School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dr Seyed Ali Alavi

Key information

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Lecturer in Middle Eastern and Iranian Studies Centre for Iranian Studies Co-Director China Institute Member
BSc, BA (London), MSc, PhD (SOAS)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44(0)20 7898 4693
Support hours
Tuesday (2:00pm–3:00pm) / Friday (12:00pm–1:00pm)


Since joining SOAS academic teams, I have devoted myself to the rigorous exploration of Middle East Studies and Global Foreign Policy Analysis. Over time, my academic pursuits have evolved to embrace a broader spectrum, immersing myself deeply into the realms of Cultural and Area Studies. This transformation was notably catalysed by my association with the esteemed School of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics, renowned for its dynamism and commitment to excellence.

Currently, I lead the MA Iranian Studies programme, a distinguished course of study uniquely available through the School of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics at SOAS. In addition, I convene an array of compelling modules, such as Remapping Area Studies in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, alongside other courses on Iran: History, Culture, and Politics, Palestine Studies, and Decolonising Otherness. My educational journey began with a degree in Agricultural Genetic Engineering, followed by an undergraduate degree in International Politics in London. I then pursued further academic excellence at SOAS, earning my MA in International Politics of the Middle East and a PhD in International Studies. 

My book, Iran and Palestine, published by Routledge in 2020, signifies a contribution to the discourse on Middle East Studies. More recently, I have expanded on this work by contributing a chapter titled “Palestine and Iran” to the edited volume "Between Diplomacy and Non-Diplomacy," published in 2023 by Palgrave Macmillan. My ongoing research ventures span a diverse array of subjects, including Orientalism and Otherness, Cyber Space and the Middle East, the shifting dynamics of alliances across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and the impact of languages and cultures on social media within the Middle Eastern milieu. My academic interests are centred on the Global South, with the aim of exploring the intricate cultural and historical ties that bind Asia, Africa, and the Middle East together.

Should you be interested in learning more about my research or exploring the possibilities of pursuing a MA or PhD at SOAS, I warmly invite you to get in touch with me.

Research interests

Middle East Studies, Iranian Studies, Palestinian Studies, Area Studies (Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eurasia), Orientalism, International Studies.

My research portfolio spans the diverse realms of Area Studies, with a particular focus on Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Within this interdisciplinary framework, I am interested in delving into the intricate cultural, economic and political dynamics underpinning China's relations with the Middle East, with a special emphasis on nations such as Iran and the Arab States in West Asia.


Contact Seyed Ali