Dr. Bakhash specializes in the history of the modern Middle East with a special interest in the history of Iran. He received his B. A. and M. A. from Harvard University and his D. Phil from Oxford University. He worked for many years as a journalist in Iran, writing for Tehran-based Kayhan Newspapers as well as for the London Times, the Financial Times, and the Economist. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and held fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton and other research centers.
He is the author of Iran: Monarchy, Bureaucracy and Reform Under the Qajars, 1858-1896; The Politics of Oil and Revolution in Iran; and Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and books, as well as in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers.
Dr. Butler received his BA and MA from Oberlin College and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Trained as a medievalist with emphasis on Byzantine and Islamic architecture, Butler’s teaching and scholarly interests range across medieval Eurasia, from Iceland through China. He is particularly interested in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Silk Road connections between the medieval Mediterranean world and East Asia. He served as the Coordinator of the Art History program from 2002 to 2005. Currently, he is the Coordinator for the Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology interdisciplinary minor.
Dr. Butler has published articles and presented papers on the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and on the material culture of the trade routes of Asia. His published studies of Islamic art include “Mosques and Muslim Identity along China’s Trade Routes” and “Putting the Silk into Silk Route Studies,” both in East-West Connections: Review of Asian Studies.
Dr. Butler has taught at Hiram College and has also held research positions at a number of museums and was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Turkey in 1982-83. He is also an active participant in the Semester at Sea program, whose worldwide itineraries provide rigorous coursework coupled with field assignments while sailing to 8-12 international destinations. He was the visiting lecturer in Art History on the Fall 1999, Summer 2004, and Fall 2009 voyages. On the Summer 2011 voyage, he was the Global Studies lecturer.
In 2004, Dr. Butler was awarded George Mason University’s Teaching Excellence Award and in 2005 he was elected to Phi Beta Delta, the honorary society for international education.
Dr. Paden received his BA in philosophy from Occidental College, his MA in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and his PhD in politics from Harvard University. He has served as Director of African Studies at Northwestern University, Professor of Public Administration at Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria), and Dean, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, at Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria).