Jairan Gahan

Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept


Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept



I finished my PhD in Religious Studies concentrating on the many convergences and divergences between Islamic ideas and ideals and those of the modern world with an eye on women's histories. I obtained my Master's degree from EFLU, Hyderabad, India, in Literary and Cultural studies. 

Fun facts: Many years ago in a past life, I authored a novel in Farsi titled Under the Carefree Afternoon Sun زیر آفتاب خوشخیال عصر. Ask me for a copy if you can read Farsi! 


My research investigates the intersections of women's history, Islam, and modern state formations, spanning the twentieth century Iran. Currently, she is working on two projects. My current book project is tentatively titled "Red-light Tehran: Prostitution, Islamisms, and the Rule of the Sovereign, 1915-1981." My most recent publication out of this project is "The Sovereign and the Sensible: Islam, Prostitution, and Moral Order in Tehran, 1911-1922" at Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. I have started second project with the support of SSHRC which explores the legal history of sex in the twentieth century from the margins of legitimacy.


I teach courses on Islam and Gender, Islamic feminisms, history of the modern Islamic State, and global history of prostitution. 


Interested in working with students with a research focus on Islam and modernity, political theology, women's history in the global South, legal history, gender and feminism, and modern state formations. 


GSJ 598 - Special Topics - Topics in Gender and Social Justice Studies

Special topics will vary.

HIST 179 - Sex Work and Intimate Labour in Global History

HIST 220 - The Making of the Modern Middle East

Twentieth-century political and cultural history, following the Ottoman Empire's disintegration

HIST 699 - Research Seminar

RELIG 270 - Contemporary Issues in Religion

May be repeated for credit when course content differs.

WGS 298 - Critical Issues

This course offers an introduction to select issues in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A variable content course, which may be repeated if topics vary.

WGS 498 - Special Topics

Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level WGS course, or departmental consent.

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