Andrew J. Newman


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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

Personal profile


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 800 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: .

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 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: There is also a write-up of the workshop in the IMES Alumni Newsletter no.6, pp 16-17.

The second of the BIPS-funded ‘Persianate Subalterns’ workshops took place here in Edinburgh on 20-21 May 2017. The programme, etc, can be accessed at:

The presentations were filmed and uploaded. Selected papers from the 2017 gathering have been published by Gerlach and are listed below.  A selection of these has just appeared in print, from Gerlach. See below. I did the preface for this volume.

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.

Professor Newman is a member of the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), since 2019, and the BIPS Outreach Director since November, 2021.

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.


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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of California, Los Angeles

Award Date: 1 Jan 1987

Master of Arts, University of California, Los Angeles

Award Date: 1 Jan 1976

Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College

Award Date: 1 Jan 1974

External positions

Chercheur associé, Unité mixte de recherché (UMR) 7528, Mondes Iranien et Indien (CNRS)

1 Sept 2011 → …


  • PI Oriental languages and literatures


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