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Iran Studies Fellows

Daryoush Ashouri | Oliver Bast | Joanna de Groot | Habib Ur Rahman | Saghar Sadeghian | Fereydoun Vahman

Daryoush Ashouri
Fellow, 2007

ashouriDaryoush Ashouri is a prominent Iranian freelance writer and researcher, and was a visiting scholar at Yale University. He has served as a visiting professor or lecturer of Persian language and literature at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Oxford University, and of political philosophy and political sociology at the University of Tehran. His work has contributed to the enrichment of the philosophical, scientific, and political lexicon and terminology in the Persian language. He has also translated or introduced works by Friedrich Nietzsche, William Shakespeare, and Nicola Machiavelli, among many others.

Select Publications

Ashouri's extensive writings and translations cover a broad range of subjects, and some recent publications include Ta’rifha va mafhum-e farhang (Concept and Definitions of Culture), Erfan o rendi dar she’r-e Hâfiz (A hermeneutical study of the mystical views of Hafiz the great Persian poet), Mâ va moderniyat (a collection of articles on the cultural crisis of Iranian society facing with modernity), and Farhang-e ‘olum-e ensâni (English-Persian Dictionary for Human Sciences).


Oliver Bast
Fellow, 2011-12;
Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Middle Eastern History, University of Manchester

bastPhone: +44 (0)161 275-3065
Email: oliver.bast@manchester.ac.uk
Link: www.manchester.ac.uk/research/oliver.bast/personaldetails

Oliver Bast’s research interests include the diplomatic and political history of Modern Iran as well as the interface between historiography, politics and cultural memory in contemporary Iran. In October 2012 he set up (together with Dr Siavush Randjbar-Daemi) the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network (MIHAN) [http://www.mihan.org.uk/]. Bast sits on the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), which he serves as Honorary Secretary, and he is also a member of the Council of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). He is the author of Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997) and editor of La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002). Other publications include writings concerning the origins of the Iranian Communist Party, German-Iranian relations since 1500 as well as various aspects of the diplomatic and political history of Qajar Iran, including ‘Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the 'Bolshevik threat', and the genesis of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1921’, in Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800, ed. by Stephanie Cronin, (London & New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 261-297 and ‘Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory’, in Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture, ed. by Touraj Atabaki, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009), pp. 55-68.

Currently, Bast is finishing the manuscript for a book on Iran’s foreign policy and diplomacy vis-à-vis the Great Powers during World War I and its immediate aftermath up to 1921. Based extensively on the Iranian archival record, this study fundamentally challenges the existing interpretive orthodoxy by giving a voice to the hitherto mostly ignored Iranian protagonists of this key period in Iran’s history.

Furthermore Bast is embarking on a new research project (tentatively) entitled The Performance of Power and the Power of Performance: An investigation into the role of Secular Ritual, Ceremonial and Celebration for the Emergence of the Nation-State in Iran (1848-1979), which intends to look at the nexus between ritual, ceremonial, festivity on the one hand and power on the other hand.

Select Publications

‘Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the 'Bolshevik threat', and the genesis of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1921’, in Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800, ed. by Stephanie Cronin, (London & New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 261-297.

‘Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory’, in Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture, ed. by Touraj Atabaki, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009), pp. 55-68.

La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002).

Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997)


Joanna de Groot
Fellow, 2009, 2013-14

degrootEmail: joanna.degroot@york.ac.uk

Joanna de Groot has interests in three main areas. Her initial research into the social history of Iran in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has led to work on various aspects of social, political and cultural change in Iran in that period, and their relation to developments elsewhere in the Middle East, in Europe and in North America. This has involved a gendered approach to the study of the past, as well as the comparative study of issues such as modernisation, popular political movements, and the interactions of material and cultural change, drawing on European and American experiences to illumine those in the Middle East, and equally importantly vice versa. It has also stimulated her work on histories of race, empire, ethnicity and nationalism, and in particular on the role of global and colonial relationships in the formation of communities, classes, genders, sexualities, and nations in India, Europe and the Middle East.

BA, DPhil (Oxon)

Select Publications

Empire and history writing in Britain c. 1750-2012, Manchester University Press, 2013.

‘Whose revolution? Stories and stakeholders of the constitutional movement 1905-11’ in V. Martin and H. Chehabi (eds.) The Iranian constitutional revolution, I.B. Tauris, 2010.

‘War, empire, and the “other”: Iranian-European encounters in the “Napoleonic” era’ in R. Bessel, N. Guyatt, and J. Rendall (eds.) War, empire, and slavery in the revolutionary and Napoleonic period, Palgrave 2010.

