About Okcir’s Director: Mohammad H. (Behrooz) Tamdgidi, Ph.D.
“… Be a good craftsman: Avoid any rigid set of procedures. Above all, seek to develop and to use the sociological imagination. Avoid the fetishism of method and technique. Urge the rehabilitation of the unpretentious intellectual craftsman, and try to become such a craftsman yourself. Let every man be his own methodologist; let every man be his own theorist; let theory and method again become part of the practice of a craft. Stand for the primacy of the individual scholar; stand opposed to the ascendancy of research teams of technicians. Be one mind that is on its own confronting the problems of man and society. …”
“… Realize that your aim is a fully comparative understanding of the social structures that have appeared and that do now exist in world history. Realize that to carry it out you must avoid the arbitrary specialization of prevailing academic departments. Specialize your work variously, according to topic, and above all according to significant problem. In formulating and in trying to solve these problems, do not hesitate, indeed seek, continually and imaginatively, to draw upon the perspectives and materials, the ideas and methods, of any and all sensible studies of man and society. They are your studies; they are part of what you are a part of; do not let them be taken from you by those who would close them off by weird jargon and pretensions of expertise.”
—C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, 1959
Mohammad H. (a.k.a. ‘Behrooz’) Tamdgidi (pronounced “tamjidi”; Persian: «محمد حسين تمجيدى، «بهروز ), is an Iranian-American sociologist, specializing in the sociology of self-knowledge, human architecture, and utopystics—three overlapping theoretical, methodological and applied fields of inquiry he initiated in his doctoral studies in 2002 and has since pursued.
Tamdgidi’s research, teaching, and publishing practices have been framed by an interest in understanding how personal self-knowledges of multiple selves and singular world-historical social structures constitute one another. This line of inquiry has itself been a result of his long-standing interest in understanding the underlying causes of failure of the world’s utopian, mystical, and scientific traditions in bringing about a just global society.
Tamdgidi is the founding editor of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (ISSN: 1540-5699, 2002–), a publication of OKCIR: the Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science (Utopystics) which has served since 2002 to frame his independent research, pedagogical, and publishing initiatives.
Tamdgidi holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology in conjunction with a graduate certificate in Middle Eastern studies from Binghamton University (SUNY). He received his B.A. in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley, following enrollment as an undergraduate student of Civil Engineering at the University of Tehran. He served as a lecturer in sociology at Binghamton University (1987-2001), as a full-time sociology faculty at SUNY-Oneonta (2001-3) and as a tenured associate professor of sociology teaching social theory at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston (2003-2013). In Dec. 2013 he retired early from his tenured position at UMass Boston in order to devote full-time to his independent scholarship through the conduit of his research center, OKCIR.
Besides editing about 27 journal issues (as of 2013) of Human Architecture, and publications in other scholarly journals and edited books, Tamdgidi has previously authored Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermeneutic Study (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009/12) and Advancing Utopistics: The Three Component Parts and Errors of Marxism (Paradigm Publishers 2007/09). A forthcoming book will bring together important new work plus revisions of previously published material, constituting, along with the earlier two books noted above, a trilogy on utopystics whose components significantly revise and advance the findings of Tamdgidi’s doctoral thesis entitled, “Mysticism and Utopia: Toward the Sociology of Self-Knowledge and Human Architecture (A Study in Marx, Gurdjieff and Mannheim)” (SUNY-Binghamton, NY, 2002).
Tamdgidi’s current research is also focused on a hermeneutic sociological study of Omar Khayyam’s attributed rubaiyat in the context of his works, life, and time as a whole. His continuing interest in Khayyam, which has also framed the inspirational structure of his research center and its activities as a motif, arises from Tamdgidi’s view that Khayyam’s life and works present a unique and fruitful path toward transcending the limits of the world-historically constituted alienations of utopian, mystical, and scientific traditions from one another. Khayyam’s stature, eloquence, intellectual autonomy and global recognition as a self-reflective, world-historical public intellectual lend his voice as a creative pathway toward appreciative understanding of the contributions of philosophy, religion and science while transcending them as one-sided ideologies that have hitherto served, in their fragmentation, diverse modes of political, cultural, and economic imperiality in world-history.
An important applied dimension of Tamdgidi’s initiatives in advancing the sociology of self-knowledge, human architecture, and utopystics has been his efforts in building alternative research center, scholarly publishing, and related professional structures. OKCIR and the Okcir Press are alternative endeavors in the applied sociology of publishing, creatively seeking new vistas for fostering autonomous, self-reliant, open-ended, and liberatory scholarly and publication practices. In Tamdgidi’s view, such alternative dissemination practices are indispensable prerequisites for transforming the prevailing academic structures in favor of pluriversal praxes more conducive to overcoming the mutually alienating structures of utopian, mystical, and scientific traditions.
- For Tamdgidi’s vita, click here.
- For his reflections on his educational background and the bio-historical roots of his scholarship trajectory, click here.
- For his scholarship philosophy hinging upon the simultaneity of scholarly research, teaching, and publication practice please read here.
- Tamdgidi’s self-critical reflections on the limits of academia and the need for promoting independent pluriversities of knowledge production and dissemination in the global cyberspace can be read here.
- To read Tamdgidi’s Personal Statement submitted in 2008 for the purpose of his tenure review, one which expands further on his scholarship philosophy in regard to the simultaneity of his research, teaching, and service work, please click here.
- For appreciations of Tamdgidi’s work in teaching, research, service, and tenureship visit here.