Jennifer Jenkins: The Iran Archives in the German Foreign Office

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Jennifer Jenkins


May 18, 2023

In the 31st episode of Parse, join host, Yasamin Jameh, in exploring the little-known role of Germany in Iran’s internal and international affairs in the first half of the twentieth century.  

This episode is an excerpt from a presentation given by Dr. Jennifer Jenkins on the enormous archive on Iran in the German Foreign Office in Berlin. Jenkin’s research into this little-known archive reveals how Iran’s modern history can be re-examined by emphasizing Germany’s major, but often forgotten, role in Iran’s geopolitical upheavals in the first half of the 20th century – namely the Anglo-Russian conflict over Iran’s territory, its nationalist movement, and process of political and industrial modernization.  Jenkins posits that since the beginning of Germany’s relationship with Iran, first forged during the Constitutional Revolution and the singing of the Anglo-Russian Convention in 1907, Germany positioned itself as a suitable partner for Iranian nationalists and modernizers,  transforming regional power relationships in the process.  
Jennifer L. Jenkins is a global historian who writes on Iran from the perspectives of international diplomacy and political economy. An Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in German History at the University of Toronto, she is working on two book manuscripts: The Persian Question: Germany, Iran and the Near East in the Age of Empire, 1856-1914, and The German Orient, 1905-1979.  In 2022, she was a visiting scholar at the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University. She has held fellowships from the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Harvard University, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She has been an Associate at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin (2017-2018), a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University (2013-2014), and an Eva and Victor Klemperer Fellow at the TU Dresden (December 2019). 
To watch the full lecture, click here: ⁠Rethinking History Return to Archives and Documents Jennifer Jenkins -18 May 2023⁠