Waterville native Eric Hooglund is an academic authority on the culture and politics of Iran, a teacher at Bates College, and editor of the internationally acclaimed, interdisciplinary and scholarly journal, Middle East Critique. His classes focus on the politics of class, ethnicity, and gender in Islamic countries and US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Hooglund began to acquire his lifelong expertise about Iran soon after graduating from UMO with highest honors in 1966. He joined the Peace Corps and spent two years as a teacher in rural Iran. This experience led to graduate studies in international relations, Middle East area studies, and Persian language at Johns Hopkins University, from where he obtained both MA (1970) and doctorate (1975) degrees. While at Johns Hopkins, he was awarded a US Department of Education summer grant to study Persian literature at the University of Tehran (1970) and a Fulbright Fellowship for doctoral dissertation research in Iran (1971-72). His study of Persian led to his first publication, a translation into English of Iranian author Samad Behrangi’s classic story, The Little Black Fish (Three Continents Press, 1976). His doctoral dissertation about the politics of land reform in Iran was the basis of his book, Land and Revolution in Iran(University of Texas Press, 1982).
Hooglund began his university teaching career at Bowdoin College (1976-81), where he also continued to undertake post-doctoral research about Iran; and received a Fulbright grant to teach at the University of Shiraz during the academic year 1978-79, which happened, unexpectedly, to coincide with the Islamic Revolution. Subsequently, he taught at several universities, including Ohio State and the University of California at Berkeley in the United States, the Middle East Centre of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University in the UK, and the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. During the past 30 years, he has been invited to participate in conferences, give lectures, and conduct seminars at universities throughout Asia, Europe, and North America He also is principal organizer of the widely acclaimed, annual Critique conference on ‘Life and Politics in the Middle East,’ held every year (since 1992) at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He continues to return to Iran annually to conduct research on a longitudinal study of rural economic, political, and social change since the 1978-79 Islamic Revolution.
Hooglund’s numerous publications include 5 books on Iran and 3 others on general Middle East themes, plus more than 100 scholarly articles published as book chapters or journal articles. In addition, he is co-editor of and a contributor to two forthcoming books:Gender in Contemporary Iran: Pushing the Boundaries (Routledge, November 2010); and Iran: Thirty Years of Islamic Revolution(Syracuse University Press, January 2011). His most recent publications include: “Thirty Years of Islamic Revolution in Rural Iran,”Middle East Report, no. 250 (Spring 2009); “El Irán Rural,” Culturas, 3 (January 2009); Iran, A Country Study (co-edited with Glenn Curtis, GPO, 2008); Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (associate editor for Iran and Afghanistan, with Michael Fischbach, general editor, Gale Thomsen, 2007); “Iran, Wary Neutral,” in Fawn & Hinnebusch, editors, The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences, Lynne Reinner, 2006); Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (associate editor for Iran, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf, with Philip Mattar, general editor, Gale Thomsen, 2004); and Twenty Years of Islamic Revolution (Syracuse University Press, 2002).