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Ali Mirsepassi

Ali Mirsepassi

B.A. Political Science, University of Tehran, 1974
M.A. International Relations, American University, 1980
Ph.D. Sociology, American University, 1985

Ali Mirsepassi is professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at the Gallatin School and Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science. He is also director of Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University. In addition, he is affiliated faculty at the Sociology department in the Faculty of Arts of Science. He is the co-editor of (with Arshin Adib-Moghadam, SOAS) “The Global Middle East,” a book series published by the Cambridge University Press. He was a Carnegie Scholar (2007-2009). His teaching and research interests include social theories of modernity, Iranin intellectual history, political Islam, modern Islamic thought, and sociology of religion. He is the author of (with Tadd Fernee) Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Political Islam, Iran and Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Democracy in Modern Iran (New York University Press, 2010), Intellectual Discourses and Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Truth or Democracy (published in Iran); coeditor of Localizing Knowledge in a Globalizing World (Syracuse University Press, 2002); and guest editor of “Beyond the Boundaries of the Old Geographies: Natives, Citizens, Exiles, and Cosmopolitans” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (CSSAAME), spring 2005. He is currently completing a book on “Ahmad Fardid,” an Iranin philosopher. From 2002 to 2007, he held several administrative posts in the Gallatin School Deans’ Office, most notably serving as the School’s interim dean for two years. He was a Carnegie Scholar (2007-2009). Professor Mirsepassi taught at Hampshire College, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Professor Mirsepassi has received several awards and grants, including the Iranian “Best Researcher of the Year” (2001), a teaching award from Tehran University, and grants from the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Professor Ali Mirsepassi’s book, Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism: At Home and in the World, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. He won a 2014 Award for Outstanding Service from the Institute for International Education Scholar Rescue Fund. He was appointed as a member of the International Advisory Board for New Bulgarian University’s International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Linguistics, Political and Social Science, History and Philosophy.

Professor Mirsepassi gave a seminar on “Linguistics, Intercultural Communication and Area Studies” at New Bulgarian University in October 2013. He lectured on “The ‘Marvelous’ Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid” at School of Oriental and African Studies in November 2013. Also in November 2013, he spoke on “The ‘Human Sciences’ on Trial in Iran” at the London School of Economics. In January 2014, he spoke at the post-screening discussion of the Iranian film Mashti Esmaeil at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art.  


Contact Information

Ali Mirsepassi

1 Wash Pl, Room 504
(212) 992-7753
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Office Hours
Monday Leave
Tuesday Leave
Wednesday Leave
Thursday Leave
Friday Leave


2015 Summer

Imagining the Middle East
Tue,Thu 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

2015 Fall

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World
Tue,Thu 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World
Tue,Thu 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World
Tue,Thu 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World
Tue,Thu 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Research and Teaching Interests

contemporary social theory; sociology of religion; Islam and modernity; Middle Eastern societies and cultures; postcolonial studies; knowledge, citizenship, and geography; critical globalization

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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(212) 998-7370