Cyrus Schayegh


Spoken languages
Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Persian, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Global history
  • Historiography
  • Decolonization
  • Cold War
  • Empire
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Middle East


PhD, Columbia University, New York City (2004)

Before joining the Graduate Institute in 2017, Cyrus Schayegh was Associate Professor at Princeton University and, in 2005-2008, Assistant Professor at the American University of Beirut. He is currently pursuing two principal book projects. One is an introduction for undergraduate students to questions of space and scale in modern history writing. The other is “The Middle East in the World: A Twentieth-Century History.” Moreover, building on his work on modern empires, he is organizing “Modern transimperial and interimperial histories: forms, questions, prospects,” a 2022 international conference, sponsored by the Pierre du Bois foundation. He is also interested in decolonisation and the Cold War. 




  • The Middle East and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017).
  • Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong: Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Edited volumes and special journal issues:

  • Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2020) 
  • “A Roundtable on Decolonization,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, co-edited with Yoav Di-Capua (2020).
  • The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), co-editored with Andrew Arsan.
  • A Global Middle East: Mobility, Materiality and Culture in the Modern Age, 1880–1940 (London: Tauris, 2014), co-edited with Liat Kozma and Avner Wishnitzer. 
  • “Eastern European/Russian-Middle Eastern Relations,” special issue of Contemporary European History, co-edited with Sandrine Kott (forthcoming).

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters:

  • “Introduction and a note on the US imperial-postcolonial field,” in Globalizing the U.S. Presidency, 1-17.
  • “Foreign Gifts and US Imperial Ambiguities: The Kennedy Years,” in Globalizing the U.S. Presidency, 130-149.
  • “Turning Up In Tehran:” Differential Acceleration and the U.S. International Empire,” Passport (September 2019).
  • “A reflection on Sebastian Conrad’s What Is Global History,” sehepunkte 19 (2019), Nr. 7/8 [15.07.2019].
  • “Mohammad Reza Shah’s Autocracy: Governmental Constraints,” Iranian Studies 51:6 (2018): 889-904.
  • “Postwar Societies (Middle East),” in 1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War (May 2018).
  • “The Expanding Overlap of Imperial, International and Transnational Political Activities, 1920s-1930s: a Belgian Case Study,” International Politics  55:6 (2017): 782-802.
  • “Imperial and Transnational Developmentalisms: Middle Eastern Interplays, 1880s-1960s,” in Global Development, ed. Erez Manela and Stephen Macekura (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 61-82.
  • “Iran’s Global Long 1970s: An Empire Project, Civilizational Developmentalism, and the Crisis of the Global North” in Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and its Global Entanglements, ed. Roham Alvandi (London: Gingko Library, 2018), 262-291.
  • "The Many Worlds of Abud Yasin; or, What Narcotics Trafficking in the Interwar Middle East Can Tell Us about Territorialization," American Historical Review 116 (2011): 273–306.
  • "The Karaj Dam Affair: Emerging Mass Consumerism, the Politics of Promise, and the Cold War in the Early Post-war Third World," Comparative Studies in Society and History 54:3 (2012): 612–43.
  • "1958 Reconsidered: State Formation and the Cold War in the Early Postcolonial Arab Middle East," International Journal of Middle East Studies 45 (2013): 421–43.
  • “The Interwar Germination of Development and Modernization Theory and Practice: Politics, Institution Building, and Knowledge Production between the Rockefeller Foundation and the American University of Beirut,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 41 (2015): 649–84.
  • "The Mandates and/as Decolonization," in The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates, ed. Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), 412–19.
  • “‘Seeing Like a State.’ An Essay on the Historiography of Modern Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42 (2010): 37–61.

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