[skip to content]

Centre for Iranian Studies

Centre for Iranian Studies Members

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
Centre Chair
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam International politics of West Asia; Iranian foreign and domestic politics; Critical theories of international relations; US foreign policy in the ‘third world’; Islamic political and intellectual history.
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4747
  • Email: aa106@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 216
  • Office Hours: Mondays, 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm and 6 - 6:45 pm
  • On Sabbatical:Term 1, 2015/16

Advisory Committee

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian
Advisory Committee Member
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

All cultural matters, with a special emphasis on artistic and architectural heritage (including gardens), but also literature, music and dance, and any cultural interaction between civilizations since prehistory. Nature and environmental matters (since 1971).

Narguess Farzad
Advisory Committee Member
Narguess Farzad Persian language and literature. Organiser of SOAS-Cambridge Undergraduate workshops
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4346
  • Email: nf1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 440
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 12-2pm or by appointment

Sarah Stewart
Advisory Committee Member
Sarah Stewart

Lecturer in Zoroastrianism, with particular reference to the living tradition in Iran and India. Convenor: Islam in Britain.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4270
  • Email: ss7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 331
  • On Sabbatical:2015/16

Visiting Fellows

Rana Daroogheh
Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) Visiting Fellow in Iranian Studies
Rana Daroogheh

Rana's interests include the history and politics of archaeology; Iranian nationalism and national identity; reconstruction of the past in the Middle East; Theoretical approaches.

Her current research focuses on the underestimated role of archaeology as an instrument that facilitated the construction of a new identity in Iran under the doctrine of ‘Dialogue among Civilisations’ put forward by President Khatami (r. 1997-2005 AD)."


Shirin Eshghi
Visiting Scholar
Shirin Eshghi

Shirin is currently a librarian and PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Whilst at the LMEI she will be exploring the possibility of creating an oral history project involving entrepreneurs from the Iranian diaspora. Shirin is also spending a term at the London School of Economics as part of her PhD work in Asian Studies, focusing on Japanese and gender studies.


Hamid Pouran
Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) Visiting Fellow in Iran’s Environmental Sustainability
Hamid Pouran

Before joining SOAS as a visiting fellow, Hamid was senior research associate at Lancaster University. He was part of Transatlantic Initiative for Nanotechnology and the Environment (TINE), a top international scientific consortium of UK and US universities to better understand fate and behavior of nanomaterials in the environment. His research was focused on developing new techniques to measure available concentrations of nanomaterials in the environment.

He is very keen about policy research in particular environmental policy and how common concerns about global and regional environmental sustainability problems could bring countries closer despite their political differences.

Hamid is currently a member, co-founder and innovation director, of a spin out company from Lancaster University, Novabiomatrix Ltd, that is an R&D company in nanobiotech research.


Members

Dominique Akhoun-Schwarb
Member
Dominique Akhoun-Schwarb
Peter Austin
Member
Peter Austin

Typology, morpho-syntax, language documentation and description, historical linguistics, Lexical-Functional grammar, computer-aided linguistic analysis, Austronesian languages, Australian Aboriginal languages

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4586
  • Email: pa2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 364
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm/Wednesdays 12-1pm (term 1)

Doris Behrens-Abouseif
Member
Doris Abouseif

Architecture of Cairo, the art and archaeology of Turkey, Iran and the Near East

Teresa Bernheimer
Member
Teresa Berheimer

Islamic History to 1200; social history of elites in early Islam, especially 'Alid family; documentary and material evidence from Late Antiquity to early Islam; origins and development of Shi'ism; early Islamic Iran


Anna Contadini
Member
Anna Contadini Arab and early Persian painting and the arts of the Islamic book in general, including the production of manuscripts of the Qur'an; art and material culture of the Islamic world; Fatimid art and architecture; the arts of Islamic Spain; artistic contacts between the Islamic World and Europe; aspects of contemporary Islamic art.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4458
  • Email: ac24@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: B306
  • Office Hours: By email appointment
William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Member
William Gervase Clarence-Smith History of Islam, sexuality, diasporas, slavery, stimulants, rubber, livestock and textiles, with special reference to Maritime South East Asia
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4608
  • Email: wc2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 313
  • Office Hours: Thursdays 3-5pm

