History Department
History Department

David Rahimi

MA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Rahimi



Modern Middle Eastern History; 19th-20th Century Iranian Social, Cultural, and Economic History; History of Consumer Capitalism; Comparative Empires, Moral Discourses; Islamic Law and Religious Authority; Christian Missionaries in the Middle East


David A. Rahimi is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research focuses on the growth of consumer capitalism and its impact on daily life in Iran during the reign of Muhammad Reza Shah (1941-1979). He is particularly interested in the how Iranian and foreign development programs and NGOs, like the Franklin Book Programs, helped promote institutional and structural changes in society and the economy.

Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, David graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in History and Political Science in 2014. Seeing no reason to leave the cornfields of central Illinois, he stayed at UIUC and received his M.A. in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies in 2016. He joined the UT History Department in Fall 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Kamran Aghaie.


HIS S366N • British Imprlsm In Mid East-Wb

80902 • Summer 2020
Internet; Asynchronous
GCWr (also listed as MES S343)

Type: Asynchronous Online

This undergraduate course acquaints students with the history of British imperialism in the Middle East from 1821 to 1971, while situating this specific region within the larger question of the global British Empire and what it means for us today. The course begins by contextualizing the origins of the so-called Second British Empire in the early, post-Napoleonic nineteenth century. It ends with the British withdrawal from the Gulf. The class highlights the key economic, social, political, cultural, and religious themes and problems that surfaced during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as the problem of Orientalism, the politics of oil nationalization, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the main factors facilitating the origins of the second empire, explain the various purposes and effects of empire, identify the major challenges to empire like nationalism, and explain what changed post-WWII that led to the end of empire. As an upper-division course, this class emphasizes intensive reading, analytical writing, and critical thinking. Through repeated writing exercises and class discussion, students are encouraged to think deeply and sensitively about the complexities and modern legacies of colonial rule in our world.