Arezou Azad


Associate Faculty Member 

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Corpus Christi College


Research Interests:

  • History of Islam and Buddhism
  • Afghan, Iranian and Central Asian history
  • Material culture of the Islamic world

Current Projects:

Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project,, (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), which aims to 1) undertake new research on Afghanistan’s early Islamic history, and 2) build the capacity of Afghan colleagues in cultural heritage research. For three years, from September 2011 to September 2014, a team of scholars in the UK and abroad are studying the textual and material culture of Balkh in northern Afghanistan.

Courses Taught:

  • Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman history
  • The Middle East around the time of Muhammad
  • Genghis Khan and the Mongols in Iran
  • Prophets, rulers and rebels in early Islam (600-1500 AD)

Recent Publications:

  • "A Review of Three Rock-Cut Cave Sites in Iran and their Possible Tibetan Buddhist Heritage." In Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett and Ronit Tlalim (eds), Islam and Tibet. Interactions Along the Musk Routes (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010): 209-30.
  • "The Faḍāʾil-i Balkh and its Place in Islamic Historiography." IRAN – Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies 50 (2012-3): 79-102.
  • with Hugh Kennedy, "The Coming of Islam to Balkh.’ In Marie Legendre and Alain Delattre (eds), Authority and Control in the Countryside: Late Antiquity and Early Islam, Late Antiquity and Early Islam Series, London: Darwin Press (in press).
  • "Learned Women in Mediaevel Islam: the Quiet Legacy.’ Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient (in press).
  • "Faḏāʾel-e Balkh, a thirteenth-century local history from Balkh in eastern Khurāsān, with a collection of biographies of Balkh’s early Islamic scholars and mystics." Encyclopaedia Iranica (in press).
  • Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan: Revisiting the Faḍāʾil-i Balkh. Oxford University Press, Oxford Oriental Monograph Series. (2013).
Photograph of Arezou Azad
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