Sorour Dundon
Member
Staff Silhouette
  • Tel: 020 7898 4365
  • Email: sd14@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 420
  • On Sabbatical:On leave 2015-16
Heather Elgood, MBE
Member
Hettie Elgood Dr Heather Elgood is the Course Director of the Diploma in Asian Art. She is a specialist in Persian, Jain, Sultanate and Mughal manuscript painting as well as the ritual arts of Hinduism.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4445
  • Email: he2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: B310
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-5pm or by email appointment

Massimiliano Fusari
Member
Massimiliano Fusari

Hassan Hakimian
Member
Hassan Hakimian

Human Resources; Demography; Trade Policy & Regional Integration; Energy and Natural Resources with reference to the MENA region.

Jan-Peter Hartung
Member
Staff Silhouette

Intellectual History of Islam with special reference to South Asia and the wider Persianate World, Political Islam, later Islamic Philosophy and Theology.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4383
  • Email: Jh74@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 333
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-4pm & Wednesdays 1-2pm

Almut Hintze
Member
Almut Hintze

Dr Hintze takes an interest in all aspects of Zoroastrianism, the religion of pre-Islamic Iran.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4598
  • Email: ah69@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 334
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm (and by Appointment)
Massoud Karshenas
Member
Staff Silhouette Middle East economics, Oil and economic development, Global poverty and growth, labour markets and structural adjustment.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4535
  • Email: mk@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 268
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays: 12:00 to 14:00

Erica Hunter
Member
Erica Hunter

Eastern Christianity; Syriac Christianity in the Middle East, with particular reference to Iraq; Syriac Christianity in medieval Central Asia and China

  • Tel: 020 7898 4663
  • Email: eh9@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 339
  • Office Hours: By Email Appointment
Hugh N Kennedy
Member
Hugh N Kennedy

Medieval history of Arabic-speaking lands.

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4251
  • Email: hk1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 436
  • Office Hours: Tues.2.30-3.30/Thurs.11.30-12.30/Email appointment

George Lane
Member
George Lane Current research concerns the presence of Persians in Yuan (Mongol) China. Teaching concentrates on Mediaeval Persia. Involved in IFCELS with the Lord Chancellor's programme for Chinese Lawyers since the early 90s as well as pre-sessionals and ELAS.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4285
  • Email: gl1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 303
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1.30-4pm or by email appointment
Derek Mancini-Lander
Member
Derek Mancini-Lander

Cultural and social history of the late medieval and early modern Persianate world; urban and local history in Iran; space, memory, and narrative in Persian historiography; shrine-centered religiosity; Safavid history

  • Tel: 020 7898 4609
  • Email: dm40@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 311
  • Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-3pm

Nima Mina
Member
Staff Silhouette Classical and Modern Persian literature, Orientalism in 18th-20th century Europe, Middle Eastern minority writers in Europe, Diaspora studies, music performance, translation studies
  • Tel: 020 7898 4315
  • Email: nm46@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 422
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 13:00-15:00 / Weds 11:00-13:00
Dan Plesch
Member
Dan Plesch

Applied International Relations, weapons of mass destruction, diplomacy, globalisation and corporate accountability, globalisation and democracy, globalisation and energy, the role of international non-governmental organisations, the United Nations and the Nazis.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4841
  • Email: dp27@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 4432
  • Office Hours: By appointment


Nicholas Sims-Williams
Member
Nicholas Sims-Williams Iranian and Central Asian philology; Christian and Manichaean texts from Central Asia.
Renate Söhnen-Thieme
Member
Renate Sohnen Thieme Sanskrit language and literature; classical Indian religions; folklore and music of Baltistan

