Alireza Doostdar

Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion; also in the College

 

 

PhD (Harvard University)

Alireza Doostdar teaches courses on social theory, modern Islam, and Iranian politics and history. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. His first book, under contract with Princeton University Press, is tentatively titled “The Experimenters: Modernity and the Supernatural in Iran.” The book examines the emergence of practices, sensibilities, and knowledge-forms pertaining to a category of the "supernatural" (mavara) that are largely distinct from those dispositions and attitudes that govern Muslim conceptions of and encounters with the "unseen" (ghayb). This research brings to light a range of largely ignored knowledges and practices, from occult science and spiritist seances to modern esotericist therapeutics and popular Shi'i hagiography. Doostdar's other interests include Islamic spiritual cinema, modern universalist religious movements, state entanglements with sorcery, and the decades-old project of Islamizing the sciences in Iran.

Select work: 

"Portrait of an Iranian Witch", The New Inquiry

773-702-8227
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Current and Upcoming Courses

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

33600 Anthropology of Religion
41004 Shi’ism and Modernity
42514 Witchcraft
42904 Walter Benjamin
42908 Moral Geographies
43310 Feminism and Islamic Studies

History of Judaism

44612 The Occult in the Islamic World

History of Religions

42514 Witchcraft
42904 Walter Benjamin
44612 The Occult in the Islamic World

Islamic Studies

41004 Shi’ism and Modernity
42904 Walter Benjamin
43310 Feminism and Islamic Studies
44612 The Occult in the Islamic World