Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Andrew J. Newman

Personal Chair of Islamic Studies and Persian

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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

the history of Twelver Shi'ism
the history of Islamic law
hadith studies
the evolution of the legal bases of Islamic medical theory and practice
the history of Iran
classical, medieval and modern Middle Eastern history and culture
Persian language and literature
modern Arabic literature

Education / Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College
Master of Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of California, Los Angeles

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseShiism, Iranian history

Biography

Professor Andrew Newman has a BA in History, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA, and an MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

He joined IMES in 1996, having been a Research Fellow at both the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford and Green College, Oxford, whilst researching topics in the history of Islamic medicine.

Research Interests

  • the history of Twelver Shi'ism
  • hadith studies
  • pre-modern subalterns
  • sectarianism in Islam
  • the history of Iran
  • the evolution of the legal bases of Islamic medical theory and practice
  • classical, medieval and modern Middle Eastern history and culture
  • Persian language and literature
  • modern Arabic literature
  • pre-modern subalterns

Professor Newman recently completed Twelver Shi`ism,  Unity and Diversity in the Life of Islam, 632 to 1722 (Edinburgh, 2013), on the history and development of Twelver Shi‘ism. Future projects include a volume on prominent figures of the Safawid period, a volume on the Safawids as empire, and further research into early Twelver Shi‘i history, doctrine and practice.

Other Activity

Professor Newman is the founder and moderator of 'Shii News', an e-mail list started in 2009 that now serves more than 630 academics and non-academics across the world who are interested in all forms of Shi‘ism and Shi‘i expression and their study both past and present.  An associated website, 'The Shi‘i Studies Network', has recently gone live at: https://www.shii-news.imes.ed.ac.uk/ .

He is also directing 'Recovering "Lost Voices": The Role and Depiction of Iranian/Persianate Subalterns from the 13th century to the Modern Period', funded by the British Institute of Persian Studies, for further information on which see https://www.shii-news.imes.ed.ac.uk/the-subalterns-project/. The first workshop of the project - on pre-Safavid subalterns – took place on 7-8 November, 2015 in Edinburgh, UK. The presentations from the workshop are now uploaded on YouTube and can be viewed at: https://www.shii-news.imes.ed.ac.uk/the-subalterns-project/the-first-workshop-edinburgh-7-8-november-2015/ There is also a write-up of the workshop in the IMES Alumni Newsletter no.6, pp 16-17.

In Autumn 2015, Professor Newman also organised four seminar for a series entitled 'Shii-Sunni Conflict in Islam: Past, Present and Future'. These are discussed in the IMES Alumni Newsletter no.6, p. 18.

He is also 'Chercheur Associé' (Associate Scholar) of the CNRS (UMR 7528 Mondes Iranien et Indien) (Paris).

Professor Newman is a Member of the Founding Editorial Board of the 'Islamic Studies' section of Oxford Bibliographies Online.

 

Professor Newman served as Section Editor, History of Iran for Encyclopedia of islam, series 3, from 2014 to 2016.

He has authored numerous articles and presented many papers nationally and internationally on aspects of Shi`ism from its earliest years to the Qajar period.

Teaching

Postgraduate teaching

  • Core Course: MSc In Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Methods and Problems

Undergraduate teaching

  • Shī‘ī Islam
  • The History of Islamicate Medicine
  • Modern Persian Literature
  • History of Modern Iran

Research outputs

  1. ‘Great men’, ‘decline’ and empire: Safavid studies and a way forward

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Of mullas, manuscripts and migration: Aspects of Twelver Shi`i community life in the 18th c

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. The limits of “Orthodoxy”?: Notes on the Anti-Abū Muslim polemic of early 11th/17th Iran

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

View all (29) »

Research activities & awards

  1. 'Safavid Studies in the West: Past, Present and Future' (in Persian)

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

  2. The History of Modern Iran: An Exception to ‘the Rule’?

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

  3. ‘New and Original’: Challenging the ‘Conventional Wisdoms’ of Safavid Studies

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

View all (48) »

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