Dr Oliver Bast (Manchester) is a Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Middle Eastern History and Persian at Manchester’s history department. He is also the Executive Director of BRISMES, the Honorary Secretary of BIPS, and co-founder of the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network. Bast is a historian of Modern Iran whose research interests include political and diplomatic history, life-writing, and the politics of memory. He has worked extensively on the history of World War I and its immediate aftermath in the Persianate World, including specifically Transcaucasia. Bast has authored Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997), which focuses more on the earlier years of the war and is the editor of La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002). Bast’s latest related work is ‘Les « buts de guerre » de la Perse neutre pendant la Première Guerre mondiale’, Relations internationales 1/2015 (n° 160): 95-110.
James Griffiths (Manchester) is a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester who has recently submitted his doctoral thesis, which explores performance and theatricality in Britain's relationship with Iran in the period between 1848 and 1979. James' research focusses on the history of British imperialism and foreign policy in the Middle East, from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, with a especial interest in Anglo-Iranian diplomatic relations. Furthermore, he combines theoretical work drawn from Sociology and International Relations with empirical historical research, to enliven the study of foreign policy and the culture of diplomacy, using the concepts of performance and dramaturgy.
Aslihan Agaoglu-Reekers (King’s College London) is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the department of Middle Eastern Studies, Agaoglu-Reekers focuses mainly on the intersection of literature and history during the transitional period of Turkey, from the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 to the establishment of the Republic in 1923. She examines how literature from this era affected the reconstruction of Turkish national identity.
Prof. Mustafa Aksakal (Georgetown University) is an Associate Professor of History and Nesuhi Ertegun Chair of Modern Turkish Studies, specialising in the history of the Middle East in general, and of the late Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic specifically. He recently held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His recent publications have focussed on WWI in the Middle East, and the Ottoman role therein and include a highly acclaimed monograph on the ‘Ottoman Road to War’.
Prof. Elena Andreeva (Virginia Military Institute) received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Middle Eastern Studies at Moscow State University and her Ph.D. at New York University. She is an Associate Professor of History at Virginia Military Institute where she teaches classes on Iran, the Middle East, Islam and World History. Her research focuses on the interaction between East and West, Iranian history and culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and aspects of colonialism and imperialism in the Middle East and Asia.
Prof. Touraj Atabaki (University of Amsterdam) is a Professor of Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at the School of the Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University and a Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History. He is also President of the International Society of Iranian Studies. His research which has led to a long list of major publications including on World War I centres on Labour, the Subaltern, Migration and Post-Colonial Historiography, within the framework of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Natasha Bolger (The Foreign and Commonwealth Office) is a Research Analyst at the Middle East & North Africa Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office specialising in Eastern regions of the Arab World, especially the Arabian Peninsula. Natasha has worked in the Research Analysis cadre of the FCO since 2000, covering Yemen in the MENA Research Group since 2013. Natasha recently convened a workshop which looked at the the World War I partition agreements, and their impact on the Middle East and UK policymaking today.
Dr Juliette Desplat (The National Archives) is currently the TNA’s lead on the WWI related Middle East work stream. She a Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives, and the Head of the Modern Overseas Team. She specialises in Middle Eastern history in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially looking at the development of national identities, the comparison of the French and British colonial ideologies and practices in the region and the interaction between politics and archaeology.
Frances Guy (BRISMES) is currently President of BRISMES, and Head of the Middle East Region, Christian Aid, based in London. Previously Guy, with an academic background in international relations, served as representative for U.N. Women in Iraq and until 2012 was a member of the British Diplomatic Service, serving as HM Ambassador to the Yemen and to Lebanon as well as in the role of the Foreign Secretary’s envoy to the Syrian opposition.
Major & Dr Paul Knight (British Army HQ, North West) is First World War project officer, HQ 42nd Infantry Brigade & HQ North West. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Liverpool, and an MA in Historical Research from Lancaster University. He has worked extensively on the history of the British Army in Mesopotamia during World War I.
Dr Robabeh Motaghedi (The National Archives of Iran) is a historian and archivist based at the National Archives of Iran in Tehran. Her research focusses on urban subalterns and the history of every-day life in Iran and especially Tehran during the first half of the 20th century with special reference to the First World War.
Dr Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam (University of Strasbourg) is Director of the Persian Studies Department at the University of Strasbourg. He is a Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Persian Studies and specialises in the history of Iran and Franco-Iranian relations from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, looking in particular at the politics of archaeology, fine art, and the trade in antiquities.
Prof. Andrew Patrick (Tennessee State University) is an Assistant Professor of History at Tennessee State University, in Nashville, TN specialising in the history of the Middle East and the role of America in the region. He received his PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester in 2011, and recently published a monograph about a nearly forgotten yet important American Middle East initiative, the King-Crane Commission of 1919.
Prof. Michael A. Reynolds (Princeton) is an Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, focussing on Ottoman and modern Middle Eastern History, Russian and Eurasian history, the Caucasus, international relations, empire, nationalism, Turkish, and US foreign policy. In 2011 he received the American Historical Association George Louis Beer Prize for his widely acclaimed monograph on the ‘clash and collapse’ of the Ottoman and Russian empires.
Dr Phillipe Rochard (University of Strasbourg) is the former Director of the French Research Institute in Iran (IFRI), and is currently a lecturer [Assistant Professor] at the University of Strasbourg, specialising in contemporary history, anthropology, the study of culture, ideas, knowledge, and practices especially as they relate to sports, physical education and the politics of the body in the Persianate and wider worlds during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr Giorgio Rota (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna) is a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Iranian Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He specialises in the study of Iranian literature, knowledge and history from the time of Safavids onwards, including Iran’s political and cultural interactions with Europe, most notably with Austria, Italy and its city-states from the Renaissance to the 20th century.
Dr Majid Tafreshi (Center for Strategic Studies, Tehran) was trained as a historian at Royal Holloway College, University of London and specialises in the Modern history of Iran. He is currently a special advisor with the Center for Strategic Studies in Tehran.
Prof. Melanie Tanielian (University of Michigan) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and International Studies at the University of Michigan, focussing on modern Middle Eastern History, late modern Europe and anthropology. In her recent publications, Tanielian has focussed on family, nutrition, disease and public health in the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 20th century.
Dr Banu Turnaoglu (Cambridge) is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge, from where she also received her PhD in the Department of Politics and International Studies. She specialises in the history of the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire, specifically in the context of knowledge production and political ideology.
Dr Feroze Yasamee (Manchester) is a Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in the modern history of the Middle East, specialising in the late 19th and early 20th century political and diplomatic history of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East and the Balkans, as well as Britain and Germany’s role in the region prior to, during, and shortly after World War I. Yasamee has written widely on related issues, notably on the question of the Ottoman entry into World War I and is author of an acclaimed monograph on Ottoman foreign policy and diplomacy during the reigh of sultan Abdulhamid II.