagues on a number of occasions about the common wish to launch a new series on Achaemenid history. This endeavor, dubbed Achaemenid Workshops, shall strive to revisit, reassess, and reformulate (the state of) Achaemenid scholarship.

The goal of the workshops is to allow the important momentum around Achaemenid Studies—which is greatly tributary, among others, to the past Achaemenid History meetings, the indefatigable work of Amélie Kuhrt, Heelen Sancisi-Weerdenburg, Pierre Briant and many others, the launch of important series, such as Achaemenid History, PersikaOriens et Occidens, Classica et Orientalia and more—to continue forth, and for us to be allowed to foster the next generation of scholars, for whom this type of institutional framework might prove crucial.

This is particularly important at the present juncture, when the manifold fields of ancient studies are undergoing profound changes and multiple voices reporting on the ancient worlds are emerging with ever more vigor and independence. Thus, at a time when new research structures, such as Global Antiquity (UCLA), have been instituted, or grand initiatives, such as the Classical World in Context (Getty), are being conducted, the Achaemenid world empire would also have pedagogic and heuristic value for the comparative study of the ancient worlds.

The themes of the workshops shall be reflecting the strength and expertise of the faculty and institutions involved while addressing desiderata within Achaemenid scholarship.

Meet Our Organizing Board 

Achaemenid Workshops (AchWorks) Schedule of Events 

ucla2023 (April 12–14, 2023)

University of California, Los Angeles: “Identity, Alterity, and the Imperial Impress in the Achaemenid World”

Organizer: M. Rahim Shayegan

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innsbruck2023 (July, 3–7, 2023)

University of Innsbruck: “The Achaemenid Persian Empire and Imperial Transformations in the Ancient Near East”

Organizer: Robert Rollinger

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 new york 2025 (Spring 2025)

New York University & Columbia University: “Towards a Literary History of the Achaemenid Empire”

Organizers: Dan Potts, John Ma, and Marc van de Mieroop
london2025 (Summer 2025)

King’s College London: “Persianate Receptions of Antiquity/ies”

Organizer: Lindsay Allen and Sussan Babaie
 OAW 2025 (Fall 2025)

Austrian Academy of Sciences: “The Achaemenid Persian Empire and Its Non-Western Borderlands: A Change of Paradigm”

Organizer: Robert Rollinger
nhrf2026 (Spring 2026)

National Hellenic Research Foundation

Organizer: Antigoni Zournatzi
ucla2026 (Spring 2026)

University of California, Los Angeles

Organizer: M. Rahim Shayegan
london2026 (Fall 2026)

Utrecht University: "Central Asia and the Longue Durée"

Organizer: Rolf Strootman
kiel2027 (September 2027)

Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel: “Social History of the Achaemenid Empire: Imperial and Local Societies in Interaction”

Organizer: Hilmar Klinkott
kassel2028 (September/October 2028)

University of Kassel: “The Economy(-ies) of the Achaemenid Empire”

Organizer: Kai Ruffing
oub2029 (Fall 2029)

University of Colorado Boulder

Organizer: Elspeth Dusinberre


Publication of the Proceedings

A dedicated series is in the process of being created. The series would be edited by M. Rahim Shayegan and Robert Rollinger, but the organizers of each workshop are the volume’s editors.

Responsibilities of the Pourdavoud Institute

The Pourdavoud Institute serves as the organizing hub for the workshops, and also assists with some common logistics, as well as assumes the creation of a common website, and is responsible for the videography of the workshops to be posted on the common and individual websites. The organization of the individual workshops is left in the hands of the hosting institutions, but the Pourdavoud Institute can assist in this. The Pourdavoud Institute may also assist with a limited subvention to defray the expenses associated with the publication of the volume, should the need arise.

Student Participation

In general, we would welcome the participation of advanced graduate students as speakers, chairs, and participants at these events.