Rob is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between mysticism and modernist social thought in Qajar Iran, with particular concern for both fields’ treatments of subjectivity. Broadly speaking, his doctoral research studies the history of knowledge in Iran. He focuses on the deployment of rhetorical devices and ethical claims in Persian-language texts on mysticsm published during the Qajar period. Rob's current research focuses on the appearance of these themes (the rhetorical and ethical assumptions surrounding claims to knowledge) in the work of one the era’s prominent Sufis, Mirza Hasan Safi ‘Ali Shah.