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Dr Reza Zia-Ebrahimi studied Law at the University of Geneva and the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics. He completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford (St Antony's College) in what is still nostalgically called 'Oriental Studies'. Before joining the History Department at King's College London in 2013, he was a senior lecturer in history at Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Zia-Ebrahimi has been a fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation and of the Government Department of the London School of Economics. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Holocaust Centre, Oslo. In recent years, he has given seminars in Britain, the United States, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Lebanon and Russia. 

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Nationalism in Iran.
  • Any topic related to the ‘Aryan’ and ‘Semitic’ race theories.
  • European views of Islam, Orientalism, Islamophobia.

My work is situated at the juncture between global intellectual history and ethnic studies. I have worked on the development of dislocative nationalism in Iran in the period 1860-1979, focusing on the hybridisation of European ideas of nation and race by Iranian intellectuals. Currently, my research centres on a parallel study of antisemitism and Islamophobia from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

The incidence of conspiracy thinking on strategies of racialisation is at the heart of my new research agenda.

For more details, please see his full research profile.


My teaching covers modern Middle Eastern history, Iranian intellectual history, and European views of Islam from the Middle Ages onwards. 

Expertise and Public Engagement

In the field of history, engagement with the public and the media is essential if one’s research is to have any impact beyond the academic pale. With this in mind, I have participated in talk-shows (particularly on BBC Persian Television) and often commented on developments in the Middle East or the on-going debate on ‘Islam in Europe’ in various international media outlets, including the Guardian, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement.