Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Mikiya Koyagi


Assistant ProfessorPhD, History, 2015, The University of Texas at Austin

Mikiya Koyagi

Contact

Interests


modern Iranian history, mobility, travel, infrastructure, transnational history, pan-Asianism, intra-Asian connections, metageography

Biography


Mikiya Koyagi is a historian of the modern Middle East, with an emphasis on the social and cultural history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Iran. His first book, Iran in Motion: Mobility, Space, and the Trans-Iranian Railway (Stanford University Press, April 2021), examines how a state infrastructural project in early twentieth-century Iran redirected provincial, national, and transnational flows of goods, people, and ideas and made Iran simultaneously more homogeneous and heterogeneous. He has also published articles on the history of borderlands, travel, infrastructure, gender, and education in journals such as The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, The Journal of World History and The International Journal of the History of Sport. His new research project examines the history of intra-Asian connections since the nineteenth century, with a focus on the interactions between Japan and the Muslim world. Before joining UT Austin in 2018, he taught at New York University.

 

Courses


MES 343 • Modern Iran

41219 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 206
GC (also listed as HIS 331L)

This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the historical developments in Modern Iran. Students will learn how Iranian society, culture, and politics have evolved from the beginning of the Qajar period, until the present day. Themes that will be explored include religion and society, especially in relation to Shi’ism, and including religious minorities, the complex process of modernization, issues of identity and modern nationalism, oil and economic development, international politics, gender issues, the Islamic Revolution and theIslamic Republic.

MES 385 • Global Iran

41253 • Fall 2021
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM CAL 419
(also listed as HIS 388K)

In this dual-track graduate seminar, students can write a historiographical essay or a research paper for their final project. Throughout the semester, we will examine modern Iranian history from the nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on a body of scholarship that critiques methodological nationalism. Students will read and discuss monographs and selected articles from emerging scholarship in Iranian Studies and beyond. Classic works will also be discussed to ensure a better understanding of evolving historiographical trends. This course is organized both chronologically and thematically (e.g. transnationalism, borderlands). The goals of this course are twofold: 1) prepare students to have a comprehensive understanding of modern Iranian history; 2) advance students' research and writing skills as historians. Assigned books include the following:

 

  • Naghmeh Sohrabi, Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe
  • Houri Berberian, Roving Revolutionaries: Armenians and the Connected Revolutions in the Russian, Iranian, and Ottoman Worlds
  • Afshin Marashi, Exile and the Nation: The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran
  • Stephanie Cronin, Social Histories of Iran: Modernism and Marginality in the Middle East
  • Arang Keshavarzian and Ali Mirsepassi eds., Global 1979: Geographies and Histories of the Iranian Revolution

 

MES 343 • Modern Iran-Wb

41010 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC

Please check back for updates.

MES 385 • Ideas Of East: Global Hist-Wb

41020 • Spring 2021
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
(also listed as HIS 381)

Geocultural categories such as the West, the East, Asia, and their subcategories such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and East Asia have gained political relevance only in the last two hundred years. This graduate seminar examines the significance of the transnational movement of people, ideas, and goods in the process of constructing these categories. In particular, instead of studying European/Western construction of Asia/the East as a course on Orientalism would do, this course pays attention to the engagement of various peoples of Asia/the East in constructing the ideas of Asia/the East in the contexts of imperialism, nationalism, and decolonization. These peoples include the Japanese, the Chinese, Indonesians, Indians, Iranians, Arabs, Turks, and many more. Specific topics through which we study construction of Asia/the East include revolutionary politics, religious discourse, feminism, sports, film, and food. In short, this course is concerned with how regions were produced through global interactions.

MES 343 • Transnational Asia-Wb

39700 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as ANS 361)

In this course, we examine how various groups of people understood, experienced, and imagined concepts such as “the East” and “Asia,” with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When and where did these concepts emerge? How did their meanings change over time? What kind of political, economic and cultural activities did the concepts of “the East” and “Asia” generate among diverse peoples of “the East” and “Asia”? How did the concept impact these peoples’ collective identities? Answering these questions requires us to study diverse groups of people, from the Romantics in early nineteenth-century Germany to Malaysian and Singaporean statesmen in the 1980s, from nineteenth-century Japanese reformers to early twentieth-century Chinese, Indian, and Central Asian revolutionaries. Our aim is not to study a comprehensive overview of modern Asian history. Rather, we will explore how the shared identity as “Easterners” and “Asians” emerged and transformed among people who did not see themselves as such until the nineteenth century. By studying this subject, we aim to think critically about the geographical and cultural boundaries that we tend to take for granted in twenty-first century America. More generally, our aim is to learn to think of ourselves as citizens of a larger world by gaining the ability to comprehend how people remote from ourselves understand, experience, and imagine their lives.

