SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Mr Mattin Biglari

BA History (Cantab), MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies (SOAS)
  • Overview
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
Mr Mattin Biglari
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
2-4pm on Thursdays
Thesis title:
Refining Knowledge: Expertise, Power and Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1939-73
Year of Study:


Teaching H102 - 'History of the World'

PhD Research

In my PhD thesis I examine knowledge production in the Iranian oil industry between 1939 and 1973. In particular, I focus on the town of Abadan and the various micro-experiences in two of its most important centres of expertise: the Refinery and the Technical Institute. I highlight the different actors bounded up in the daily production of expertise, including workers, engineers, managers, technologies and oil itself, situating experiences here within both a national and global framework.



  • ‘Making Workers Invisible: The Production and Representation of Expertise in the Abadan Refinery and Beyond, 1939-53’, Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., November 2017.
  • ‘Refining Knowledge: Expertise, Power and Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1939-73’, University of Cambridge, World History Workshop, 15 November 2017.
  • ‘The Iranian Oil Nationalisation Movement and the Politics of Expertise: Public Opinion, Technocracy and Global Oil Knowledge, 1946-51’, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, July 2017.
  • ‘A State of Tribal Lawlessness?’ Rural and Urban Crime in Fārs Province, 1910-1915’, Conference: ‘The Dangerous Classes in the Middle East and North Africa’, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, 26 January 2017.
  • 'Cosmopolitan Nationalism and the Tudeh Party during the 1946 Khuzestan General Strike', Eleventh Biennial Iranian Studies Conference, University of Vienna, August 2016.
  • ‘Communists, Contractors and ""Liquid Gold"": the politics of oil and the July 1946 general strike in Khuzestan’, LSE Contentious Politics Workshop, London, 24 March 2016.


  • Social and Cultural History of Modern Iran
  • Global History of Oil
  • History of Techno-politics
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Global Labour History
  • Criminality and Governmentality