Committee Members

Professor Ali M Ansari (Director)
Dr Tim Greenwood (Deputy Director)
Professor Nicholas Rengger
Dr Angus Stewart
Dr Dimitris Kastritsis
Dr Andrew Peacock
Dr Paul Luft
Dr Saeed Talajooy

Committee Profiles:


Professor Ali M Ansari

Professor Ali Ansari is Professor of Iranian History. His books include, Iran, Islam and Democracy: the politics of managing change, Modern Iran, and Confronting Iran. His research interests are focused on the political development of modern Iran, as well as Iran’s relations with the West from the early modern period. He is currently working on a book about Iranian nationalism with a particular focus on competing ideologies and political myths. In this context he is particularly interested in the development of historical narratives and mythologies about Persia/Iran. His teaching reflect these interests, and he is involved in the provision of the core course for the Postgraduate Degree in Iranian Studies, as well as offering a dedicated module on Iran and the World from 1921. Prof. Ansari is also available to supervise students choosing the Directed Reading module as well as MLitt Dissertations. Students interested in pursuing doctoral research should, In the first instance submit a proposal and abbreviated reading list (no more than two pages) to Prof. Ansari on aa51@st-andrews.ac.uk

University Profile


Dr Paul Luft

Born and educated in Germany, Dr Luft read Iranian History, Iranian Studies and Islamic Studies at Berlin and Göttingen Universities before undertaking a three year Visiting Fellowship at St Antony's College, Oxford. He went on to teach Middle Eastern Studies and Persian History and Literature at Manchester University and also taught at the Oriental School, Durham University. Following his retirement in 1999 he became an Honorary Fellow of the IMEIS at Durham University where he founded the Centre for Iranian Studies with Ali Ansari.

He is a member of various academic societies in Europe, among them European Society for Iranian Studies, BRISMES and BIPS which has elected him as Honorary Vice-President in 2006. Since 1993 he has been a member of the editorial board of the journals of BRISMES, IRAN and several academic journals in Iran. His main academic interests are periods of transformation in 19th and 20th century history of Iran including the political and cultural changes from a tribalised to a court society in the first half of the 19th century and further administrative reorganisation of the state in Iran in the early period of Reza Shah. (1925 – 1941).


Professor Nicholas Rengger

Nicholas Rengger is Professor of Political Theory and International Relations at St Andrews, and currently editor of the Review of International Studies. His main research interests are in the philosophy of politics and international relations, intellectual history, the overlaps between theology, politics, philosophy and International relations and comparative political theory. He has published widely in all these areas. He has developing interests in Islamic and Iranian political thought and has edited or provided commentary on authors such as Al-Farabi, Avicenna and, in the contemporary period, Soroush.

University Profile


Tim GreenwoodDr Tim Greenwood

Tim Greenwood is senior lecturer in Mediaeval History. His research is centred upon Armenian political, social and cultural history between the sixth and eleventh centuries, analysing and exploiting literary, epigraphic and architectural sources. Armenian literature from Late Antiquity has much to tell us about life within the Sasanian empire and the Iranian dimension continued to hold meaning for Armenian authors into the tenth and eleventh centuries, during the era of the ‘Iranian Intermezzo’. He has recently finished a translation and commentary of an eleventh-century Armenian composition, the Tiezerakan Patmut‘iwn or Universal History by Step'anos Tarōnec'i and this will be published next year. Current publications include a study of Armenian ties to Mesopotamia in the early sixth and seventh centuries and the value of Armenian sources for the study of Sasanian Iran. Future projects include the reflection of Sasanian legal culture within Armenian tradition.  

University Profile


Dr. Dimitris Kastritsis

Dr Dimitris KastritsisDr. Dimitris Kastritsis is Academic Fellow in Ottoman History. His book The Sons of Bayezid: The Ottoman Civil War of 1402-1413 and its Representation (Brill, 2007) studies the dynastic and civil struggles following Timur's defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara (1402). He has worked on medieval chronicles in Persian alongside those in Ottoman Turkish, itself a language modelled on Persian and impossible to understand without it. In general, he is interested in questions of imperial ideology and representation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the Ottomans were facing rival empires such as the Safavids of Iran. The Ottoman-Safavid conflict had an internal dimension concerning the character of the Ottoman state, which by that time had become highly centralised along Persian and Islamic lines, whereas the Safavids had begun as an empire with a strong Turkic tribal base. Thus the study of Iranian civilisation is not limited to modern Iran, but concerns the larger Islamic world from the Balkans to South Asia, including the Ottoman Empire.

University Profile


Dr. Andrew Peacock

Dr Andrew Peacock is Reader in Middle Eastern Studies and is a specialist in early Islamic Iran and Central Asia. His doctorate (Cambridge, 2003) comprised a study of one of the earliest works of New Persian literature, the Persian version of Tabari’s History made by Bal‘ami in the tenth century. The thesis formed the basis for a book, Mediaeval Islamic Historiography and Political Legitimacy: Bal‘ami’s Tarikhnama (London: Routledge, 2007). His subsequent research has focused on the history of Iran and its neighbours in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, and has resulted in two further books, Early Seljuq History: a new interpretation (London: Routledge, 2010) and The Great Seljuk Empire (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015). Other research interests include the historic spread of Persian culture and literacy in Persian beyond Iran, from Anatolia to Southeast Asia, and historical writing in Persian, on which he has written several studies. At St Andrews, Dr Peacock offers courses on The Formation of Islamic Iran: from the Arab Conquests to the Seljuqs (c. 600-1200), and Nomadic Heritage and Persianate Culture: The Iranian World from the Timurids to the Safavids (1370-1722). He welcomes enquiries from potential doctoral students wishing to work  on related subjects.

University Profile



Dr Angus Stewart

Angus StewartDr Stewart is a lecturer in Medieval History. His main research and teaching interests include the study of diplomatic, military and cultural interaction in the eastern Mediterranean world in the age of the Crusades (c. 1000-1350).
More specifically, topics he isinterested in include: the Fatimids, Seljuks, Ayyubids and, especially, Mamluks; the Mediaeval Armenian kingdom; the Mongols in the West; the Crusades, especially the later expeditions and planned expeditions to the Middle East; Crusading and Byzantium, and the Fourth Crusade; Capetian France.

University Profile

 

 


Dr Saeed Talajooy

Dr Saeed Talajooy is lecturer in Persian Literature at the School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews. Dr Talajooy has taught and published on literature, drama and cinema in Iran and the UK, and is currently teaching comparative literature and Persian literature modules. His research is on the point of convergence between cultural theory and literature, performance and film and on the reflections of the changing patterns of Iranian identities in Persian literature and Iranian theatre and cinema. It involves analysing the works of Iranian poets, novelists, playwrights and filmmakers to find how they refashion indigenous forms and characters or adapt Iranian or non-Iranian myths, history and literary narratives, to resist dominant political and cultural discourses. Another aspect of his research involves comparative studies of cultural resistance in Africa and the Middle East. His publications include several articles on Iranian theatre and cinema, a co-edited volume entitled Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies: Literature, Cinema and Music (Routledge 2012) and a special issue of Iranian Studies on Bahram Beyzaie. He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinema and Theatre of Bahram Beyzaie. 


University Profile