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Narges Bajoghli

Narges Bajoghli

Assistant Professor


Narges Bajoghli (pronounced: Nar-guess Baa-jogh-lee) is Assistant Professor at 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, Narges' research is at the intersections of media, power, and resistance in Iran and the United States. She is the author of 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). She is also the author of the forthcoming How Sanctions Work: Iran and the Impact of Economic Warfare (with Vali Nasr, Djavad Salehi-Esfahani, and Ali Vaez; Stanford University Press 2024). Narges is currently writing a book on the impact of chemical war in Iran and Iraq (supported by the JHU Catalyst Award). Narges' 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.  She is the recipient of the Discovery Award and the Catalyst Award at Johns Hopkins University.
At Johns Hopkins University, Narges 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. Narges 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.   Narges 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).In addition to her academic writing, Narges 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. Outside of academia, Narges is a community organizer, co-founder of a non-profit organization, and creator of educational programs for middle school, high school, and college students rooted in social justice pedagogy and organizing. Narges has worked with cultural and educational collectives in Iran and Latin America, and organized transnational cultural programming and exchanges for two decades.
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

Professor Narges Bajoghli Honored for 2019 Book

Professor Narges Bajoghli was honored by the Society for Applied Anthropology and American Anthropological Association as the co-winner of the 2020 Margaret Mead Award for her recent book, “Iran Reframed."

Selling the revolution to Iran’s next generation.

Narges Bajoghli’s book reviewed in War on the Rocks, 9/9

Why Iranians, rattled by suicides, point a finger at leaders.

Narges Bajoghli quoted in The Christian Science Monitor, 7/8

Iran and the politics of a pandemic

Narges Bajoghli interviewed on Politics Theory Other podcast, 4/23

How Trump sanctions on Iran will worsen the pandemic.

Narges Bajoghli wrote in The New York Times, 3/24

The impact of coronavirus on the victims of chemical attacks in Iran.

Narges Bajoghli interviewed on BBC Newshour, 3/21

Iran's revolutionary generation gap.

Narges Bajoghli interviewed on Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1/30

The Middle East’s new eruption.

Narges Bajoghli and Vali Nasr interviewed on Project Syndicate’s Opinion Has It podcast, 1/21