Gabriele vom Bruck
Member
Gabriele Vom Bruck

Middle East with emphasis on the Arabian Peninsular (especially Yemen): elites, memory, religion and politics

  • Tel: 020 7898 4408
  • Email: gb19@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 585
  • Office Hours: Mondays 3-5pm
Burzine K Waghmar
Member
Staff Silhouette

Indo-Iranian History, Historical Geography and Philology (Avestan, Old Persian, Parthian, Pahlavi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, Pashto, Balochi and Kashmiri); Languages and Religions of Late Antiquity and the Silk Road (Bactrian, Khotanese, Sogdian, contacts among Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and early Islam); Pakistan studies (Ancient and early Medieval History, Dardic and Nuristani dialectology, ethnography and topography of NWFP, FATA, Northern Areas and Trans-Karakoram Tract); Pakistani minorities; HUMINT counterterrorism and linguistic analysis; South Asian Muslim psycho-sociology; Muslim non-Muslim relations (Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh).

  • Email: bw3@soas.ac.uk
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Owen Wright
Member
Owen Wright Music of the Islamic Middle East; historical musicology
Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad
Member
Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad
  • Tel: 020 7898 4422
  • Email: sz10@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 587
  • Office Hours: By email appointment

Associate Members

Abdolreza Alamdar-Baghini
Associate Member
Staff Silhouette

PhD candidate in Historical Sociology at Leiden University. For his PhD thesis on The Social History of Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine in Iran Alamdar-Baghini is carrying out research on the social history of mining in Iran by focusing on Sarcheshmeh copper mine, one of the largest copper deposits worldwide, from the beginning of its establishment in 1966 to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Alamdar-Baghini examines the evolution of the mining industry in the Iranian economy during the Pahlavi era and his focus is on the working conditions of the mine workers at Sarcheshmeh. This study intends to show the role of the state as well as the private sector in the Iranian mining industry and the relationship of the state and mining workers by focusing on the Sarcheshmeh copper mine.

Lubna Abid Ali
Associate Member
Lubna Abid Ali

Dr Lubna Ali is Professor and Director of the School of Politics and International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She is UNESCO-Fellow at Middle East Studies Institute, Columbia University, New York, and a Post-doctoral fellow, Islamic Studies, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Her interests include Iran's foreign policy behavior, countering militancy and extremism in the states sharing a trijunctional border in Balochistan province of Pakistan, Iran (Siestan), Aghanistan (Helmand) and Pakistan (Balochistan). She is also the recipient of international peace award (2008) from INSPAD (Institute of Peace and Development) promoting peace and human rights through irfan and Sufism.


Haleh Anvari
Associate Member
Haleh Anvari

Haleh Anvari is an independent artist and writer, her areas of interest include the post revolutionary visual culture and contemporary art of Iran.

Negar Davari Ardakani
Associate Member
Staff Silhouette

Shahid Beheshti University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics


Kayhan Barzegar
Associate Member
Kayhan Barzegar

Kayhan Barzegar PhD is Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (IMESS) in Tehran. He is also a faculty member and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Science and Research Branch of the Islamic Azad University. Dr Barzegar was a Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs during 2007-2011 and a Post-doctorate Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) during 2002-2003. He has participated in numerous international conferences on Iran's regional policy, the politics of Iran’s nuclear program, Persian Gulf’s energy security issues, and Iran-US relations. Dr Barzegar is the Editor-in-Chief of Discourse: An Iranian English Quarterly.

Helen Guinachvilli
Associate Member
Helen Giunashvili

Helen Giunashvili is a researcher at G. Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies, Ilia State University in Tbilisi and is also affiliated to the Graduate School of the Methodology of the Humanities in Paris. She was educated first at I. Javakhishvili State University, Faculty of Oriental Studies and after, at the St. Petersburg  Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, where she took the postgraduate course and  did her Doctoral thesis on the subject “Personal Verbal Forms in Western Middle Iranian” (1993). Her researches mostly deal with cultural-linguistic interrelations of pre-Islamic Iran and Georgia. She is the author of more over 50 scientific publications.

