Collaborative Publications

The Ilex Series promotes research and scholarship in the humanistic traditions of the Mediterranean and the Near East and shares such research with a wide audience. The series is published in partnership with the Center for Hellenic Studies, and distributed through Harvard University Press.

Publications funded or supported by the Foundation

Embroidered with Gold, Strung with Pearls: The Traditional Ballads of Bosnian Women. Aida Vidan. Copyright 2003, The Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature

* This publication has won the Heldt Translation Prize awarded by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, a branch of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS).

From Goethe’s poetic interest in them in the eighteenth century, down to the work of scholars such as Milman Parry and Albert Lord in the twentieth, South Slavic traditional ballads have intrigued many by their beauty and eloquence. These songs are now made available to the English reader in this bilingual edition offering a selection of materials from Harvard University’s Parry Collection.

Visit the Harvard University Press website for ordering information.

Visit the Milman Parry Collection website.

The Center for Hellenic Studies also provided support for this book.

Vafsi Folk Tales, by Dr. Donald L. Stilo. A new work on Iranian languages, linguistics, and folklore, entitled Vafsi Folk Tales, by Dr. Donald L. Stilo, presently at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, is forthcoming from Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden. The volume was edited and provided with additional annotations on the folklore by Professor Ulrich Marzolph of the Enzyklopädie des Märchens of the Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. With generous financial support from the ILEX Foundation, it is now possible to prepare a digitally remastered audio compact disc to accompany this collection of Vafsi tales. More on the Vafsi project.

Ongoing support for In the Time of Kiarostami, a publication project by renowned film critic Godfrey Cheshire on Iranian cinema that combines many of Godfrey’s classic pieces with newly written and unpublished articles for a comprehensive, informed and engaging overview of a uniquely important national cinema.

The Singer of Tales by Albert Lord, 2nd edition, 2000. This new edition, edited with an introduction by Stephen Mitchell and Gregory Nagy, marks the fortieth anniversary of the original publication of Albert B. Lord’s book (1960). The words of Lord, as well as the original pagination, have been preserved unchanged. Important new features, however, have been added, including the audio recordings of South Slavic heroic songs made by Milman Parry, in 1933–1935, and his own audio recordings, made in 1950–1951, photographs from the Collection, with Albert Lord’s original typed captions, and facsimiles of Béla Bartók’s handwritten transcriptions of selected songs quoted by Lord in The Singer of Tales.

Singing the Past. Cornell University Press, 2000. On trips to Central Asia, Karl Reichl collected heroic poems from the Uzbek, Kazakh, and Karakalpak oral traditions. Through a close analysis of these Turkic works, he shows that they are typologically similar to heroic poetry in Old English, Old High German, and Old French and that they can offer scholars new insights into the oral background of these medieval texts. Reichl draws on his research in Central Asia to discuss questions regarding performance as well as the singers’ training, role in society, and repertoire.


Understanding Near Eastern Literature: A Spectrum of Interdisciplinary Approaches
Eds. Beatrice Gruendler and Verena Klemm..
Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2004. The pilot volume in Reichert’s Literatures in Context series, a peer-reviewed book series devoted to Near Eastern and North African literatures.

Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh and Khamsa of Nezami. September 2000.
Special facsimile edition, in association with the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia.

After Antiquity: Greek Language, Myth, and Metaphor. 2002.
By Margaret Alexiou. Cornell University Press. Alexiou looks at how language defines the contours of myth and metaphor. Drawing on texts from the New Testament to the present day, Alexiou shows the diversity of the Greek language and its impact at crucial stages of its history on people who were not Greek. Alexiou places special emphasis on Byzantine literary texts of the sixth and twelfth centuries, providing her own translations where necessary; modern poetry and prose of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and narrative songs and tales in the folk tradition, which she analyzes alongside songs of the life cycle.


Middle East Report. Fall 1999.
Terry Walz, Executive Director. Bruce Dunne, Chair.
Middle East Reasearch and Information Project (MERIP)
Ilex Foundation provided support for a special issue on Iran of Middle East Report, published by MERIP.

Selected Articles by Ilex Foundation Trustees & Officers

  Against the thugs, Iranian self-criticism

Mohammad J. Mahallati and Olga M. Davidson

The Daily Star, Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Iran, Egypt and the Ikhwan

Mohammad J. Mahallati and Olga M. Davidson, March 04, 2004

Moderates Everywhere Have a Duty (Arabic Translation)

Mohammad J. Mahallati and Olga M. Davidson

International Herald Tribune, December 4, 2002, moved to The New York Times, The Opinion Pages

For a Prosperous Afghanistan by Khataya Chhor

with quotes by Mohammad J. Mahallati and Olga M. Davidson

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty