Graduate Student Profiles

UC Irvine Humanities Hall

Ali Olomi

Cohort Year: 2014
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2011, History
M.A., University of California, Irvine, 2014, History

Curriculum Vitae

Advisor: Dr. Touraj Daryaee & Dr. Mark Levine
First Field: Middle East and North Africa
Second Field: World History
Thematic Emphasis: Empire/Colonialism, History of Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Dissertation Topic: 
Genealogy of Modernism in Islamic Thought

Research Abstract:
My research focuses on tracing national and religious identity in the Middle East and the Persianate world by exploring the the roots of concepts like nationhood and motherland. I am researching the shifting constructions of identity and the role of religion, race, and gender in that construction. In particular I am interested in the way ancient history is used as means of formulating identity and establishing legitimacy. My research also explores the role of Islam, Zoroastrianism, and mysticism (Sufism) as it intersects with rationalism and science in the construction of national identity. I am building upon my previous work on Jamal Ad-Din Al Afghani’s engagement with orientalism and the shaping of the Pan-Islamic movement.