Research interests: Historical grammar of Western Middle Iranian languages; Iranian-Georgian cultural-linguistic interference: Parthian and Middle Persian lexis in Old Georgian; Structural-typological relation of Middle Persian with Old Georgian; Parthian and Middle Persian onomastics (proper names, ethnical names, geographic terminology) in Old Georgian; Scythian-Alanic onomastics in Kartvelian; Old Aramaic epigraphy of Georgia, linguistic-paleographic analysis; XVI-XVIII cc Persian and Georgian-Persian historical documents, their linguistic characteristics; Persian elements in the language of the Iranian Georgians (Fereidanian dialect).


Denis Hermann
Associate Member
Staff Silhouette

Historian and senior research fellow in the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), I am mostly working on the social and intellectual history of Twelver Shi’ism in Iran during the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century.

Jennifer Langer
Member
Jennifer Langer

My research continued my interest in cultural memory through Iranian Jewish literature. The literary production of exiled Iranian Jewish women appears in the anthology I edited: If Salt has Memory (Five Leaves: 2008).


Jane Lewisohn
Associate Member
Jane Lewisohn

Persian music and performing arts

Ziba Mir-Hosseini
Associate Member
Ziba Mir-Hosseini

Islam and feminism; Islamic family law, politics of gender and family law in Iran and Morocco


Laetitia Nanquette
Associate Member
Laetitia Nanquette

Contemporary Persian literature, circulation of literature and culture between Iran and the Iranian diasporas, the relations between Iran and the West, Persian literature and globalization.

Lawrence Potter
Associate Member
Lawrence Potter

Deputy Director of the Gulf/2000 Project at Columbia University, New York, a major international research project on long-term trends and policy developments in the Persian Gulf and has organised a number of major conferences and edited five books on the region (October 1994 to present).

Areas of interest include Islamic History, especially Iran, Afghanistan, Central and South Asia & Persian Gulf, medieval and modern; Islamic Religion, especially Sufism; Geography; Numismatics; US Foreign Policy.


Luz Rodriguez
Associate Member
Luz Rodriguez

My passion for art research stems from my genuine interest in understanding the world through history of art, beginning with antiquity, through the middle ages and continuing into contemporary art. After gaining that knowledge, I decided to specialise in the beauty, passion and ideas transmitted by the Persian and Indian artists who dedicated their entire lives to creating magnificent miniature paintings in the form of folios, muraqas and manuscripts. The subjects in which I focus my research are pigments and dyes; X-Ray Fluorescent and Multi-Spectra Imaging; text and images in Persian manuscripts; Persian and Indian workshops in Safavid, Mughal India and Lucknow; the East India Company and transfer of manuscript from Persia into India between 17th to early 19th century. For more information: www.luzrodriguez.co.uk

Elaheh Rostami-Povey
Associate Member
Elaheh Rostami-Povey

Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East, in particular gender issues in Iran. Women’s employment, feminism, war, conflict, diaspora, Iran in the Middle East.


Marina Díaz Sanz
Associate Member
Marina Díaz Sanz PhD student at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). My work revolves around the axis power-knowledge-space in relation to Western/Spanish geopolitical imagination vis-à-vis the Middle East and, more specifically, Iran. Critical Geopolitics and IR, the critique of Orientalism and Discourse Analysis inform my research project.
Asghar Seyed-Gohrab
Associate Member
Asghar Seyed-Gohrab

