We all would like to learn more about history, but only a few of us have the time of the day to sit down and read a book on some obscure histories. Even if we do, the number of books that are available to tell us about the long-term span of history, particularly as they relate to places like Iran, are less than the fingers of one hand. But we can always listen, whether we are driving, taking the bus, or jumping on the tube right before the doors are closed. Podcasts, recorded audio episodes dedicated to a subject, are a great way of accessing this. Successful history podcasts such as the History of Rome, History of England, History of Byzantium, and History of Philosophy have shown this to be a most effective, and enjoyable, way of learning about history. Among these, however, the history of Iran in missing, and having access to the specialist knowledge of it, I am planning to create one.
What Does It Entail
It will be a series of episodes, for now envisioned to be about 60 of them. which I will prepare, record, and release on approximately biweekly intervals. There will be also an associated website, as well as extra learning aids such as bibliographies, maps, and additional documents.
What Time Period and Themes
I am planning to include a wider meaning of "Iranian History", so I will start with a (shorter) description of the general Mesopotamian History (Ca. 2000 BCE), before starting with the Elamites, Medes, and the Achaemenids. I will also include the history of lesser known "Iranian" dynasties and regions such as the Kushans and Transoxiana. I will not concentrate purely on dynastic history, which is the normal way of narrating Iranian history, but will focus on social, cultural, and every day aspects of life, using primary material and alternative sources of history. I am finishing the podcast with the end of the Qajar rule (ca. 1925) as I think I would not be competent at all to cover any aspect of modern history.
I hold a PhD in Late Antique History from UCLA, having written a dissertation on Sasanian history (224-651 CE). I have published on Achaemenid and Arsacid history of Iran, as well as the earlyIslamic period. I also currently teach MA classes on Mediaeval and Early modern periods at the London School of Economics, as well as a modeule on Qajar and Contemporary history of Iran at the School of Oriental and African Studies. As the result of all these, I think I have a rather good grasp of the long term history of Iran. I am also planning to use the help of guest speakers in some episodes, to provide more expert knowledge on aspects of history with which I am less familiar.
What Do You Need the Money For
Well, I need a reliable server/domain name to host the episodes and allow for easy downloads (via iTunes and other sources), design a basic website, buy a high quality microphone, and also buy a reliable Podcasting software.
When Are You Starting
As soon as possible. I have the first three episodes already written and ready to be recorded. I have planned for the regular production of episodes up to episode 15 at this point.
Risks and challenges
I do not envision any major challenges, apart from personal issues (illness) and possibly minor technological problems. For the first one, I generally am planning to record episodes whenever I can and then to release them every two weeks. So, I will always be a few episodes ahead in case I will not be able to record them on time.
As for the technical challenges, I will rely on some of my own familiarity and abilities to solve the problem, as I have ran websites since 1996. In extreme cases, I will have to ask for the help of experts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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