Babak rahimi

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University Affiliation:

Associate Professor

Communication, Culture and Religious Studies

Program for the Study of Religion,

Department of Literature,

University of California, San Diego,

9500 Gilman Drive, 0410

La Jolla, CA, 92093-0410



Fax: 858-534-8686

Ph.D European University Institute, Department of Social and Political Sciences, 1999-2004 (Dissertation Defended: October 2004)
*University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science,

Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001.

Université de Paul Valery, Montpellier III, Department de Lettres, Summer 2000.
MPHIL University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies,

Department of Religious Studies, 2013.

M.A. University of Nottingham, Ancient and Medieval Philosophies, 1997-98

B.A. University Of California, San Diego, Major in Political Science and

Philosophy, 1993-97

University of Glasgow, Scotland, University of California Exchange Program,


Between Carnival and Mourning: Muharram Rituals and the Emergence of the Early Modern Iranian Public Sphere in the Safavid Period, 1590-1641 C.E.” Examining Jury: Said Amir Arjomand, Johann Arnason, Bo Strath, and Peter Wagner.
The Indefinite Being: Ibn Sina on Self, Knowledge and Reality.” September, 1998.

Teaching Experience:


● Iranian Cinema (LTWL 157) Fall 2009; Fall 2012.

Communication Studies
● Communication and Public Sphere (LTTH) Spring 2012.
● Digital Middle East (LTWL) Winter 2013.


● Making of the Modern World 3 (History of World Civilization) 750-1250 C.E.

Spring 2006

● Making of the Modern World 4 (History of World Civilization)

1250-1750 C.E.

Fall 2009

● Christianity, Judaism and Islam: A History of Conflict and Dialogue

Winter 2006 & Spring 2006

● Literature of the Middle East (Third World Studies 25), Spring 2012
● Literature, Culture and Religion in Modern Iran (LTWL 153)

Fall 2006 & Winter 2009

● Politics and Religion in the Middle East (LTWL 130) Winter 2006


● Death and Religion (RELIGION 140) Spring 2007

● Introduction to Islam (LTWL 152) Fall 2005 & Spring 2011
● Introduction to Quran (Religion 112) Winter 2011
● Introduction to Religion (RELIGION 1) Winter 2009
● Islam and Modernity (UC extension course) Winter 2006
● Public Sphere & Religion (LTWL 130) Spring 2007
● Religious Experience (RELIGION Seminar 189) Spring 2010
● Theories of Religion (RELIGION 110B) Spring 2006 & Spring 2011

Graduate Seminars
● Communication and the Public Sphere. Spring 2012 (LTTH 200)
● Islam and Modernity. Fall 2008
● Foucault and the Iranian Revolution. Spring 2006 (short seminar)
Educational/Administrative Academic:

● Service provided for the Educational Testing Service (ETS): the College

Board’s Advanced Placement comparative Government and Politics examination.
● Burke Lectureship Board, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
● Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Literature (UCSD): 2006 to present.
● Saylor Foundation, Review of online-course, History of Modern Middle East

and Southwest Asia.


I-Iran: The Contentious Politics of the Internet in post-revolutionary

Iran, under review.
● Co-edited with David Faris, Social Media and Iran, State University of New

York Press, 2013.

Theater State and the Formation of Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran:

Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-1641 C.D., Brill, 2011.
Chapter in Books

● “Urban-rural-nomadic nexus and the expansiveness of Sufi networks” in

Wiley-Blackwell History of Islam and Islamic Civilization, Armando Salvatore,

Ed. Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming.

● “Sectarian Shi’ism in the later Middle Period, in

Wiley-Blackwell History of Islam and Islamic Civilization, Armando Salvatore,

Ed. Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming.

● “Khomeini in post-revolutionary Iran,”

Critical Introduction to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam ed, University of Cambridge Press, forthcoming.

● “The Digital Islamic Republic: Censorship and Dissent”

State Power and Information Infrastructure. Muzammil M. Hussain and

Philip Howard, editors, Ashgate, forthcoming.

● “Iran and the Soft War,” co-authored, Monroe Price.


● "Politics of Informal Communication: Conspiracy Theories, Gossips and Rumors in

(post) election 2009 Iran,"

Conspiracy Theories, Rumors and Politics. Greg Delziel, ed, Routledge,


● “Subaltern Modernity: Mediated Experience, Ritualization and Becoming Modern

in the Arab-Iranian Community of Bushehr,”

Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age, edited by Said Arjomand,

Global/Local Studies, SUNY Press, 2013.

