Nura Hossainzadeh

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Advisors: 
Mark Bevir, Kinch Hoekstra, Hamid Algar, Shannon Stimson
Subfields: 
Islamic political thought
Comparative political theory
Comparative politics
Academic Subfields: 
Political Theory & Philosophy
Personal Statement: 

Nura is currently a Lecturer in Princeton’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. She graduated from UC Berkeley’s Department of Political Science in the summer of 2016 and spent the 2016-2017 academic year as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown’s Department of Government. Nura’s current book project, entitled Islamic Republican: Ruhollah Khomeini’s Political Thought, is a revision and expansion of her dissertation. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the most prominent leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, was one of the most well-known figures of post-War Islamic politics. His ideology became a primary resource for the writing of Iran’s Islamic constitution and continues to influence politics in contemporary Iran. Nura’s book examines all of Khomeini’s political works in the original Persian: his yet-untranslated book, published in 1943, The Unveiling of Secrets; his more widely read 1970 seminary lectures (later compiled into a book form), Islamic Government; and his post-revolutionary statements, speeches, and correspondence, contained in 11 volumes. It ends by exploring the ideological debt that both reformists and conservatives in contemporary Iran bear to his legacy, and, importantly, their political use of that legacy for institutional reform.

Nura’s published works include an article entitled "Democratic and Constitutionalist Elements in Khomeini's Unveiling of Secrets and Islamic Government," in the Journal of Political Ideologies, as well as an article entitled "Ruhollah Khomeini's Political Thought: Elements of Guardianship, Consent, and Representative Government" in the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies. Her publications on contemporary Islamic thought have not been limited to Khomeini, however; she has explored contemporary Iranian political thought in a publication by the Afro-Middle East Centre, focusing on the political thought of Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, a conservative scholar in contemporary Iran who develops Khomeini’s theory in a direction that emphasizes the power and prerogatives of the jurisprudent and circumscribes the role of the representative institutions. In addition, she has written a chapter on Michel Foucault's journalistic coverage of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, to be published in an edited volume, Creolizing Shari’iati, by Rowman and Littlefield. 

While pursuing research on Khomeini, Nura has taught a variety of courses on topics as diverse as American politics and government, Arab political thought, canonical and non-western political theory, and legal theory. At Princeton, she has taught courses on comparative Iranian and Western political theory, including: Liberalism, Democracy and Iranian Political Thought and Feminist Political Theory: Iran and the West. At Georgetown, she taught a course entitled “Comparative Political Theory,” a course that integrated the Western canon with seminal political theoretical texts in diverse traditions, including Confucian, Hindu, and Islamic.

Nura graduated from Harvard College in 2006 and spent a year studying Islam at a seminary in Qom, Iran, before beginning graduate school at Berkeley.

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