Ciruce A. Movahedi-Lankarani

Ph.D. Candidate

A.M., Social Sciences, University of Chicago (2012)
B.S., Computer Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park (2005)
B.S., Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park (2005)



I study modern Iran, focusing on the country's history during the mid- and late-twentieth century. My dissertation, The Domain of Gas: Gas Energy, Technology, and the Creation of Modern Iran, 1940-1990, explores how natural gas became intertwined with the social, political, and physical transformations of Iran during a time of self-conscious "modernization." Through archival and published sources collected primarily in Iran and the United Kingdom, I examine how domestic and international visions for gas, everyday experiences of its use, and concerns for the environment shaped Iranian development and politics during that time. My dissertation reflects my interest in the interaction between human and non-human factors, particularly how the physical properties of gas, Iran's geology and geography, and the materiality of Iran's gas infrastructure both reflected and influenced competing notions progress, modernity, and prosperity within the country.

My research reflects not only my interest in Iranian history, but also my training and professional experience in engineering. Through those experiences I developed an interest in how people interact with technology, and on a broad level my work seeks to explore the historically-contingent ways people and societies have encountered, adopted, adapted, translated, and rejected technologies in both practical and ideational terms.

My work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council. 

Research Interests: 

History of the modern Middle East; Modern Iranian History; History of Technology; Energy History; Social History; Cultural History; Environmental history; History of Development and Modernization

Courses Taught: 

HIST 081: The History of the Modern Middle East since 1800
HIST 421: Europe in the World since the First World War
HIST 431: A World at War