● “Dissent, Internet and Post-Revolutionary Iran,” in

International Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory,

Mark Fackler and Robert Fortner, Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming.

● “Politics of Media in post-revolutionary Iran,” in

Political Sociology of Post-revolutionary Iran, Mojtaba Mahdavi &

Mahmoud Ketabi, eds, Routledge, forthcoming.

● “The Qajar Theater State: The Takiy-eh Dawlat of Tehran” in

Performing the Iranian State, Anthen Press, forthcoming.

● “Facebook Iran. The Carnivalesque Politics of Online Social Networking,”

edited by Armando Salvator, Sociologica, 5, 3: 2012.
● “The Sacred in Fragments: Shi‘i Iran since the 1979 Revolution,” in

Iran: 30 Years after the Revolution, Negin Nabavi, ed,

Palgrave, 2012.

● “The Islamic Republic: The Politics of Change in Postrevolutionary Iran,” in

Governance in the Middle East and North Africa, Routledge, 2012.

● "The Rise of Shia Ideology in Pre-Revolutionary Iran," in

Assaf Moghadam, ed., Militancy in Shiism: Trends and Patterns in the Shia

Heartland and Beyond. London: Routledge, 2011.

● “Eating the Nahil: The Politics of the Ottoman Circumcision Ceremonies”

in Ottoman Tulips, Ottoman Coffee: Leisure and Lifestyle in the Eighteenth

Century, edited by Dana Sadji London: I.B. Tauris, March 2007.

● “Internet & Politics in Post-revolutionary Iran,” in Iran: Media, Culture and

Society, Hamid Semati, ed. Routledge, 2007.

● “The Middle-Period Islamic Axiality,” in Islam in Process: Historical and

Civilizational Perspectives, edited by Johann Arnason, Armando Salvatore

and George Strauth, Beilefeld: Transcript; New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction,

no 7, 2006.

● “From Assorted to Assimilated Ethnography: Institution, Narrative and the

Transformation of Ethnographic Authority in the Travel Reports of Michele

Membre and Jean Chardin, 1542-1677 C.E., « 

in Unraveling Civilization: European Travel and Travel Writing,

Hagen Schulz-Forberg, ed. Brussels: P.E.E.-Peter Lang, 2005.

Articles in Academic Journals (Refereed)
● “Authority and Democracy in Shi‘i Islamic Jurisprudence: Montazeri, Sistani and

Democratic Usulism” International Political Science Review, 2012.

● “The Politics of Facebook in Post-election Iran” Sociologica, The Italian Journal

of Sociology 2012.
● Affinities of Dissent: Cyberspace, Performative Networks and the Iranian Green

Movement,” CyberOrient, 5:2, 2011.

● “The Agonistic Social Media: Cyberspace in the Formation of Dissent and

Consolidation of State Power in Post-Election Iran,” The Communication

Review 14:158-178, 2011.
● “The Rebound Theater State: The Politics of the Safavid Camel Sacrifice,

1598-1695 C.E.” Iranian Studies 37 (3), 2004: 45-69.

● “Between Chieftaincy and Knighthood: A Comparative Study of the Safavid

and the Ottoman Origins.” Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical

Sociology 76, February 2004: 63-80.

Articles in Persian Journals (non-refereed)
● “Muharram az negahi dighar: Sayri dar ainha-yi azadari dowari-yi Safavi az

darich-i neghah-i safarnam-i nevisan-i gharbi, Sarzamine Man, Iranian

Cultural and Geographical Studies Journals,

HAMSHAHRI, 28: 8, 1390 (2011).

Articles in Journals (non-refereed)

● “Virtual Ulama: Dissent, Internet and Shi‘i Clerics in Postrevolutionary Iran,”

Orient, Spring 2010.

● “Religion & Media: Post-Election Iran,” Religion in the News, Vol. 12, No. 2.

Trinity College, Harftford, Fall, 2009.

● “Sacrifice, Transcendence and the Psychology of Soldier in Warfare.” Peace

Review: a Journal of Social Justice, October 2005.

● “:Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the Democratization of Iraq.” Middle East

Review of International Affairs, Vol 11 (2) December 2004.

● “Cyberdissent: The Internet in Revolutionary Iran.” Middle East Review of

International Affair, Vol 7 (3) September 2003.

● “Ritual, Public Sphere and “Islamic Democracy”: The Native Politics of

Muharram Ceremonies in the Iranian Port City of Bushehr.’

Yale Journal of (Student) Anthropology. Vol. 2 (1), Spring 2003, 10-14.

