and PROFESSOR, IRANIAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Alan Williams read Classics, then Persian & Arabic at Oxford, before completing a PhD on Iranian Studies with the late Professor Mary Boyce at SOAS, London. After teaching at the University of Sussex and SOAS, he moved to the University of Manchester in 1985, where he is now Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion. He was recently British Academy Wolfson Research Professor (2013-2016) and is now holder of the Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2016-2019) to complete a parallel text edition with the Persian alongside a literal English translation into blank verse of the Masnavi of Jalal al-Din Rumi.
His interest in Iran spans pre-Islamic and Islamic Iran to the present day, and he has published on Zoroastrian texts in Avestan, Pahlavi, Classical Persian and Indo-Persian, as well articles about Zoroastrian ritual and society, translation studies and comparative literature.
His six volume Masnavi is forthcoming from I.B.Tauris (2018-).