I completed my PhD in classical Persian literature in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. My research and teaching interests are in the areas of classical Persian literature, especially Perso-Islamic wisdom literature, the history and culture of late antique and medieval Iran, and Persian popular literature.

During a two-year Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellowship (2013 to 2015) in the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, I refined and expanded my doctoral dissertation for publication in Brill’s Studies in Persian Cultural History series. My book The Medieval Reception of the Shāhnāma as a Mirror for Princes was published in August 2016 and won the World Award for Book of the Year in Iran..

My current research project concerns a finely illustrated and beautifully illuminated Persian manuscript from the sixteenth century, which contains four folktales. I started this project in September 2015 at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, as a Bahari Visiting Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book. I am currently conducting a close textual and contextual study of its tales and intend to prepare a fully annotated edition and translation of the text of the manuscript. A short interview about my current project is posted on the Bodleian Library’s webpage Researchers at Work in Bodleian Archives and Historic Collections.

I am delighted to be back at UBC’s Department of Asian Studies to conduct research and engage in teaching.

The Medieval Reception of the Shāhnāma as a Mirror for Princes. Studies in Persian Cultural History 9. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

“Renovating the World, Restoring the ‘Good Religion’: Ardashīr’s Battle against Haftvād and the Giant Worm.” In Shahnama Studies IV. Edited by Charles Melville and Firuza Abudllaeva. Studies in Persian Cultural History 3. Leiden: Brill, Forthcoming.

“A Unique Episode from the Kārnāmag ī Ardašīr ī Pābagān in a Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Indian Manuscript of the Shāhnāmeh.” Special issue, Pre-Islamic Iranian Literary Heritage, edited by Enrico G. Raffaelli, Iranian Studies 45, no. 2 (2012): 203–16. doi: 10.1080/00210862.2011.617155

Iraj Afshār. “The Form, Appearance, and Decoration in the Letters of the Safavid Kings.” Translated by Nasrin Askari. In New Perspectives on Safavid Iran: Empire and Society, edited by Colin Mitchell, 30–32. New York: Routledge, 2011.


Works in Progress:

Elite Folktales: An Exquisite Sixteenth-Century Illustrated Manuscript in the Ouseley Collection of the Bodleian Library.

A Re-examination of the Inscriptions and Iconography of a Kāshān Luster Plate in the Freer Gallery of Art.

“Saʿdī’s Būstān and Gulistān.” In A Guide to Sufi Literature, edited by Mohammed Rustom and Joseph Lumbard, University of California Press, Forthcoming.

Winter 2018

ASIA392 Classical Persian Literature in English Translation Sections

Works of classical Persian literature dating from the tenth to the seventeenth century (in English translation).

Winter 2018

ASIA394 Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema Sections

Gender politics, family relationships, and women's social, economic, and political roles in post-revolutionary Iran as shown through Iranian cinema.

Winter 2018

ASIA393 History of Iran from the Sasanians to the Safavids Sections

Iranian history from the fall of the Sasanian empire and the Arab conquest of Iran to the rise of Iranian dynasties in the east, the reign of Turkic and Turko-Mongolian rulers, and the formation of a Shiite Iran under the Safavids.