Mattin Biglari



Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow, ZMO
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SOAS University of London
2018 - 2022
Graduate Teaching Assistant / Teaching Fellow, SOAS University of London
2015 - 2020
Doctoral Student, SOAS University of London


2015 - 2020
PhD History, SOAS University of London
2013 - 2014
MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies, SOAS University of London
2009 - 2012
BA History, University of Cambridge


Monograph: Refining Knowledge: Labour, Expertise and Oil Nationalisation in Iran (forthcoming 2024, Edinburgh University Press).

Book chapter: ‘Global Histories of Environment and Labour’, in Routledge Handbook of Environmental History, ed. Emily O’Gorman et al. (forthcoming 2023) – [Co-authored with Olisa Godson Muojama].

Journal article: ‘“Resource Imperialism and Resistance: Labour, Security and Social Reproduction after Iranian Oil Nationalisation”, Journal of Energy History (forthcoming 2023) – [Co-authored with Rowena Abdul Razak].

Book chapter: ‘Iranian Oil Nationalization as Decolonization: Methodological Nationalism, Transnational History, and the Promises of Postcolonial Theory’, in Iran and Global Decolonization, ed. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet and Robert Steele (forthcoming, 2023)

Book chapter: ‘Making Oil Men: Expertise, Discipline and Subjectivity in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s Training Schemes’, in Life Worlds of Oil in the Middle East: Histories and Ethnographies of Black Gold, ed. Nelida Fuccaro and Mandana Limbert (Edinburgh University Press, 2023), 221-48.

Published roundtable:  ‘Petromobilities in the Global South’ in Ann Szefer-Karlsen, Experiences of Oil (Museumsforlaget, 2022) – co-authored with the Oil Cultures in the Middle East and Latin America (OCMELA) research group

Book chapter: ‘A State of ‘Tribal Lawlessness’? Rural and Urban Crime in Fars Province, 1910-1915’, in Crime, Poverty and Survival in the Middle East and North Africa: The ‘Dangerous Classes’ since 1800, ed. Stephanie Cronin (London: I. B. Tauris, 2020), 117-34.

Journal article: ‘“Captive to the Demonology of the Iranian Mobs”: U.S. Foreign Policy and Perceptions of Shi’a Islam During the Iranian Revolution, 1978-79’, Diplomatic History 40, 4 (Sept., 2016): 579-605.

Research Group Participation

Awards and scholarships

  • 2023: Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
  • 2021: BRISMES Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize: awarded for best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic in the Social Sciences or Humanities awarded by a British University in the previous calendar year.
  • September 2015 – September 2018: SOAS Research Studentship (AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership-affiliated)

Book reviews

Book review: On Barak, Powering Empire: How Coal Made the Middle East and Sparked Global Carbonization (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2020), in Middle Eastern Studies 57, no. 1 (2021): 168-72.

Book review: Mangol Bayat, Iran’s Experiment with Parliamentary Governance: The Second Majles, 1909-1911 (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2020), in Middle Eastern Studies 57, no. 4 (2021): 686-88

Events organised

Workshop co-convenor: ‘Visual Worlds of Oil Infrastructure in Histories of the Global South’, online, March 2023 [with Nelida Fuccaro]

Seminar series co-convenor, ‘Histories of Capitalism and Race in the Middle East and Indian Ocean’, Autumn 2022 [with Hengameh Ziai and Sarah El-Kazaz]

Conference co-convenor: ‘Histories of Capitalism and Race’, SOAS University of London, June 2021 [with Hengameh Ziai]

Conference co-convenor:: Energy, Culture and Society in the Global South’CRASSH, Cambridge, 31 May-1 June 2019: (website: [with Damilola Adebayo, Noura Wahby and Aditya Ramesh]

Conference panel convenor: ‘‘Natural Resources’, Political Economy and Epistemic Coloniality in the MENA region’, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, Exeter 2023

Roundtable convenor: ‘Pollution, Toxicity and Environmental Justice in the Middle East’, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, Exeter 2023

Conference panel co-convenor: ‘Twenty Years Since Rule of Experts: Current Paths in the Study of Technopolitics’, Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting, Denver, US, 2022

Conference panel convenor: Histories of Toxicity, Pollution and the Environment in the Global South’, European Society of Environmental History (ESEH) biennial conference, Bristol, UK, 2022

Roundtable co-convenor: ‘Entanglements and agencies: Local and Micro sites of infrastructures in the Global south 1840-1950’, Society for the History of Technology annual meeting 2021, 20 November 2021, New Orleans, USA.

Conference panel convenor: ‘Technologies and Infrastructures in the Making of the Modern Middle East’, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, King’s College London, June 2018.