FACULTY RESIDENTIAL FELLOW
Fakhreddin Azimi is Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. A graduate of the universities of Tehran, London and Oxford, his primary fields of research are the history, politics and culture of modern Iran. He is also interested in the epistemological underpinnings of historical enquiry and the contribution of the social sciences to historiography. His publications in English include: The Quest for Democracy in Iran: a Century of Struggle against Authoritarian Rule (Harvard University Press, 2008, paperback 2010) – winner of the Mossadegh Prize (Mossadegh Foundation, Geneva) and the Saidi-Sirjani Award (International Society for Iranian Studies) – and Iran: The Crisis of Democracy, from the exile of Reza Shah to the fall of Musaddiq (New York & London, 1989; revised paperback edition 2009).
Azimi has also written extensively in Persian, including two books and more than forty articles published in leading journals in Tehran. Azimi’s article on the prominent Iranian historian Fereydun Adamiyat (Negah-e Nou, no. 78, July-August 2008), won the Mahtab Mirzaie Prize.
While at the Humanities Institute, Azimi will pursue an ongoing research project focusing on the fragility of modernity in post-1953 Iran, and the rise of clerical activism and political Islam. The project explores how the oppositional discourse and movement against the Shah acquired a strong Islamist component. It also investigates how the embracing of modernization theories by the state and the intelligentsia in the 1960s and 70s nourished an illusion of irreversible secularity and undermined the cognitive resources needed to comprehend Islamism and religion’s capacity to reconstitute itself as a major source of social-ideological power.