Dr Tanya Elal Lawrence

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Department of History Lecturer in Middle East History
SOAS, Main Building
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Wednesdays 1:00pm - 2:00pm


Tanya is an historian of the late Ottoman Empire and modern Iran, focusing on Ottoman and Iranian intellectual and political thought, revolutions in comparative perspective and state succession in the 19th and 20th century Middle East.

Her current book project, based on her doctoral dissertation, An Age of Trans-Imperial Vernacularisms: The Iranian Community of the Late Ottoman Empire, is the first systematic inquiry into the formation of expansive Iranian socio-intellectual networks within a region that spanned Iran, the Ottoman Empire and Caucasus in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, and offers new perspectives on the construction of revolutionary thought in the Middle East, imperial collapse and the social history of ideas in Iran and the Ottoman Empire & Republican Turkey. The project highlights Ottoman and Turkish archives as a crucial repository for modern Iranian history, thus offering avenues for putting inter-imperial and inter-Islamic politics in the frame of writing Middle East history.

Prior to joining SOAS, Tanya was an Associate Lecturer in Iranian and Middle Eastern History at the School of History at St Andrews (2019-2022) and a held a one-year lectureship in History at Smith College (2018-2019).  


Tanya received her PhD from the Department of History at Yale (2018). She holds master’s degrees in History from Yale (2014) and Bogazici University (2012). She earned her BA in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford (2010). 


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