Riaz Howey

Predoctoral Fellow (May 2021-Apr 2024)

How, in what fields, and by whose authority, do premodern New Persian agricultural texts claim to transmit knowledge? Do the extant texts present evidence of belonging to a coherent knowledge tradition, and are there changes in this tradition’s values and functions between 1300–1600?

Riaz Howey’s dissertation project looks at these questions, beginning with one focus text that seems to defy the idea of a tradition: the ās̱ār va aḥyā, a partially surviving text attributed to Rashīd al-Dīn Fażlullāh Hamadānī (1247–1318), Ilkhanid statesman and owner of vast agricultural holdings. The dissertation project will involve reading instructional manuals in particular—but also sections on agriculture from other genres—within a temporally and linguistically wider corpus in order to better understand how “authors” differentiated or integrated their approach within the multiple traditions they may have had access to.

Riaz is particularly interested in how knowledge from classical sources is represented in these texts, as well as the social conditions of the reproduction of literate agricultural knowledge.

Riaz graduated with an MA in Global History from Freie Universität Berlin in 2020.

Find Riaz's profile on the Website of the International Max Planck Research School – "Knowledge and its Resources" (IMPRS-KIR).



Agricultural Knowledge in Persian, 1200–1600


Agriculture and the Making of Sciences (1100–1700)


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