Pouya Alimagham



B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 2004
M.A. Harvard University, 2009
M.A. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2011
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2015

Pouya Alimagham is a historian of the modern Middle East. He specializes on Iran, Iraq, and the Levant in the 20th century, focusing on such themes as revolutionary and guerrilla movements, imperialism, Political Islam, and post-Islamism. His first published article, “The Iranian Legacy in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution: Military Endurance and US Foreign Policy Priorities”—written two years before the 2013 coup in Egypt—outlined how the Iranian Revolution served as a precedent for both Egypt’s military brass and the US foreign policy establishment, and how it informed the decision to avoid a military crackdown in order to safeguard cohesion and prevent a political vacuum. By doing so, the military was poised to retain ultimate power in post-Mubarak Egypt, which was manifest in the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.  His dissertation, titled: “Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprising,” was the 2016 winner of the Association for Iranian Studies’ Mehrdad Mashayekhi Dissertation Award, which is presented biannually. In the study, he argued that the Green Uprising in 2009 was a culmination of a decades-long history that constituted a post-Islamist paradigm shift in Iran. He harnessed wider regional history as well as Iran’s own revolutionary past in order to underscore his thesis. He is currently working on converting his dissertation into a book, and teaches courses on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, a survey course on the modern Middle East, and “Islam and the West,” in the latter of which he examines whether such a binary constitutes a useful way to understand global events.