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Master of Arts in History

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 and political history 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 and political history of modern Iran and the Middle East, and has published broadly in both English and Persian. 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); and a Persian translation of Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Ethics (with Hamid Enayat, Tehran, 1991). 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, I.B. Tauris, 2010); “The American College of Tehran, 1929-1931: A Memorial Album” (Iranian Studies, 44/5, 2011). He has previously held visiting appointments at Tehran University, the Iranian Institute of Philosophy, UCLA, Brown University, and St Antony’s College, Oxford. His current research focuses on aspects of legal and constitutional history of modern Iran. He also serves on the editorial board of the Iran Studies series, published by Brill (Leiden). 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, Islam in the Modern World, State and Society in Modern Iran, Iranian Revolution in Historical Perspective, Topics in World History (ii): 1750-present, and Topics in Modern European Intellectual History.