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Oliver Bast


Academic Profile

Oliver Bast, Dr. phil., Maître-ès-Lettres, is Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Middle Eastern History and Persian at the University of Manchester. He was the head of the department of Middle Eastern Studies between September 2008 and September 2011. Bast spent the Academic Year 2011-2012 at Yale University as a Visiting Fellow in Iranian Studies at Yale's Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. All in all he has spent almost three years of his academic career living, studying and working in Iran.

Before joining the University of Manchester as a lecturer [Assistant Professor] in January 2000, he read History and Persian Studies in Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), in Tehran (University of Tehran),
in Paris (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3) and in Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg). Bast holds a joint doctorate (thèse en co-tutelle) from the Sorbonne and Bamberg where he pursued his doctoral studies under the joint supervision of Professors Bert G. Fragner and Yann Richard.

Since 2004, Bast has been serving on the Council of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and in July 2009 organised the 2009 Annual Conference of BRISMES at the University of Manchester. In January 2009, he co-organised (with Dr Dominic Brookshaw) the 10th Workshop of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) at the University of Manchester. In June 2006, Bast was co-organiser together with Professor Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar, of the 6th Conference of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA) in Paris acting on behalf of the Unité mixte de recherché Mondes Iranien et Indien of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), to which Bast is attached as a chercheur associé. Between 1995 and 1997, Bast worked as an allocataire de recherche at the Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI) in Tehran, where in March 1997, he organised an international conference on Iran and World War I, which was held as a joint venture of IFRI and the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).

Sample Publications

Oliver Bast is the author of Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997) and editor of La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002). Other publications include writings concerning the origins of the Iranian Communist Party, German-Iranian relations since 1500 as well as various aspects of the diplomatic and political history of Qajar Iran, including ‘Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory’, in Atabaki, Touraj (ed.) Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009) and 'Iran's foreign policy, the 'Bolshevik threat', and the genesis of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1921', in Cronin, Stephanie (ed.), Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800 (London & New York: Routledge, 2013).

Current Position

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), The University of Manchester