Shahrzad Irannejad

Tel: +90 212 293 60 67 / 120

Shahrzad Irannejad is a researcher in history of medicine in the Islamicate world. After graduating from pharmacy with a PharmD degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2009, she has focused in her research on the history of Greco-Arabic medicine. In looking into the mechanics of textual transfer of knowledge in the medieval Islamicate world, she is keen on engaging with both the codicological aspects of the material media of knowledge transfer, and individual agents of knowledge, go-betweens, and other actors. She is currently a PhD candidate at the interdisciplinary Research Training Group 1876 “Early Concepts of Humans and Nature: Universal, Specific, Interchanged”, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. In her project “Localization of the Avicennean inner senses in a Hippocratic body” she has dealt with how concepts and ideas (regarding the brain and the mind) were transformed as they travelled beyond linguistic and cultural borders from the Greek tradition to the medi-eval Arabic tradition. Shahrzad Irannejad joined Orient-Institut Istanbul in fall 2020 as a visiting research fellow working on a project entitled “Bodies of Knowledge facing epidemics: (Islam-icate) Humoral Medicine vs. Prophetic Medicine” within the Standing Working Group “Iran and Beyond: Breaking Ground for Sustainable Scholarly Collaboration” (IRSSC). Having one foot in philology and another in sociology of medicine, the project also brings together the research interests of two groups within Orient-Institut Istanbul: “Human, Medicine and Society” and “Study of Religions”.

History of Greco-Arabic medicine

Transfer of knowledge and Greco-Arabica

History of medicine in Qajar Iran

Islamicate manuscript culture and codicology

Medical Humanities

The relationship between classical Persian cuisine and medicine

30.06.2020: “Ventricular Localization: Greek into Arabic, Text into Image”. Byzantinistik Kolloquium. JGU Mainz, Online.

21.05.2020: “Absence of a Concept? Contagion, Medicine and Pilgrimage”. Study of Religions Meeting: Religion and Epidemics. Orient-Institut, Istanbul.

22.01.2020:  with Setareh Fatehi Irani, “Bodiless Heads 2: bodies, borders, flux and fluidity”. Lecture-Performance as part of the lecture series Human, Medicine and Society: Past, Present and Future Encounters. Orient-Institut, Istanbul.

21.01.2020: “Balanced Bodies: Humoral Medicine in Contemporary Iran”, Workshop: Technology and the Body: Care, Empowerment and the Fluidity of Bodies, Orient-Institut, Istanbul.

27.11.2019: “Galen’s words in Avicenna’s head: Brain anatomy from the Greek to the Perso-Arabic Tradition”. The 2nd International Congress on the History of Medicine in Islam and Iran, Tehran.

26.11.2019: “Encounter with the New Alchemical Medicine: Arabic into Persian”. Workshop: History of Alchemy for Historians of Medicine. Tehran.

18.12.2019: “Illustrating the Localization of Avicenna’s Inner Senses: A Rare Instance”. OII Forschungskolloquium. Orient-Institut, Istanbul.

01.08.2019: “Ventricular Localization from Nemesius to Avicenna”. The 16th History of Medicine Meeting. The Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

17.07.2019: with Aleksandar Milenković, “From Localization of Functions to Embodiment of Concepts”. RTG 1876 International Conference: Concepts of Humans and Nature between Specificity and Universality. JGU, Mainz.

14.06.2019: “Dissecting Avicenna’s Anatomy of the Brain”, The First International Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin History of Science in Islam Symposium. Istanbul.

26.06.2018: “Holy Holes in the Head? Nemesius from Greek into Arabic”. Byzantinistik Kolloquium. JGU, Mainz.

14.06.2018: “Making Sense of Aristotle’s [Anonymous] Appearance in Avicenna’s Anatomy of the Brain”. 29. AKAN. JGU, Mainz.

15.02.2018: “Reception of Ancient Knowledge of the Brain in the Arabic Tradition”. The 12th Annual Ancient Science Conference. UCL, London.

08.12.2017: “Translation, Transmission, Transformation: Diachronic Development of Brain Anatomy in Greco-Arabic Medicine”. Genealogies of Knowledge Conference: Translating Political and Scientific Thought across Time and Space. The University of Manchester, Manchester.

22.10.2017: “The Dialogue between Persian cuisine and medicine”. Symposium: TEM meets TPM Die Verdauung im Licht der Humoralmedizin. TEM-Akademie, Vienna.

