Abbas Amanat

Abbas Amanat's picture
Professor History & International Studies
Office: 
HGS 214
Phone: 
203-432-1368
Field(s) of interest: 
Modern Middle East, early modern and modern Iran, Sh'ism and the Persianate world

Abbas Amanat (B.A., Tehran University, 1971; D. Phil., University of Oxford, 1981) has taught and written about early modern and modern history of Iran, Muslim world, the Middle East and the Persianate world for more than three decades. His principal book publications include Resurrection and Renewal: the Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850 (Ithaca, 1989; paperback: Los Angeles, 2005); Pivot of the Universe: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831-1896 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1997, paperback: London and New York, 2008; Persian translation: Tehran, 2004) and Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi’ism (London and New York, 2009). He is the editor of Cities and Trade: Consul Abbott on the Economy and Society of Iran (London, 1983) and Crowning Anguish: Memoirs of a Persian Princess from the Harem to Modernity (Washington DC, 1995). He coedited Imagining the End: Visions of Apocalypse from Ancient Middle East to Modern America (London and New York, 2002); Apocalypse and Violence (New Haven, 2004); Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context (Stanford, 2007; paperback: Stanford, 2009); U.S.-Middle East Historical Encounters: A Critical Survey (Gainesville, 2007); Is There a Middle East?: The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept (Stanford, 2011 and paperback) and Iran Facing Others: Identity Boundaries in a Historical Perspective (New York, 2012). He published new editions (with extensive introductions) of E.G. Browne, The Persian Revolution (Washington DC, 1995) and C.J. Wills, The Land of the Lion and the Sun (Washington DC 2004). Most recently he coauthored: Az Tehran ta ‘Akka: Babiyan va Baha’iyan dar Asnad-e Dowran-e Qajar (From Tehran to ‘Akka: Babis and Baha’is in the Official Records of Qajar Iran, Stockholm, 2016).

His In Search of Modern Iran: Authority, Memory and Nationhood will be published by the Yale University Press in 2017. His coedited volume: The Persianate World: A Conceptual Inquiry will be published by Brill Publishers in 2017. His ‘Ahd-e Qajar va Sawda-ye Farang (Tehran, Nashr-e Namak) will be published in 2017. His edited special issue on environmental challenges in today’s Iran, will appear in Iranian Studies in 2017. His books in progress include Tahereh: A Feminist Millenarian, which is a biography of Fatima Qurrat al-‘Ayn; Qajar Iran, British Colonial Rule and Tipu Sultan’s Grand Alliance and Tolerance and Nonconformity in the Early Modern and Modern Persianate World.

Abbas Amanat is a Consulting Editor and longtime contributor to Encyclopedia Iranica. His major entries include: “Constitutional Revolution” (1994); “Great Britain in Qajar Persia” (2002); “Hajji Baba of Ispahan” (2003); “Historiography of Qajar Iran” (2004); “Historiography of Pahlavi Iran” (2004) and “Islam in Iran: Messianism” (2007). He was a Carnegie Scholar of Islamic Studies (2005-2007) and the recipient of the Mellon-Sawyer Grant for comparative study of millennialism (1998-2001). He was the Editor-in-Chief of Iranian Studies, the journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies (1991-98) and the Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University (1993-2004). He is currently the Director of the Yale Program in Iranian Studies at the Yale MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.  

His courses include “Middle East and the West: A Cultural Encounter;” “Empire, Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East;” “Making of Modern Iran;” “Myth and Memory in the Persian Book of Kings;” and “Mahdis of the Muslim World.” Among his graduate seminars are “Narratives of Modern Iran;” “Historiography and Methodology of the Modern Middle East;” “Political Theory and Practice in the Persian Historical Texts and Contexts; “Apocalyptic Imagination: Ancient and Modern;” and “Orientalism and Its Critics.”