The Royal Asiatic Society presents:
Dr. Simon Wolfgang Fuchs (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) – When Tehran was the Brightest Star: A Global History of the 1979 Iranian Revolution
Dr. Simon Wolfgang Fuchs is a Lecturer in Islamic and Middle East Studies at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany. He is interested in how the Islamic scholarly tradition is debated and negotiated in modern and contemporary Muslim societies. Hisresearch revolves around the travel of ideas between West, Central, and South Asia, with a focus on religious authority, sectarianism, the Islamic schools of law, Islamic political thought, and the relationship of Islam and science. Fieldwork over the last couple of years has led him to Egypt, Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. His work draws on materials in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.
Before coming to Freiburg in October 2017, Wolfgang Fuchs was a Research Fellow in Islamic Studies at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD in September 2015 at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. His dissertation “Relocating the Centers of Shīʿī Islam: Religious Authority, Reform, and the Limits of the Transnational in Colonial India and Pakistan” was advised by Prof. Muhammad Qasim Zaman.
He is currently working on two new projects. The first is a global history of the Iranian Revolution and its intellectual impact. The second is a comparative study of the diverging fate of the Sunni Islamic schools of law during the 19th and 20th century in South Asia and the Middle East. Through the prism of internal discussions which involved religious scholars, intellectuals, and politicians, he seeks to answer further-reaching questions of religion-state relations, global Islam, and Muslim modernities.