SPRING 2015 SEMINARS - March 11

Seminar on Iranian Studies

Dear Iranian Studies Seminar Members and Guests,
The seventh meeting of the 27th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on
Iranian Studies for the academic year 2014-2015 will take place on:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
at 5:30 pm in the
Faculty House of Columbia University

Our speaker will be
Prof. Behrooz Moazami of Loyola University
who will lead the discussion on the topic of:
The Puzzle of the Iranian Revolution

We will gather in the lounge of Faculty House from 5:00-5:30.
Seminar will start at 5:30.
Please notify our rapporteur, Suzanne A. Toma at: <sat2005@columbia.edu> if you will attend the lecture. (Please also specify if you will stay for dinner, $25.00 payable by check.)

We are looking forward to the pleasure of seeing you at the seminar.
Co-Chairs: Vahid Nowshirvani and Ahmad Ashraf

To reach the Faculty House:
Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.


Why did the 1979 Revolution take an Islamic turn? Why were other contending forces not able to present an alternative? How was the regime of the Islamic Republic based on velayat-e faqih born? Was an Islamic regime the most probable outcome of the Iranian Revolution? What is the nature of this regime and how should it be understood and analyzed? Where might we be heading now, thirty-six years after the Revolution?

This talk attempts to shed some light on the above questions by challenging some of the basic assumptions about the role of the ulama and Shi’ism in Iranian history and to propose some analytical frameworks in the study of social movements and revolutions based on the Iranian historical experience.


Dr. Behrooz Moazami is Patrick G. O’ Keefe Distinguished Professor of History, and Founding Director of Middle East Peace Studies at Loyola University, New Orleans. He is also Trustee of the Ardeshir Mohassess Trust, formed to preserve his legacy and to help disabled artists.

Prof. Moazami holds two doctorates. His first dissertation, “Les Etats nations européens et l'avenir de la communaute européenne en tant que communauté politique,” is in Political Science (University of Paris VIII, 1998). His second dissertation, “The Making of the State, Religion, and the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1796–1979),” is in Sociology and Historical Studies (New School for Social Research, New York, 2004).

Dr. Moazami was a political activist and contributed to a number of Iranian dissident publications. More recently, he has published in journals, International Labor and Working-Class History, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies. His book, State, Religion, and Revolution in Iran, 1796 to the Present, is published by Palgrave-MacMillan, New York and London, in 2013.

Prof. Moazami is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU in his sabbatical year (2014-15). He is currently working on two different projects: exploring state formation and state theory by studying historical examples of Euro-Asian state formation, and problematizing the notion of “identity” and “identity formation” in social and historical analysis, as well as in everyday life and politics.