Policy Articles (Refereed)
● “Iran’s declining Influence in Iraq,” Washington Quarterly

35: 1, Winter 2012, 25-40.

● “Ayatollah Ali Sistani and the Democratization of Post-Baathist Iraq,

USIP Special Report, March 2007.

Policy Articles (Non-Refereed)

• Co-author, Elham Gheytanchi, “Iran’s Reformists & Activists:

Internet exploiters,” Middle East Policy, Spring 2008.
Articles in Encyclopedias: (Refereed)
● “Sectarianism,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics,

University of Oxford Press, 2013.

● “Ayatollah Ali-Morteza Montazeri,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and

Politics, University of Oxford Press, 2013.

● “Ayatollah Ali Sistani,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics,

University of Oxford Press, 2013.

● “Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics

University of Oxford Press, 2013.

● “Taziyeh,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics

University of Oxford Press, 2013.

● “Women, Gender and Waqf in Iran,” Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic

Cultures, 1st Edition, 2007.

● “Guilds” Encyclopedia of Medieval Islamic Civilization, 1st Edition, 2005.

● “Camels” Encyclopedia of Medieval Islamic Civilization, 1st Edition, 2005.

● “Camel Sacrifice in Iran” Encyclopedia Iranica, 1st Edition, 2005, supplementary


Articles in Encyclopedias: (Non-Refereed)
● “Shah Abbas,” Encyclopedia of Middle East: History, Religion, and Culture.

Sharpe Reference, 2010.

● “Abbasid,” Encyclopedia of Middle East: History, Religion, and Culture.

Sharpe Reference, 2010.

● “Ummayad” Encyclopedia of Middle East: History, Religion, and Culture.

Sharpe Reference, 2010.

● “Suleyman the Magnificent,” Encyclopedia of Middle East: History, Religion,

and Culture. Sharpe Reference, 2010.

● “Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani,” Encyclopedia of Middle East: History, Religion,

and Culture. Sharpe Reference, 2010.

● “Montazeri, Hussein Ali,” Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle

East, 2007.

● “Festivals—Islamic World: nature of festivals; scheduling, social and religious

Roles” Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World, Facts On

File, 1st edition, 2007.

● “Funeral: Islam,” Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World,

Facts On File, 1st edition, 2007.

● “Babrak Kamal,” Encyclopedia of World History. Volume 6, Golson Books,


● “Kurds/Barzani/Talabani/PKK,” Encyclopedia of World History. Volume 6,

Golson Books, 2007.

● “Ibn Batutta,” Encyclopedia of World Geography. 1st Edition. Golson Books,


● “Ottoman Empire,” Encyclopedia of World Geography. 1st Edition.

Golson Books, 2005.

● “Akbar Ganji” Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. 2nd

Edition. Macmillan Reference, 2004.

● “Ghazaleh Alizadeh,” Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North

Africa. 2nd Edition. Macmillan Reference, 2004.

Film: Documentary
The Internet in post-election Iran in production.
Online Articles

● “How to Beat Ahmadinejad in a Debate,” Foreign Policy, August 10, 2010.
● “The Rise of Ayatollah Moqtada Sadr,” Foreign Policy, July 27, 2009.

● “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Accurately),”

co-authored, Elham Gheytanchi, Foreign Policy, July 20, 2009.

● “Was there a Coup in Iran?”, June 19, 2009.

● “Cyberconflict: Iranian presidential elections, 2009,”

Australian BC, June 19, 2009.

subject_InformationandCommunication.htm.Cyber conflict.

● “Inside the Iranian Election,”, June, 12, 2009.
● “The Politics of Facebook in Iran,” co-authored, Elham Gheytanchi,


●“War Through Negotiations?” August 5, 2008.

● “Helping the Mullas, Hurting the Poor,” April 20, 2008,
● “Dying a Martyr’s Death: The Political Theology of Sacrifice in

Contemporary Islamist Movements.”(Working paper) Hartford Institute for

Religion Research.
● “The Democratization of Islam and the Islamization of Democracy: In Search

of Post-Liberal Democracy.” (draft) CSID Online Conference Paper.
● “Social Death and War: U.S. Media Representations of Sacrifice in the Iraq

War.” Bad Subjects. Issue 63, April 2003:

● “Becoming a Phantom: Football, National Identity and Social Death”. M/C

Reviews: A Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. (Online) August 2002,

Online Column I,

● “Why Iran’s Presidential Race Could Make a Difference,” May 26, 2009.

● “The Iraqi Provincial Elections: What Tehran has Lost,”March 5, 2009.

