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)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Senior Teaching Fellow

School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Senior Teaching Fellow

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:
Tuesday 2:00-3:00pm
Thesis title:
'Refining Knowledge: Expertise, Labour and Everyday Life in the Iranian Oil Industry, c. 1933-51.
Year of Study:

PhD Research

In my thesis I examine the place of expertise in the history of the Iranian oil industry. I do so by focusing on the operations of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) in the oil refinery town of Abadan, south-west Iran, especially from c. 1933 up until the Iranian government’s nationalisation of oil in 1951. I follow various actors, including workers, students, engineers, managers, journalists, politicians, machines and oil itself as they were bound up in the process by which oil expertise was produced. While I pay special attention to the interplay of these actors in the Abadan refinery, I also examine other spaces, such as Abadan Town and AIOC’s training centres. By revealing the ways in which expertise figured in the daily lives of oil workers, students and managers, I show how these experiences contributed to shaping wider politics on local, national and global scales.



  • Conference co-convener: ‘Energy, Culture and Society in the Global South’, at CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 31 May – 1 June 2019.



  • 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