Bookmark and Share

Department of


Ali Gheissari

Adjunct Professor

Ali Gheissari, PhD, teaches a broad range of courses on modern world history and the Middle East. He has written extensively on the intellectual history and politics of modern Iran.


PhD, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford; History
MA, University of Essex; Sociology
BA, University of Tehran; Law and Political Science

Scholarly and Creative Work

Gheissari has research interest in the intellectual history and politics of modern Iran and the Middle East, and has published broadly in both English and Persian on modern Iranian history as well as on modern philosophy and social theory. His books include Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society, Politics (ed., Oxford University Press, 2009); Tabriz and Rasht in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (ed., Tehran, 2008); Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty (co-author, Oxford University Press, 2006; paperback edition, 2009); Iranian Intellectuals in the Twentieth Century (University of Texas Press, 1998; reissued, 2008); Persian translation of Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Ethics (with Hamid Enayat, Tehran, 1991, new edition with revisions, 2015); Manfred S. Frings et al, Max Scheler and Phenomenology (tr., Tehran, 2015). He is also the author of numerous essays, including “Truth and Method in Modern Iranian Historiography and Social Sciences” (Critique, 4/6, 1995); “Despots of the World Unite! Satire in the Iranian Constitutional Press” (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 25/2, 2005); “Merchants without Borders: Trade, Travel, and a Revolution in late Qajar Iran” (in War and Peace in Qajar Persia, Routledge, 2008); “New Conservative Politics and Electoral Behavior in Iran” (co-author, in Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society, Politics, Oxford University Press, 2009); “Constitutional Rights and the Development of Civil Law in Iran, 1907-1941” (in Iran’s Constitutional Revolution: Politics, Cultural Transformations, and Transnational Connections, London: I.B. Tauris, 2010); “The American College of Tehran, 1929-1931: A Memorial Album” (Iranian Studies, 44/5, 2011). He has held visiting appointments at Tehran University, the Iranian Institute of Philosophy, UCLA, UC San Diego, Brown University, and St Antony’s College, Oxford. His current research focuses on aspects of legal and constitutional history of modern Iran.

Gheissari serves on the Board of Directors of the Iranian American Scholarship Fund (IASF), and on the Editorial Board of Iran Studies book series published by Brill (Leiden), and is also the Editor-in-Chief designate of the journal Iranian Studies. List of publications.

Teaching Interests

Gheissari has taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses with comparative and interdisciplinary orientation, including Modern Middle East History, State and Society in Modern Iran, Iranian Revolution in Historical Perspective, World History (ii): 1750-present, War and Peace in the Modern World, and Topics in Comparative Urban History: City in the Middle East.