● “Iran’s About Face on the Status of Forces Agreement,” November 25,


● “The Reshuffling of the Revolutionary Guard Leadership and its

Implication,” July 28, 2008.
● “The Implication of Larijani’s Election to Speaker of the House,”

June 10, 2008.

● “How (not) to Win the Minds and Hearts of Iranians,” May 18,

Online Column II, Ishraqat:

● “Elections in Iran: The Making of an Authoritarian Democracy,” March 2007.
● “Crossing the Wall: A View of US-Iran Relations from the Former U.S. Embassy

in Tehran.” June, 2005.

● “The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East”

December, 2004

● “Torture and War: Lessons from Abu Ghuraib.” September, 2004.
● “Flagging a New Iraq: Failure of a National Symbol.” June, 2004.

Book Reviews
● Matthew F. Jacobs, Imagining the Middle East: The Building of an American

Foreign Policy, 1918-1967. Passport: The Society for Historians of American

Foreign Relations Review, 2012.
● Ali Mirsepassi, Political Islam, Iran, and the Enlightenment: Philosophies of

Hope and Despair. International Journal of Iranian Studies 2012.
● Gholam Khiabany and Annabelle Sreberny, Blogistan: The Internet and Politics in

Iran & Yahya R. Kamalipour, ed. Media, Power and Politics in the Digital Age:

The 2009 Presidential Election Uprising in Iran. Journalism, 2012.
● Said Amir Arjomand, After Khomeini: Iran under His Successors. In

International J. Middle East Studies. 43, 2011.

● Efraim Karsh, Palestine betrayed. Choice.

● Robert Gleave, The History and Doctrines of the Akhbari Shi‘i School.

Al-Masāq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 2011.
● Ali Gheissari, ed. Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society, Politics.

International Journal of Iranian Studies, 2010.
● Mark R. Cohen, Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of

Medieval Egypt: Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the

Modern World In Al-Masāq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 2009.

● Shibley Telhami & Michael Barnett, editors, Identity and Foreign Policy in the

Middle East. In International Journal of Iranian Studies, 2008.
● Masoud Kamali, Multiple Modernities, Civil Society and Islam: The Case of Iran

and Turkey. In International Journal of Iranian Studies, 2008.
● Ali Ansari Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and

the Roots of Mistrust. I ""
● Kaveh Basmenji, Tehran Blues: Youth Culture in Iran. In

International Journal of Iranian Studies, 2008.
● Rudi Matthee, The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History,

1500-1900. In MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, 2008.
● Danny Postal, Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of

Liberalism. In The Middle East Policy, November 2007.
● Robert of Clari (translated by Edgar Holmes McNeal), The Conquest of

Constantinople. In Al-Masāq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 2006.

● Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution:

Gender and the Seductions of Islamism. In H-Gender-MidEast, 2006:
● Aghaie, Kamran Scot, The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi‘i Symbols and Rituals in

Modern Iran. In Third World Studies, 2006.
● Korom, Frank J. Hosay Trinidad: Muharram Performances in an

Indo-Caribbean Diaspora. In Caribbean Studies. Vol. 33 (1) 2005.
● Knauft, Bruce M, ed. Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies.

In H-Gender-MidEast, January 4, 2004:

● Höfert, Almut & Salvatore, Armando, Eds. Between Europe and Islam: Shaping

Modernity in a Transcultural Space. In Journal of International Sociology.

Vol.19 (1), March 2004.

● Saikel, Amin, Islam and the West. In Journal of International Sociology. Vol.

19 (1) March 2004.

Newspaper Articles/Op-Eds
● “What Iran’s ruling theocracy has lost,” San Diego Union-Tribune, June 25, 2009,

● “Inside Iran, a rebellion that is familiar and unpredictable,”

Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2009.,0,451907.story.
● “The Web of Silence,” co-author, Elham Gheytanchi, Boston Globe, August 24,


● “Why Many Muslims Are Angry,” San Diego Union-Tribune, February 10, 2006.
● “How (not) to draft an Iraqi Constitution,” The Examiner, Washington,

August 11, 2005.

Op-Ed (online) articles

● Co-author, Elham Gheytanchi, “The Facebook revolution is changing how

ordinary people relate to political activism,” San Francisco Chronicle,

February 14, 2011.
● “A New Symbols of Martyrdom,” New York Times (Blog), June 23, 2009. upheaval-in-iran/.

● “The Post-Zarqawi Iraq,” OnlineOpinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and

political debate, July 11, 2006.

● ‘The Ghostly Remains of Al-Zarqawi,’ USIP Online Op-Eds, July 6, 2006.
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