SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Mattin Biglari

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


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Dr Mattin Biglari
Email address:
Thesis title:
'Refining Knowledge: Expertise, Labour and Everyday Life in the Iranian Oil Industry, c. 1933-51.
Year of Study:


Mattin Biglari is a research associate and teaching fellow affiliated with SOAS. His research interests include the history of modern Iran and global history concerning the intersection of energy, environment, infrastructure and labour. His PhD thesis examined the place of labour and expertise in the history of the Iranian oil industry, especially in its transnational entanglements in the global oil cartel and British imperial networks leading up to Iran’s nationalisation of oil in 1951. This is due to be published as a monograph by Edinburgh University Press, entitled Oil Nationalisation in Iran: Labour, Politics and Expertise in Abadan, 1933 – 1951. His current research, engaging with energy humanities, focuses on the history of oil refining in the Indian Ocean world and explores its connection to decolonisation, environmental justice and the Anthropocene.


  •  ‘A State of ‘Tribal Lawlessness’? Rural and Urban Crime in Fars Province, 1910-1915’, in Crime, Poverty and Survival in the Middle East and North Africa: The ‘Dangerous Classes’ since 1800, ed. Stephanie Cronin (London: I. B. Tauris, 2020), 117-34.
  •  “Captive to the Demonology of the Iranian Mobs”: U.S. Foreign Policy and Perceptions of Shi’a Islam During the Iranian Revolution, 1978-79’, Diplomatic History 40, 4 (Sept., 2016): 579-605.
  •  ‘Abadan in the National Press During the Oil Nationalisation Movement, 1946-51’, Abadan: Retold, 2016 ( abadan-in-the-national-press- during-the-oil- nationalisation-movement-1946- 51/).


  • 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
  • Energy Humanities