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Ali Anooshahr


  • Ph.D., Islamic History, UCLA, 2005
  • M.A., Islamic History, UCLA, 2002
  • B.A., Humanities, University of Texas, 1998


Ali Anooshahr received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, and his M.A. (2002) and Ph.D. (2005) in Islamic History from UCLA. He was a CLIR-Mellon post-doctoral fellow in 2005-6 (cataloging Persian, Ottoman, and Arabic manuscripts at UCLA Library’s Special Collections) and Ahmanson-Getty Fellow in 2006-7. He taught at Saint Xavier University in Chicago (2007-8) and moved to Davis in 2008 as a scholar of “comparative Islamic empires.”


Research Focus

Comparative Islamic empires, Indo-Persian culture, historiography and memory. 

Selected Publications


  • Turkestan and the Rise of Eurasian Empires: A Study of Politics and Invented Traditions (Oxford, 2018).
  • The Ghazi Sultans and the Frontiers of Islam: A Comparative Study of the Late Medieval and Early Modern Periods (Routledge, 2009).


Articles and Book Chapters :

  • “The elephant and the sovereign: India circa 1000 CE”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, (2018).
  • “Muslims among non-Muslims: Creating Islamic identity through law”, in T. Ertl and G. Kruijtzer (eds.), Law Addressing Diversity: Premodern Europe and India in Comparison (13th-18th centuries), Walter de Gruyter, 2017): pp. 19-30.
  • “Science at the court of the cosmocrat: Mughal India, 1531–56”, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 54, no. 3 (2017): 295–316.
  • “The Shaykh and the Shah: On the Five Jewels of Muhammad Ghaws Gwaliori”, in A. Patel and T. Daryaee (eds.), India and Iran in the Longue Durée (Univesity of California, Jordan Center for Persian Studies, 2017): 91-102.
  • “The rise of the Safavids according to their old veterans: Amini Haravi’s Futuhat-e Shahi”, Iranian Studies, 48, no. 2 (2015): 249-267.
  • “Shirazi Scholars and the Political Culture of Sixteenth-Century Indo-Persian World”, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 51, no. 3 (2014): 331-352.
  • “Mughals, Mongols, and Mongrels: The Challenge of Aristocracy and the Rise of the Mughal State in the Tarikh-i Rashidi”, Journal of Early Modern History, 18, no. 6 (2014): 559-577.
  • “On the Imperial Discourse of the Delhi Sultanate and early Mughal India”, Journal Of Persianate Studies, 7, no. 2 (2014): 157-176.
  • “Franz Babinger and the Legacy of the ‘German Counter Revolution’ in Early Modern Iranian Historiography”, in K. Aghaie and A. Marashi eds. Rethinking Iranian Nationalism and Modernity: Histories and Historiographies, (University of Texas Press, 2014): 25-47.
  • “Author of One’s Fate: Human Agency and Fatalism in Indo-Persian Histories”, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 49, no.2 (2012): 197-224.
  • “Dialogue and Territoriality in a Mughal History of the Millennium”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 55, no. 2-3 (2012): 220-254.
  • “Writing, Speech, and Truth for an Ottoman Biographer,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 69, no. 1 (2010): 43-62.
  • “The King Who Would Be Man: Gender Roles of the Warrior King in Early Mughal India,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 18, no. 3, (2008): 327-340.
  • “Mughal Historians and the Memory of the Islamic Conquest of India,” Indian Economic and Social History Review, 43, no. 3, (2006): 275-300.
  • “Utbi and the Ghaznavids at the Foot of the Mountain,” Journal of Iranian Studies, 38, no. 2, (2005): 271-291.


World History, Medieval India, Safavid Iran, Islamic History


  • École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Invited Professor. (June 2017)
  • UC Davis New Initiative/Collaborative Interdisciplinary Grant (2015-16)
  • University of Vienna three-year Post-doctoral Fellowship (“managing religious diversity in pre-modern India and Europe) (2012), declined.
  • UC Davis Dean’s Innovation in Research Award (2011).
  • UC Davis Hellman Fellowship (2009-10).
  • Ahmanson-Getty Post-doctoral Fellowship (2006-7)
  • Council for Library Information and Resources/Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship (2005-6)