Asghar Seyed-Gohrab is Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University. He teaches classes on Persian and Middle Eastern literature, Islamic mysticism (Sufism), cultural and intellectual interaction between East and West, and Iranian film and cinema. His recent research examines how classical poetry and medieval mystic and philosophical concepts are applied in modern Iran, to effect and comment on political changes. He has concentrated on three central episodes in the 20th century. At the time of the Constitutional Revolution (1905-11), poetry became a vehicle for introducing ‘Western' social and political ideas. During the Islamic Revolution (1979), Khomeini used poetry to express his mystical ideals; he also used mystical concepts as a buttress for his theory of Islamic government. During the Iran-Iraq war, poetry became part of the state propaganda, supporting the cult of combatant martyrdom, which in the crisis became an icon of national identity and a means of justifying violence. Poetry was also used in intensely personal processing of the horrors and quandaries of revolution and war.


Fatemeh Shams Esmaeili
Associate Member
Fatemeh Shams

My primary research interest concerns the process of literary production under authoritarian states. I have completed my doctoral project on the dialectic of literature and power with a specific focus on post-revolutionary Iran. My current project addresses the same question throughout the history of Persian literature.

Annabelle Sreberny
Associate Member
Anabelle Sreberny: Centre for Media and Film Studies

Middle East, especially Iran; gender and democratization; diasporic cultures; ‘small media’ and political change.


Richard Tapper
Associate Member
Richard Tapper

Lecturer, Reader and Professor in SOAS 1967-2004; fieldwork in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey; published on pastoral nomadism, ethnic and tribal minorities and the state, material cultures, culinary cultures, anthropology of Islam, Iranian Cinema.

Ghoncheh Tazmini
Associate Member
Ghoncheh Tazmini

Ghoncheh Tazmini's interests include Iran, Russia, the Arab revolts, Islam and modernity, social movements, reform and modernisation, cross-cultural discourse, and the ambivalent relationship between western and non-western traditions in the 21st century.


Massoumeh Torfeh
Associate Member
Massoumeh Torfeh

Massoumeh Torfeh, has been appointed UN Director of Strategic Communication and Spokesperson for Afghanistan and is a former senior producer in BBC World Service, specializes on the politics and media of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Mehdi Zakerian
Associate Member
Mehdi Zakerian

Mehdi Zakerian is based at the Faculty of Law & Political Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Sciences & Research Branch, Terhan. He is the editor-in-Chief of the International Studies Journal (ISJ), which is published quarterly in both Persian and English devoted to international affairs and human rights.


Farshad Zahedi
Associate Member
Farshad Zahedi Farshad Zahedi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, University of Carlos III of Madrid. Research interests: Iranian cinema and cultural studies; aesthetic roots; gender representations; psychoanalytic criticism; film theories; history of Iranian independent cinema. Teaching: Moving Image History; Film Studies.   

PhD Student Associate Members

Majid Kazemi
Staff Silhouette
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4730
  • Email: mk99@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 274
  • Office Hours: Fridays: 10:00 to 12:00 (Term 2 only)
A. Ebru Akcasu
PhD Student Associate Member
Photo of Ayse Ebru Akcasu

Alexandra Buhler
PhD Student Associate Member
Staff Silhouette
Nazneen Engineer
PhD Student Associate Member
Staff Silhouette

Amin Hashemi
PhD Student Associate Member
Amin Hashemi
Sareh Javid
PhD Student Associate Member
Sareh Javid

The Traveller: A philosophical Journey through Cinema


Jonathan Leslie
PhD Student Associate Member
Jonathan Leslie
Alexandra Magub
PhD Student Associate Member
Alexandra Magub

Benjamin Petrini
PhD Student Associate Member
Benjamin Petrini

Researcher and practitioner on war-to-peace transition and peacebuilding policies.

Political scientist with 5 years of experience at the World Bank on peacebuilding policies in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Conducted research and provided technical assistance on conflict analysis, forced displacement, and linkages between different forms of violence to advance the agenda of conflict prevention in the World Bank’s operations.

Nafiseh Sharifi
PhD Student Associate Member
Nafiseh Sharifi

George Warner
PhD Student Associate Member
Staff Silhouette