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Arash Khazeni

Professor of History; Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies
With Pomona Since: 2010
  • Expertise

    Expertise

    Arash Khazeni earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 2006 and joined Pomona College in 2010 following fellowships at the Huntington Library and UCLA. His research is focused on the imperial and environmental histories of the modern Middle East, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean, including the monographs Tribes and Empire on the Margins of Nineteenth-Century Iran (University of Washington Press, 2010), recipient of the Middle East Studies Association Houshang Pourshariati Book Award, Sky Blue Stone: The Turquoise Trade in World History (University of California Press, 2014), and The City and the Wilderness: Indo-Persian Encounters in Southeast Asia (University of California Press, 2020).

    Trained as a historian of the Islamic Middle East, primarily Iran and Afghanistan, during the 16th through 19th centuries, Khazeni’s research veers to the margins and the places in between empires, world regions and nations. This emphasis on the margins and borderland spaces began in a Marxist vein, as a context for exploring the histories of societies “from below” in the path of E.P. Thompson, and a way of retracing the pasts of “people without history.” This method has also found kinship in aspects of the field of environmental history and become associated with certain forms of interconnected global history, in particular a wave of new studies of the Indo-Persian world and inter-Asian contacts and exchanges.

    At Pomona College, Khazeni teaches courses on the Middle East, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean in the Department of History and serves as the coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies.

    Research Interests

    • Middle Eastern, Indo-Persian, Indian Ocean history
    • Indo-Persian Travel Writing
    • Empires and Environments

    Areas of Expertise

    • Middle Eastern, Indo-Persian, Indian Ocean history
    • World History
    • Empires
    • Environmental History
  • Work

    Work

    The City and the Wilderness: Indo-Persian Encounters in Southeast Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2020)

    Sky Blue Stone: The Turquoise Trade in World History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014)

    Tribes and Empire on the Margins of Nineteenth-Century Iran (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010) Winner of the Middle East Studies Association Houshang Pourshariati Book Award, 2010

    "Through an Ocean of Sand: Pastoralism and the Equestrian Culture of the Eurasian Steppe," Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa, ed. Alan Mikhail (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

    “Across the Black Sands and the Red: Travel Writing, Nature, and the Reclamation of the Eurasian Steppe, circa 1850,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42, 4, 2010 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

    "The River's Edge: The Steppes of the Oxus and the Boundaries of the Near East and Central Asia, c. 1500-1800," Is There a Middle East? The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept, eds. Abbas Amanat, Michael Bonine, and Michael Gasper (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011)

    Co-edited with Pardis Mahdavi, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East: Trade and Traffic in the Persianate World 30, 3, 2010 (Durham: Duke University Press)

  • Education

    Education

    Ph.D.
    Yale University

    Master of Arts
    Yale University

    Bachelor of Arts
    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Empire and Colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa
    • Environmental Histories
    • Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals
    • Indian Ocean World
    • Iran and the World
    • Mughal India
    • The Middle East and North Africa Since 1500
    • Worlds of Islam
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Balzan Keddie Fellowship, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2010

    The Huntington Library, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Short Term Research Fellowship, 2009-2010