Religion, Culture and Politics in Iran: From the Qajars to Khomeini. I. B. Tauris, 2007.

 ‘“Brothers of the Iranian race”: manhood, nationhood, and modernity in Iran c. 1870-1920’, in S. Dudink, K. Hagemann, and J. Tosh (eds.) Masculinities in politics and war, Manchester UP, 2004.

with M. Maynard, Doing Things Differently? Women's Studies in the 1990s. Macmillan, 1993.


Habib Ur Rahman
Yale World Fellow (Afghanistan), 2011-12;
Senior Researcher and Analyst, Hambastagi Consultancy Group.

rahmanEmail: habib.wayand@yale.edu
Link: http://www.yale.edu/worldfellows/fellows/rahman.html

An influential policy maker, Rahman is currently a Senior Researcher and Analyst for Hambastagi Consultancy Group. He previously served as a senior policy advisor to Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar in several government ministries, including Education, where he played a pivotal role in developing the first National Educational Strategy for the post-Taliban education of 6.2 million boys and girls across Afghanistan. Following his Yale World Fellowship, Rahman plans to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Saghar Sadeghian
Postdoctoral Associate, 2014-15

sagharEmail: Saghar.sadeghian@yale.edu
Phone: 203-436-5263

Saghar Sadeghian’s primary research focuses on the notions of nationality, constitution and modern institutions in Iran and Afghanistan during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her PhD thesis, Non-Muslim Communities in Iran during the Constitutional Revolution, investigates four major Non-Muslim communities: Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians and Babi/Baha’is, in local and national levels as well as in relation to the foreign affairs policy, in order to describe how these communities fitted in the Shiʻa society. Saghar presented political, social and economic life of these communities. The situation of these communities were compared before and after the Constitutional Revolution and the changes were shown in the context of modernization. She consulted several archives in Iran, France and the U.K. and used many original documents in her research. For her current research, Saghar works on her thesis for a book publication besides working on The Concept of Citizenship in the Constitutional Parliaments (1906-1941). Saghar explores particularly the situation of women, Non-Muslims and marginal tribes and nomads in this period. She is also helping with Yale Iranian History Internet Archives (YIHA). She teaches a course on Citizenship in Modern Iran and Afghanistan.

Select Conference Papers

“New Approaches in the History of Iranian Urban Space.” (panel organizer) and “Tabriz New Catholic Church: a Construction of Urban Constitutional Crisis (1906-1912).” (presenter) Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Washington D.C., November 2014.

“Non-Muslim Discourse in the First and Second Iranian Constitutional Parliaments (1906-1911).” The Sixth Biennial Convention of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS), Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, September 2013.

“Violence as Ritual: The Tradition of Attacks on Non-Muslim Quarters in Iranian Cities during Moharram and Safar in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Conference on Urban Violence in the Middle East, SOAS, London, February 2013.


Fereydoun Vahman
Fellow, 2003, 2004, 2013

vahmanFereydun Vahman is Professor Emeritus at Copenhagen University with more than forty years of teaching and research in Iranian religions and languages. He is the author of a number of books in Persian, English and Danish. His Persian books comprises of:  The Zoroastrian Religion; Folklores of Kirman; Diwan of Salmán of Sáweh, based on the Jewish-Persian manuscript at the Royal Library of Denmark; and recently An overview of 160 years of the Persecutions of the Baha'is of Iran.

Among his books in English are The Divina Commedia, a study of Hell and Paradise in Zoroastrian Religion, Curzon Press London; Western Iranian Dialects in four volumes; and The Religious Texts in Iranian Languages published by the Royal Academy of Science of Denmark. In Danish language he has published a two volumes of Persian-Danish and Danish-Persian Dictionaries. He is also the author of many articles in Encyclopedia Iranica, Encyclopedia of Denmark and Journalsof Iranian Studies

Publishing the series of “Religion and Society in Iran” is his latest initiative. Starting in 2010 so far five volumes have appeared in this series. As general editor of the series his aim is to invite scholars to write books concerning minority religions of Iran.

Currently he is working on a book based on the Iranian documents from 19th century Qajar period preserved at the Yale Library. This will be the first time part of these valuable documents will be published. The book deals with about fifty documents concerned with the very early persecution of the Babis and the Baha'is of Iran. Professor Vahman is visiting Yale in November 2013 to collaborate with Professor Amanat to finalize this 2014 forthcoming publication.

Professor Vahman is a founders and current president of Danish-Iranian Society. This society was established before 1979 to introduce Iran’s culture and art to people of Denmark.

Professor Vahman was a Yale Iranian Studies Fellow in two occasions in September 2003 and June 2004, and will be here again November 2013.