The Student's Committee

The British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) has recently founded a Student Members’ Committee (SMC) that will work to encourage both undergraduate and postgraduate students to take an interest in Persian / Iranian Studies and to ensure that BIPS remains relevant to those studying in our fields.   The SMC will be seeking new student members to join in with BIPS activities, take advantage of BIPS research and travel grants, and give students an opportunity to collaborate and network with other students and scholars in the field through BIPS. The Committee will plan events for the student members and keep in touch with them through BIPS’s social media accounts as well as through our newsletter and other outreach emails.

In addition, the SMC is working with UK universities and student societies that are established and expanding their Iranian / Persian Studies programmes to speak to students about the benefits of joining BIPS and being more involved in the network of academics and professionals in Iranian / Persian Studies.

For more information about student membership at BIPS or working with the SMC, please contact us on or via the UK Administrator (

Officers and Members of the Student Members’ Committee

Heather Robinson, Interim Chair (from 2015)

HeatherHeadshot-768x1024Interim Chair, Student Members’ Committee

PhD Student @ University of St Andrews

Heather Robinson is working with BIPS President Ali Ansari on her dissertation, examining the political history of Iranian-Afghan relations from the 1970s to the present. Heather recently presented a paper on her research at Symposia Iranica 2015, an Iranian studies conference sponsored by BIPS held at the University of Cambridge. Prior to doing her MLitt and PhD at St Andrews, Heather worked in Washington as a client relations director at a security consultancy focused on the Gulf; as Special Assistant to the Ambassador at the Embassy of Afghanistan; and as an editorial and production associate for the international affairs journal, The National Interest. Heather received her BA at Columbia University in Political Science with a concentration on American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Peter Good, Interim Vice Chair (from 2015)

Good-577x1024Interim Vice-Chair

PhD Student @ University of Essex

Peter Good is currently working on the ‘Factories of Trade and Empire: The East India Company in the Persian Gulf’ Project, a Combined Doctoral Award scheme funded by the AHRC with the British Library. Peter previously completed an Undergraduate degree in Arabic with Proficiency in Persian and Middle Eastern Studies and a Master’s Degree in Middle East History at the University of Exeter. Peter’s interest in Persian and Iranian history began during his degree, writing his undergraduate and Master’s dissertations on the interactions between British imperial interests in Persia and the military reforms of Abbas Mirza, during the Qajar period.

Natasha Morris, Interim Online & Outreach Officer (from 2015)

Interim Online/Outreach Officer

PhD Student @ Courtauld Institute of Art

Natasha Morris’s doctoral research, supervised by Dr Sussan Babaie, focuses on images of men in the Qajar (1785-1925) era. Awarded a scholarship by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Natasha’s research is cross-disciplinary, opening up new theoretical avenues for discussion concerning gender and sexuality studies previously under-considered in relation to Qajar art. Natasha’s key interest is highlighting the dissemination of images of men in social spaces around Qajar Iran and its impact on the ‘every men’ who frequented them, focusing on unstudied ephemera and public art. Outside of academia, she is the arts correspondent for The Guardian’s Tehran Bureau and a contributor to REORIENT magazine.

John Latham, Interim Hon. Treasurer & Secretary (from 2015)

Interim Secretary / Treasurer

PhD Student @ School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London

John Latham’s research concerns the Alans, an Iranian people who (amongst other things) invaded the Western Roman Empire and conquered Spain, and set up a Christian kingdom in the North Caucasus in the 9th century CE. The Alans left few written records, and the aim of his research is to see whether we can reconstruct something of their self-perception and worldview from the other sources available to us, whether texts by foreign authors, folklore or material culture. His interest in the wider Persianate world is twofold; firstly, he is using a number of Middle and New Persian sources on the Alans which have been little studied previously; and a general interest in interactions between Iran and the Eurasian steppe belt.

Alexandra Buhler

buhlerInterim Member

PhD Student @ School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London

Alexandra Buhler’s research focuses on Zoroastrians in Iran during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in particular during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. She is also interested in the relations between the Zoroastrian communities in Iran and India during this period. Last year Alexandra taught a course about the history of Iran from the Qajar period to the Islamic Republic at SOAS and she hopes to teach again in the future.

Bahar Karimi

Bahar-KarimiInterim Member

PhD Student @ King’s College London

Bahar Karimi’s thesis compares U.S. and U.K. foreign policy toward Iran between 1978 and 1981, through three levels of foreign policy analysis. Her research interests include the role of digital media in the mobilisation of movements, Foreign Policy Analysis, Political Islam, International Relations and, migration and radicalisation – all within the frame of Middle East Studies with particular focus on Iran.

Alexandra Magub

Alexandra-Magub-e1442577743974-751x1024Interim Member

PhD Student @ School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London

Alexandra Magub’s thesis is on the ‘Political and Religious Ideologies on Parthian Coins of the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC’ and she is under the supervision of Dr Sarah Stewart, and at the Coins and Medals department of the British Museum under Dr Vesta Curtis. Originally a classicist, Alexandra’s research interests are now focused on Ancient Iran and on understanding the Parthian period from an eastern perspective through coin evidence and other native material remains, as well as Zoroastrian texts and Iranian epics alongside the Greco-Roman historical accounts. Alexandra is also a council member of the Royal Numismatic Society and a member of the Parthian Coin Project, an international venture that will publish a nine-volume catalogue on seven major Parthian coin collections from Tehran to New York.