ISL 373 • Modern Iran

40680 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
GC (also listed as HIS 331L, MES 343)

This course will examine major political, economic, social, and cultural issues that shaped Iran since the nineteenth century. We will be asking a number of interrelated questions throughout the semester. How did Iran’s social structure change in the last two centuries? How did gender relations change during the same period? How did the discovery of oil impact Iranian economy and society? Why did the 1979 Islamic Revolution happen? What role did ordinary people play in these historical processes? Why did they act in the way they did? Thinking about these questions requires us to study many kinds of primary texts and other cultural artifacts, including government documents, newspaper articles, short stories, films, songs, cartoons, posters, and so forth. By using these sources, we aim to explore how diverse groups of people experienced Iran’s rapid transformation since 1800 and how domestic, regional, and global factors affected the processes of transformation. More generally, our aim is to learn to think of ourselves as citizens of a larger world by gaining the ability to comprehend how people remote from ourselves both chronologically and geographically understand, experience, and imagine their lives.

MES 385 • Mobility And Infrastructure

40370 • Spring 2020
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 200
(also listed as ANS 384)

What is infrastructure? What does studying infrastructure tell us about colonial and postcolonial states and societies of the MENA region and beyond? What is the relationship between infrastructure and categories such as class, race, gender, and citizenship? This course introduces graduate students to recent scholarship on infrastructure, with an emphasis on historical studies about the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Defining infrastructures broadly as “matter than enable the movement of other matter” (Larkin, 2013), the course pays particular attention to the production of mobilities/immobilities through infrastructure such as transport systems (railroads, roads, ports, airports etc.), energy systems (dams, pipelines etc.), and other systems like sewage systems and garbage collection systems.

MES 343 • Transnational Asia

39960 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CAL 200
GC (also listed as ANS 361)

In this course, we examine how various groups of people understood, experienced, and imagined concepts such as “the East” and “Asia,” with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When and where did these concepts emerge? How did their meanings change over time? What kind of political, economic and cultural activities did the concepts of “the East” and “Asia” generate among diverse peoples of “the East” and “Asia”? How did the concept impact these peoples’ collective identities? Answering these questions requires us to study diverse groups of people, from the Romantics in early nineteenth-century Germany to Malaysian and Singaporean statesmen in the 1980s, from nineteenth-century Japanese reformers to early twentieth-century Chinese, Indian, and Central Asian revolutionaries. Our aim is not to study a comprehensive overview of modern Asian history. Rather, we will explore how the shared identity as “Easterners” and “Asians” emerged and transformed among people who did not see themselves as such until the nineteenth century. By studying this subject, we aim to think critically about the geographical and cultural boundaries that we tend to take for granted in twenty-first century America. More generally, our aim is to learn to think of ourselves as citizens of a larger world by gaining the ability to comprehend how people remote from ourselves understand, experience, and imagine their lives.

MES 385 • Global Iran

40755 • Spring 2019
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM CAL 422
(also listed as HIS 388K)

This graduate course examines modern Iranian history from the Qajar period to the post-revolutionary period, with an emphasis on a body of scholarship that critiques methodological nationalism. Students will read and discuss monographs and selected articles from emerging scholarship in Iranian Studies. Classic works will also be discussed to ensure a better understanding of evolving historiographical trends. This course is organized both chronologically and thematically (e.g. transnationalism, borderlands, infrastructure). The goals of this course are twofold: 1) prepare students to have a comprehensive understanding of modern Iran as their teaching field; 2) advance students’ research and writing skills as scholars of modern Iran.

MES 385 • Ideas Of The East: Global Hist

40760 • Spring 2019
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM CAL 422
(also listed as ANS 391)

This graduate seminar examines transnational networks of Asian intellectuals and statesmen to study their ideas of Asia. When and where did the concept of Asia emerge in what we call “Asia” today? How did their meanings change over time? What kind of political, economic and cultural activities did the concepts of “Asia” generate among diverse peoples of “Asia”? We will explore how the shared identity as “Asians” emerged and transformed among people who did not see themselves as such until the nineteenth century.

MES S301L • Intro M East: Adj/Chg Mod Tm

86715 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM JGB 2.218
GC (also listed as GOV S314, HIS S306N)

What is the modern Middle East? This course sets out to explore what constitutes the modern Middle East as it has developed from late 18th century to the present. The geographical scope includes the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and North Africa. We will discuss the emergence of Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Secularism, Postcolonialism, Religious Modernism, and Fundamentalism. We will identify the place of the Ottoman Legacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in shaping the modern Middle East. Other themes will revolve around the significance of the oil economy, Iran and the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring."

Curriculum Vitae


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