My main research and teaching field is the social, cultural and political history of the modern Middle East and Central Asia. Under the supervision of Prof Ervand Abrahamian (Baruch College) I did my doctoral dissertation on the ethnicity and regional autonomy in the twentieth century Iran; it was published in 1993 and reprinted in 2000. Since then I moved to the former Soviet south and continued to work on the Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special interest in society, culture and politics in the 1920-1940 period. I have also done some research on the late Ottoman and early modern Turkey's cultural and political links with Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Since I joined the International Institute of Social History I became more interested on the labour and subaltern histories, manifested (among other things) in a 2003 co-editing (with Marcel van der Linden) a special issue of International Review of Social History on history of Iran from below and in a 2007 edited volume on State and Subaltern in modern Turkey and Iran. My most recent book is an edited volume on historiography and political culture in Iran. At the present I am coordinating a research project on Social History of Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry 1908-2008. Together with Peyman Jafari, Maral Jefroudi, Robabeh Motaghedi and Jamasb Soltani, four of my PhD students, we aim to record the social history of 100 years of the Iranian oil industry.
Along the way I have served as president of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS), as a member of the academic board of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), as a member of the Board of Consulting Editors of the International Labour and Working-Class History, the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Iranian Studies, the Editorial Board of the Journal of Central Asian Survey and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Azerbaijani Studies. At the present I hold the chair of 'Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia' at the School of the Middle East Studies of the University of Leiden and work as the Senior Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History, head of the Middle East and Central Asia Desk.
My fields of research encompass Social History of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Modernity, Migration, Nationalism, Labour and Subaltern Studies and post-Colonial Historiography. A detailed account of my academic activities could be seen at www.atabaki.nl
- Social History of Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry 1908-1941 (Forthcoming).
- Incommodious Hosts, Invidious Guests. Everyday life of Iranian Migrant Workers in the Stalinist Soviet Union (Forthcoming).
- Dowlat va Foroudastan. Faraz va Foroud Tajaddod Ameraneh dar Torkiyeh va Iran, Gerdavarandeh va Talif (Tehran: Qoqnoos, 2011)
- Devlet ve Maduniyet. Türkiye ve Iran’da Modernlesme, Toplum ve Devlet, Derleyen (Istanbul: Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayinlari, 2010)
- Iran ve 1. Dünya Savasi. Büyük Güçlerin Savas Alani, Derleyen (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi Yurt Yayinlari, 2010)
- Modernity and Its Agencies. The Young Moments in the History of the South, Editor (New Delhi: Manohar, 2010).
- Ottoman and Republican Turkish Labour History, Supplement of the International Review of Social History 17 Co-Editor (With Gavin D. Brockett) (London: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
- Historiography and Political Culture in Twentieth-Century Iran, Editor (London: I.B.Tauris, 2009).
- Iran va Jang Jahani Avval. Meydan Nabard Qodrat-hay Bozorg (Tehran: Qoqnoos, 2008).
- Tajaddod Ameraneh, Gerdavarandeh va Talif (Tehran: Qoqnoos, 2007).
- The State and the Subaltern. Society and Politics in Turkey and Iran. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007.
- Iran and the First World War: A Battleground of the Great Powers. London: I.B.Tauris, 2006.
- Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora, co-Editor [Sanjyot Mehendale]. London: Routledge, 2005.
- Men of Order: Authoritarian Modernisation Under Atatürk and Reza Shah, co-Editor [Erik Jan Zürcher]. London: I.B Tauris, 2004.
- Beyond Essentialism. Who writes whose Past in the Middle East and central Asia?. Amsterdam: Aksant, 2003.
- Post-Soviet Central Asia, co-Editor [John O'Kane]. London: I.B.Tauris, 1998.
- Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, [Revised Edition of Azerbaijan, Ethnicity and Autonomy in the Twentieth-Century Iran]. London: I.B.Tauris, 2000.
- Centraal Azië, (co-author Joris Versteeg). Amsterdam: Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen-Novib-NCOS, 1994.
- Azerbaijan, Ethnicity and Autonomy in the Twentieth-Century Iran. London, IB Tauris, 1993.
- The Caucasus Directories. Union Catalogue of Persian, Azebaijani, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic Serials and Newspapers in the Libraries of the Republic of Azebaijan and the Republic of Georgia, [co-Editors: Solmaz Rustmova-Towhidi, Grigol Beradze, Georg Sanikidze]. Tehran: Resanehha, 2006.
- The Baku Documents, Union Catalogue of Persian, Azebaijani, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic Serials and Newspapers in the Libraries of the Republic of Azerbaijan. London: I.B. Tauris, 1995.
- "Constitutionalists San Frontieres: Iranian Constitutionalism and its Asian Connections", H.E. Chehabi & Vanessa Martin (Eds.), Iran's Constitutional Revolution (London - New York: I.B. Tauris, 2010).
- "Historiography of Twentieth CenturyIran: Memory, Amnesia and Invention", in: Historiography and Political Culture in Twentieth-Century Iran, Editor (London: I.B.Tauris, publication scheduled for 2009).
- "Agency and Subjectivity in Iranian national Historiography", in: Historiography and Political Culture in Twentieth-Century Iran, Editor (London: I.B.Tauris, publication scheduled for 2009).
- "Iran and the Netherlands in the Interbellum". In Martine Gosselink (Ed.), Iran and the Netherlands; Interwoven Through the Ages. (Gronsveld & Rotterdam: Barjesteh L.A. van Waalwijk van Doorn, 2009).
