IOWC Research Assistant: Alberto Tiburcio

Alberto Tiburcio just finished his PhD at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from Columbia University (2007) and a BA in Latin American Literature from the Universidad Iberoamericana (2005) in Mexico.

His field of research, broadly speaking, revolves around cross-cultural contacts in the Iranian South and the Persian Gulf in the Early Modern Period. The timeframe in which Alberto Tiburcio worked on is between the Portuguese incursion in the Strait of Hormuz in 1515 and the recovery of the major ports and islands of the Gulf by the Safavid dynasty of Iran during the early seventeenth century. He is interested in analyzing how the implementation of Shi’i law in these newly gained ports affected trade-related activities such as pearl-fishing, given the minute regulations concerning taxation of minerals in the Islamic legal tradition. Closely connected to this are questions of networking and migration of merchants, of course, but also of Muslim scholars (‘ulama). He is interested in understanding how such networks helped reshape the religious, cultural, and political landscape of the Persian Gulf region, with implication to be felt even in India proper. Alberto Tiburcio believes this research is most needed in order to counteract master-narratives of purely European agency in the formation of a quasi-global trade milieu in the Early Modern Indian Ocean World.

Alberto Tiburcio's working languages include Portuguese, Spanish, Persian, Arabic, French, some Turkish, and some Swahili.

Contact Information
Indian Ocean World Centre
Peterson Hall
3460 McTavish Street, Room 100
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E6


Alberto Tiburcio is currently reviewing two articles for publication. One is a diachronic comparison between the fourteenth century Indo-Persian historian Ziya ud-din Barani and the famous twentieth century Indian historian Shibli Nu’mani, where he is looking for continuities in their conceptions of truth in history. The second is on the Suluk al-muluk (The Paths of Kings), a book of Islamic governance written by the fifteenth/sixteenth century Iranian court chronicler Fazlullah Ruzbihan Khunji while in exile in Transoxiana.