Podcast 4 Season 2: The Epics of Heroes with Jaimee Comstock-Skipp

Jaimee Comstock-Skipp takes us on a magical journey to learn more about the epic poem of Iran: Firdausī’s Shāhnāma – a tale that distills love, treason, revenge, and the struggle for power.

She reflects on the book’s role as a guide for good leadership, and looks at its illustrations for insights into the many facets of a successful leader in the Persian-speaking world, including Central Asia. What can world leaders learn from it today?


Jaimee Comstock-Skipp holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Near Eastern studies with a speciality in Arabic and Islamic civilizations (2009). She also holds an MA from the Williams College Graduate Programme in the History of Art (2012) and a second MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London (2015), where she studied book arts of the Mongol through Safavid periods. She received linguistic training in Farsi and Tajiki in Tajikistan where she also conducted research as a recipient of the Fulbright Award (2015-16). She is currently a PhD candidate affiliated with Leiden University working on a dissertation related to Shaybānid productions of Firdausī’s Shāhnāma epic from 16th to 17th-century Central Asia.

She has received numerous research awards, including a Barakat Trust grant in 2019 and has published widely about the Uzbeks, heroes and heroism, and identity.

This podcast is part of Converging Paths and Arts In Isolation, a partnership with Asia House, kindly supported by the Altajir Trust, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Education Programme.

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