- "Iranian Oil Nationalised; Mosaddeq Goes to The Hague". In Martine Gosselink (Ed.), Iran and the Netherlands; Interwoven Through the Ages (Gosselink & Rotterdam: Barjesteh L.A. van Waalwijk van Doorn, 2009).
- "From multilingual empire to contested modern state", in: Homa Katouzian and Hossein Shaidi (ed), Iran in the 21st Century. Politics, Economics and Conflicts, (London and New York: Routledge, 2008).
- "Ethnic Minorities, Regionalism and the Construction of New Histories", in: Markus Ritter, Ralph Kauz and Brigitt Hoffman (ed), Iran und iranisch geprägte Kulturen (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2008).
- "Kendini Yeniden Kurmak, Ötekini Reddetmek: Panturkism ve Iran Milliyetçiligi", in: Erik Jan Zürcher (ed), Türkiye'de Etnik Çatisma. Istanbul: Iletisim, 2005.
- "Enlightening the People: The Practice of Modernity in Central Asia and its Trans-Caspian Dependencies", in Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek and Julia Katschnig (eds.), Central Asia on Display. Vienna: Lit Verlag, 2004.
- "Başkasını Reddederek kendini Yenilemek: Pan-Türkçülük ve Iran Milliyetçiliği", in: Willem van Schendel & Erik Jan Zürcher(eds), Orta Asya ve İslam Dünyasında Kilimlik Politikaları. İstanbul: İletişim, 2004.
- "Incommodious Hosts, Invidious Guests. The life and Time of Iranian Revolutionaries in the Soviet Union: (1921-1939)" in Stephanie Cronin, Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran: New Perspectives on the Iranian Left. London: Routledge-Curzon, 2004.
- "Recasting and Recording Identities in the Caucasus", in, G S. Asatrian, (ed), Iran and the Caucasus. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2003.
- "Recasting Oneself, Rejecting the Others: Pan-Turkism and Iranian Nationalism" in Erik Jan Zürcher and W. van Schendel (eds), Identity Politics in Central Asia and Muslim Word. London: I.B.Tauris, 2001. - "Dialogue; a Literary Form in Persian Nineteenth/Twentieth-Centuries Political Discourse", in B. G. Fragner, et al. (ed.), Proceedings of the Second European Conference of Iranian Studies (Rome: Instituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1995).
- "A Study in the History of Bukharan Modernism, the Journey of Ahmad Donish to St. Petersburg", in I. Baldauf, and M. Friederich (eds), Bamberger Zentralasienstudien, Islamkundliche Untersuchungen, (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1994).
- "The Early Labour Movement in Khorasan", in M. van Damme and H. Boeschoten (eds.), Utrecht Papers on Central Asia (Utrecht: Utrecht University, Turkological Series, 1987).
- "Ethnic Diversity in Iran and Iranian National Identity". Iran Nameh (A Persian Journal of Iranian Studies), 25 (2-3), 2009.
- "Constitutionalism in Iran and its Asian Interdependencies", Comparative of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Volume 28, No. 1, 2008.
- "Constitutionalists Sans Frontières", Goft-o-Gu, 51, June 2008.
- "Revisiting Social Historiography of Qajar Persia", Qajar Studies, Volume 8, 2008.
- "Doğu'ya Doğru: Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'nın İran, Kafkasya ve Orta Asya Faaliyetleri", Kebikeç, 24 (2007).
- "Ethnic Diversity and Territorial Integrity of Iran: Domestic Harmony and Regional Challenges", Iranian Studies, 38:1 (March 2005).
- "On Subaltern Historiography", Ketab-e Mah - Tarikh va Joghrafia (Book of the Month, On History an Geography) (2004).
- "Disgruntled Guests: Iranian Subaltern on the Margins of the Tsarist Empire," International Review of Social History, 48:3 (2003).
- "Azerbaijan and Iranian Nationalism", Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 33 (May 2001).
- "From Comrade Rouge to the Enemy of the People", Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 31 (2001).
- "Dialogue; a Literary Form in Persian Nineteenth/Twentieth-Centuries Political Discourse", Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 23 (1999).
- "Narrating the Nation: A Study on Reshaping Identity in Azerbaijan", Journal of Azerbaijani Studies, 2:2 (1999).
- "The Policies of the Khorasani Communists in the Early 1920s", Goft-o-gu, journal on Culture and Society, 11 (1996).
- "The Myth of an Ultimatum, A Study on the US-Soviet Relations in the Context of the Azerbaijan Crisis", Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 10 (1995).
- "Nationality, Ethnicity and Autonomy in the Contemporary Iran", Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 3 (1994).
- "The Iranian Dialogue", Iranshenasi, Journal of Iranian Studies, 4:4 (1993).
- "Prostitution in Iran", Iranshenasi, Journal of Iranian Studies, 4:2 (1992).
- "L'Organisation Syndicale Ouvrière en Iran", Sou'al, 8 (1987).
- Guest editor, A Special Issue on the Centenary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Goft-o-Gu, 51, (2008).
- Guest editor with Marcel van der Linden, A special issue on Social History of Iran, International Review of Social History, 48: 3, 2003.
- Guest editor, A special Issue on the Iranian Left Movement, Goft-o-gu, Journal on Culture and Society, 31 (2001).