Hormuz 1622: Connected Histories and Transcultural Receptions

A one-day hybrid conference held in Oxford (online and in person at FitzHugh auditorium, Cohen Quad, Exeter College)

The 1622 capture of Hormuz by the joint forces of Safavid Persia and the British East India Company was a defining moment in the history of Iran’s relationships with Europe. Strategically situated at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the island kingdom of Hormuz had been conquered by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1507 and made a vassal state to Portugal in 1515, remaining for more than a century thereafter a key military stronghold and a nexus of maritime trade in Portuguese hands. A catalyst of political interactions and a crossroads of economic and cultural interests, the fall of Hormuz offers a fascinating instance of the dynamics of globalization at work in the early modern period, interlocking identities and allegiances, confronting world views, political empires and commercial ambitions, reconfiguring communities and networks, repurposing histories and their receptions.



9-9.15: Welcome addresses (9-9.15): Edmund Herzig and Ladan Niayesh
9.15-10: Opening keynote
Chair: Giuseppe Marcocci
Zoltan Biedermann (University College, London): “Whose waters, whose history? Revisiting the early modern Persian Gulf through maps”
10-11: Panel 1: Locating British Imperial Ambitions
Chair: Nandini Das
Louise McCarthy (Université Paris Cité): “Locating Persia’s ‘Ormus emporium’ in the British Imagination before 1622”
Werner Gaboreau (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle): “Two imperial powers in the making: Crossing French and Persian perspectives on the capture of Hormuz”
11-11.30: Coffee break
11.30-12.45: Hakluyt Society Keynote
Chair: Gloria Clifton
Joan-Pau Rubies (ICREA & Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona): “The end of empire? Alternative perspectives on the fall of Hormuz”
12.45-14: Lunch
14-15.30: Panel 2: Centres and Peripheries
Chair: Edmund Herzig
Rupali Mishra (Auburn University): “Capturing English interest: English geopolitical ambition after Hormuz and the Persia Company of 1624”
Mansur Sefatgol (University of Tehran): “Safavid Persia’s Maritime Policy in the Seventeenth Century”
Stuart McManus (Chinese University of Hong Kong): “The changing face of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf in late Ming and Qing sources”
15.30-16: Coffee Break
16-17.30: Panel 3: Persian Receptions: A Diachronic Perspective
Chair: Sarah Knight
Lindsay Allen (King’s College, London): “The conquest of Antiquity: Shah ‘Abbas, Imam Quli Khan and the heritage of Fars”
Peter Good (University of Kent): “Legacies of Hormuz: Cooperation and memory in the EIC’s relationship with Persia in the eighteenth century”
Ghoncheh Tazmini (London School of Economics): “Contemporary Iran’s depictions of the recapture of Hormuz”
17.30-17.45: Short Break
17.45-19: Book launch and drinks reception around Peter Good’s The East India Company in Persia: Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Eighteenth Century (I. B. Tauris, 2022).

Please find a report on the event here



Contacts for any further queries about the event:
Ladan Niayesh (ladan.niayesh@orinst.ox.ac.uk)
Edmund Herzig (edmund.herzig@orinst.ox.ac.uk)

Our conference benefits from the support of the Oxford Centre for Early Modern Studies, the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre, ERC-TIDE (Oxford), LARCA (CNRS, Université Paris Cité), the British Institute of Persian Studies, the Iran Society, the Hakluyt Society and the Faculty of Oriental Studies.