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Narges Bajoghli

Narges Bajoghli

Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies


Narges Bajoghli (pronounced: Nar-guess Baa-jogh-lee) is Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. She is an award-winning anthropologist, writer, and professor.
Trained as a political anthropologist, media anthropologist, and documentary filmmaker, Professor Bajoghli’s research is at the intersections of media, power, and resistance. She is the author of several books, including the award-winning book Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic (Stanford University Press 2019; winner 2020 Margaret Mead Award; 2020 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title; 2021 Silver Medal in Independent Publisher Book Awards for Current Events); How Sanctions Work: Iran and the Impact of Economic Warfare (with Vali Nasr, Djavad Salehi-Esfahani, and Ali Vaez, Stanford University Press 2024); and a graphic novella, Sanctioned Lives (2024). 
With the support of the Johns Hopkins University Catalyst Award, Professor Bajoghli is currently writing her next manuscript on a global history of chemical warfare. Professor Bajoghli’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation (awarded/declined), The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and Brown University.  
Professor Bajoghli received her PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from New York University, where her dissertation was awarded the Dean's Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences. She was also trained as a documentary filmmaker in NYU's Culture and Media Program and at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is the director of The Skin That Burns, a documentary film about survivors of chemical war in Iran, distributed by Film Media Group. The film has screened at festivals and university campuses in The Hague, Hiroshima, Jaipur, Tehran, and throughout the U.S. (New York, New Orleans, New Jersey, Chicago, and Irvine). She has also directed oral history projects on survivors of chemical weapons (archived at the Tehran Peace Museum).
At Johns Hopkins University, Professor Bajoghli teaches classes on media, social movements, and counter-movements;  contemporary Iranian politics and society; and ethnographic research methods to masters and PhD students. She is the recipient of the 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award at Johns Hopkins University, SAIS. Professor Bajoghli is the co-director of the Rethinking Iran Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, which includes public events and research projects on contemporary Iranian society.   
In addition to her academic writing, Professor Bajoghli has written for such publications as The New York Times, The New York Times MagazineVanity FairForeign Affairs, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Jacobin. She has appeared as a guest commentator on Iranian politics on CNNDemocracyNow!NPRBBC WorldServiceBBC NewsHour, and PBS NewsHour as well as in Spanish on radio programs across Latin America. 
Bajoghli, N (2019) Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic. Stanford University Press



  • Iran


  • Anthropology
  • Media
  • Power
  • Resistance Movements
  • Social Movements
  • Feminism
  • Revolutions


  • Persian
  • Spanish

In the News

“Woman, Life, Freedom”: Iran’s Protests Are a Rebellion for Bodily Autonomy.

Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies Narges Bajoghli wrote in Vanity Fair, 9/29

Raisi's election brings rise of Iran's Hezbollahis.

Narges Bajoghli quoted in Al-Monitor, 06/28