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Gennady Kurin

Gennady Kurin

PhD student, Middle Eastern Studies


Following my graduation from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a degree in Development Economics in 2009, I moved to Turkey where I taught English and Russian and later worked as a translator. While living in Turkey I got particularly interested in the history of ethno-religious minorities and within a year I made a decision to go back to SOAS, but this time to study Middle-Eastern history. In September 2011 I submitted my thesis on the history of the Armenian community in the late Ottoman Empire, after which I returned to Turkey once again. Pursuing very different careers, from shipping and marketing to teaching and acting, during these two years I also had some opportunities to follow up on my academic interests and to figure out what it is that I would like to research during my further studies.

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests

Current Research

I am working on the history of heterodox religious groups and Sufi movements in the early modern period in the Ottoman Empire and Iran, and specifically the Qizilbash. I am most interested in the issues associated with the formation and development of this syncretistic religious movement, and the evolution of its identity and religious practices, as well as the diverging trajectories that its communities in Anatolia and Iran followed in the 16th century.


My general research interests include the history the post-Mongol Middle East, ethno-religious communities of the region, Islamic heterodoxy, the spread of ideas and intellectual history with particular reference to Sufi tariqats.