14.10.2017: “From Galen to Avicenna: Greco-Roman world to the Perso-Arab world”. GAMED Kongress 2017: Traditionelle Europäische Medizin. GAMED, Vienna.

09.08.2017: “Lecture performance: Report of an Image”. Rooberoo Mansion, Tehran.

05.07.2017: “Bodiless Heads; Chapter Four: Ideas in Flux, Bodies in Movement”. BRISMES Annual Conference: Movement and Migration in the Middle East: People and Ideas in Flux. Edinburgh.

01.07.2017: “Healthy Body (as Vessel for the Soul) in the medieval Islamicate world”. 37. Alte Medizin. JGU, Mainz.

27.06.2017: “Medicine between Occident and Orient: Texts and Ideas in Transit”. The Exchange of Medical Knowledge Past and Present between Austria and Iran”. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

16.06.2017: “Inner Senses: Development of Terminology in a Dialogue between Philosophy and Medicine”. First International Conference on Historical Medical Discourse. University of Milan, Milan.

10.03.2017: “The Brain in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine” The Medieval Brain. University of York, York.

21.09.2016: “History of humoral medicine in Iran” and “The dialogue between Persian Medicine and Cuisine”. Symposium: TEM meets TPM. TEM-Akademie, Vienna.

09.08.2016: “Cuisine as a mirror for the state of medicine in Qajar Iran”. The 16th Conference of the International Qajar Studies Association: Doctors and the Medicinal Arts in Qajar Iran, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

02.07.2016: Theorization of death in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine. 36. Alte Medizin. JGU, Mainz.


Irannejad, Shahrzad. “Making Sense of Aristotle’s Appearance in Avicenna’s Anatomy of the Brain”. AKAN BAND 29 (2019). 123-140.

Rahimi, Roja; Irannejad, Shahrzad*; Noroozian, Maryam. “Avicenna’s pharmacological approach to memory enhancement”. Neurological Sciences 38 (2017): 1147-1157.

Book Chapters 

[forthcoming] Irannejad, Shahrzad; Milenković, Aleksandar. “From Localization of Functions to the Embodiment of Concepts”. Concepts of Humans and Nature between Specificity and Universality. Hrsg. Ulrieke Steinert, Chiara Ferella. Mohr Siebeck. Tübingen.

[forthcoming] Iranneja, Shahrzad, Alimi, Kiarash. “Greco-Arabic medical heritage in the Iranian kitchen”. Historical and Contemporary Foodways in the Middle East and North Africa. Hrsg. Nancy Stockdale. University of Arkansas Press.

Papers in Proceedings

—mit Alimi, Kiarash. “Cuisine as a Mirror for the State of Medicine in Qajar Iran”. Qajar Studies 16 (2019).


— “(Book Review) Sonja Brentjes; Jürgen Renn, Eds. Globalization of Knowledge in the Post-Antique Mediterranean, 700–1500.” Isis 109(4) (2018). 832–33.


“Heads Looking for their Bodies: A Report on a Lecture-Performance”. Orient-Institut Istanbul Blog, (30 April 2020).

“Workshop Report: Codicological and Paleographical Aspects of Islamic Manuscripts, with a Special Focus on Manuscript Notes, Berlin, March 2019”. GRK 1876 Blog, 18 April 2019.

“Episode 3: Anatomy and Pharmacology: Negotiating with the Greeks”. GRK 1876 Blog,  (30.04.2018).

“Animals in Byzantium: Three case studies. A lecture by Prof. Stavos Lazaris”. GRK 1876 Blog,  (13.02.2017).

“York and Manchester: A report of a perfect March”. GRK 1876 Blog,  (15.04.2017).

“A Report of the First International Conference on Historical Medical Discourse, Milan”. GRK 1876 Blog, (25.06.2017).

“A Report of the International Conference ‘The Exchange of Medical Knowledge Past and Present between Austria and Iran, Vienna’”. GRK 1876 Blog, (12.07.2017).

“Arabic Commentaries on Hippocratic Aphorisms: An example for exchange of medical and philosophical knowledge transfer”. GRK 1876 Blog, (16.06.2016).

“The 16th Conference of the International Qajar Studies Association: Doctors and the Medicinal Arts in Qajar Iran, Vienna”. GRK 1876 Blog, (24.08.2016).

Bodies of Knowledge facing epidemics: (Islamicate) Humoral Medicine  vs. Prophetic Medicine (Orient-Institut Istanbul)

Localization of the Avicennean Inner Senses in a Hippocratic Body (JGU Mainz, Germany)