I hold a PhD in Iranian Studies from UCLA. My research focuses on narratives of power and holiness in medieval Islamic Iran. I am primarily interested in themes related to kingship, sainthood, social identity building, the supernatural. My interest in these narratives partly arises from their fascinating itineraries, which have taken them from the eastern Iranian heartlands in antiquity down to the pre-modern era and from the Balkans to Malaysia. I am currently working on a book project, which has the working title “God’s Kings: The Medieval Reception of Ancient Narratives of Kingship.” And I am also editing two volumes dealing with hagiographies across Eurasia. One, which has the working title, Imitatio Theclae
, is on the literary reception of the Acts of Paul and Thecla
and the other looks at how various hagiographers across the Indo-Mediterranean world narrated power and authority.
I am recipient of the following grants and awards: 2015, European Research Council fellow at Ghent University in Belgium; 2011, Fulbright Research Fellowship, Cairo, Egypt; and 2008, Honorable Mention for the Best Dissertation from the Foundation for Iranian Studies.
From 2008-2014, I was the coordinator of the Persian Studies Program at Columbia University where, in addition to teaching and mentoring students, I organized a successful lecture series which included talks by established and up-and-coming scholars, artists, film makers, and musicians. From 2006-2008, I was the director for the Persian Studies Program at California State, Fullerton which included a summer study-abroad semester in Yerevan, Armenia.
I have been a long-time member of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies
(ASPS) which is committed to bringing scholars from around the world interested in all fields related to Iran and the Persianate worlds, past and present. I served as its newsletter editor, secretary of the association, and member of the board of directors.
EducationPhD, UCLA NELC
MA, UCLA NELC
BS, University of Miami
Work Shared in CORE
Other PublicationsArticles and Book Chapters
(Forthcoming). “Modelling Prophets: Alexander the Great as a proto-Sufi Saint/King in Tha‘labi’s Lives of the Prophets. In Fictionality in Late Antiquity. Edited by Koen De Temmerman, Julie Van Pelt, and Klazina Staat.
(Forthcoming). “A Medieval Sufi Thecla? Female Civic and Spiritual Leadership in ‘Attār’s ‘The Tale of the Virtuous Woman’ and Christian Tales.” In Imitatio Theclae. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri and Flavia Ruani.
(Forthcoming). “Introduction.” In Imitatio Theclae. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri and Flavia Ruani. (Proposal accepted by Cambridge University Press, July 2017).
(Forthcoming). “Images of Zoroastrians in Medieval Sufi Hagiography.” In Narrating Power and Authority. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri. (Proposal Accepted by Brepols).
(Forthcoming). “Introduction.” In Narrating Power and Authority. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri. (Proposal Accepted by Brepols).
2019. “’When a Lion is Chided by an Ant’ Everyday Saints and the Making of Sufi Kings in ‘Attār’s Elāhināma.” In Journal of Persianate Societies 12, no. 1 Special Issue Advice Literature and Persian Political Ethics, guest editor Louise Marlow: forthcoming.
2018. “‘Attār’s Elāhināma as Sufi Practical Ethics: Between Genre, Reception, and Muslim and Christian Audiences” in Journal of Persianate Studies 11, no. 1: 29-55.
2013. “Historiography and the Sho‘ubiya Movement” in Journal of Persianate Studies 6, no. 1-2: 216-234.
2010. “The Shahnama: Between the Samanids and Ghaznavids” in Iranian Studies, the Shahnama Special Issue, edited by Charles Melville, Volume 43, no. 1 (February): 13-28.
2009. “Visions of Heaven and Hell from Late Antiquity in the Near East” in Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei 2 (Winter): 177-190.
(Forthcoming Nov. 2019) “Persian Language” in Routledge Medieval Encyclopedia Online.
(Forthcoming Nov. 2019) “Persian Epic” in Routledge Medieval Encyclopedia Online.
(Forthcoming Nov. 2019) “Persian Elegy” in Routledge Medieval Encyclopedia Online.
(Forthcoming 2019) “Xwadāynāmag” in Clavis Historicorum Tardae Antiquitatis, Brepols.
2015. Review of The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism by Patricia Crone in Journal of Persianate Studies 8, no.1: 115-121.
2010. Review of Mute Dreams, Blind Owls, and Dispersed Knowledges: Persian Poesis in the Transnational Circuitry by M.J. Fischer in Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies 3, no. 4 (Autumn): 485-487.
ProjectsImitatio Theclae: The Literary Reception of Thecla in Late Antique and Medieval Hagiographies from East to West. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri and Flavia Ruani. (Proposal accepted by Cambridge University Press, July 2017. Full manuscript submitted April 2019).
Narrating Power and Authority in Late Antique and Medieval Hagiography from East to West: Proceedings from the International Conference held at the Academia Belgica in Rome 15-17, February 2018. Edited by Ghazzal Dabiri. (Proposal Accepted by Brepols, August 2018. Full manuscript to be submitted in August 2019)
God’s Kings: The Medieval Reception of Ancient Iranian Narratives of Rulership.