Oliver Bast

Fellow Year: 
Fellow, 2011-12;

Oliver Bast’s research interests include the diplomatic and political history of Modern Iran as well as the interface between historiography, politics and cultural memory in contemporary Iran. In October 2012 he set up (together with Dr Siavush Randjbar-Daemi) the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network (MIHAN) [http://www.mihan.org.uk/]. Bast sits on the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), which he serves as Honorary Secretary, and he is also a member of the Council of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). He 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 ‘Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the ‘Bolshevik threat’, and the genesis of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1921’, inIranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800, ed. by Stephanie Cronin, (London & New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 261-297 and ‘Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory’, in Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture, ed. by Touraj Atabaki, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009), pp. 55-68.

Currently, Bast is finishing the manuscript for a book on Iran’s foreign policy and diplomacy vis-à-vis the Great Powers during World War I and its immediate aftermath up to 1921. Based extensively on the Iranian archival record, this study fundamentally challenges the existing interpretive orthodoxy by giving a voice to the hitherto mostly ignored Iranian protagonists of this key period in Iran’s history.

Furthermore Bast is embarking on a new research project (tentatively) entitled The Performance of Power and the Power of Performance: An investigation into the role of Secular Ritual, Ceremonial and Celebration for the Emergence of the Nation-State in Iran (1848-1979), which intends to look at the nexus between ritual, ceremonial, festivity on the one hand and power on the other hand.

Select Publications: 

‘Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the ‘Bolshevik threat’, and the genesis of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of 1921’, in Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800, ed. by Stephanie Cronin, (London & New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 261-297.

‘Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory’, in Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture, ed. by Touraj Atabaki, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009), pp. 55-68.

La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002).

Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997)

 
Title: 
Professor of Iranian Studies, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3