Why do historians hold less meetings?

Shima Donya-Dar Rostami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


According to Iranian oral history website, the general meeting of Iranian Society of History attended by members of the Society was held in the morning of Mehr 26, 1397(October 18, 2018) in Hekmat Hall of Humanities Research Center. In this program, which was attended by some of the founders of the Society, the development of the Society's goals was emphasized with regard to the initial goals of establishment.

At the meeting, Dr. Ali Mohammad Valavee, a founder of Iranian Society of History, pointed out that this year is the tenth anniversary of the establishment of this Society, and also, referring to the program for next five years, expressed his expectations of continuing the activities of the Iranian Society of History and said: "Previously, there was more enthusiasm for these meetings. I do not know whether we are in wrong, raising awareness are in trouble or interest and effort of historians are less; we encountered with a less presence in the annual meeting. There should be a pathology in this field, and perhaps one of the most important things should be done over the next five years is that the society will focus on the issue of why the historian have low correlation with each other and hold less meetings."

He explained about what the future perspective of the Iranian Society of History is expected to be: "The Iranian Society of History should make historians able to publish their scientific publications in the form of books, articles and etc. through the Society. The publications unit of Society should be more active than current one make tangible products that historians feel that a positive step is taking place. I now feel that the Society is not very active in this field, and there are no new publications in the field of books and suitable style that publish the ideas of professors and researchers. Of course, except two journals that one of them is published with the participation of the Institute of Humanities and the other is being published independently, such products are less paid attention.

He also stated: "Holding meetings, in which historians can expose their thoughts to be criticized, is also a matter of neglected issues. At the beginning of the establishment of Society, it was in our minds that we could have at least 10 journals in the tenth year in cooperation with universities and science centers. I know that there has been some effort, but it has not yet been fully realized that those publications can introduce themselves well to the scientific community of the country. The aim was to bring the first word in the field of history-related products, and wherever there is a person who has words to say about history, in addition to his speech, theory, and intellectual production, a sign of the "Iranian Society of History" should be existed. This can have a two-way benefit for professionals, experts, journalists and the Society; it also helps to identify the Society and also contributes to the spread of intellectual products by scholars of history."

 According to Valavee, the presence of the Iranian Society of History in the field of protecting and protecting historical culture and history of the country was another aspirations of the Society's founders. It means, the Society is sensitive to events taking place in the field of history in the country and make effort in protecting and preserving the historical and cultural heritage and all that is related to historians. This sensitivity should be increased every day in this Society and managed in such a way that policy makers and authorities know that this field has a serious manager who, although is responsible, but holds attention on deviations, and interferes in that matter. In this field, the Society should also have more serious plans to consolidate its position as a scientific position in history.

At the end of his speech, Valavee said: "All of my request is that the Board of Directors of this Society, whom I know are all sympathetic, should refer again to ideals, aspirations and policy that we have during the establishment of the Society at Al-Zahra University and the Humanities Research Institute, plan and execute those ideals. Our purpose was to enable the Society of History to enter into this area with the regional Society. We must examine and resolve our shortcomings. Our ideal was to stabilize ourselves at national level in the short run and compete with the scientific associations of the country such as sociology, psychology, and so on, and stabilize ourselves in the region in the long term, and have a the global perspective to the Iranian Society of History in the long term. I hope that these perspectives will be taken into consideration."

Dr. Mohammad Taghi Emami Khoi also said: "I received my degree "Bachelor of Art" in Tabriz University and degree "Master of Art" in Tehran University and I went to Turkey for the course of "Ph.D." At that time, poor people went to study in Turkey and rich people studied in England and France. In Turkey, the Society of History was attractable. For the History Society to be survived, Turkish Career Bank was used for protection and everyone, who was cooperating with the Society, was under protection. The Afghans, at that time, had the Society of History and supported historians."

Dr. Mohammad Taghi Emami Khoi, the member of the founder of Iranian Society of History added: "History is the mother of science and is an identity. History should not only include the names of the kings and the number of children and their battles; if history is correctly spoken, it attracts people's interest. Today, many benefactors do a lot of work in different fields. They should help the Society of history that historical identity of Iran not to be lost. The duty of the Iranian Society of History is also support. Particularly supporting young people is worthwhile and we should appreciate their presence. We should spend time and life keeping the Society alive."

Then, Shahram Yousififar, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Society of History, described the performance of this Society in recent years, and finally he unveiled two books about the Iranian Society of History's Performance.

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