Skip navigation

Narges Bajoghli

Assistant Professor


Narges Bajoghli (pronounced: Nar-guess Baa-jogh-lee) is Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. She is an award-winning anthropologist, scholar, and writer.

Trained as a political anthropologist, media anthropologist, and documentary filmmaker, Professor Bajoghli's academic research is at the intersections of media and power in Iran and the United States. Her first project focused on regime cultural producers in Iran, and was based on ethnographic research with Basij, Ansar-e Hezbollah, and Revolutionary Guard media producers. The resulting book, Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic (Stanford University Press 2019) was awarded the 2020 Margaret Mead Award (American Anthropological Association & Society for Applied Anthropology); 2020 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title (American Library Association); Silver Medal in 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Current Events (Political/Economic, Foreign Affairs). 

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. 

Professor Bajoghli is currently working on three new research projects. At SAIS Johns Hopkins, she teaches classes on media, contemporary Iranian society, and ethnographic research methods to masters and PhD students. She is also an organizer of the Rethinking Iran Initiative at SAIS, which includes a series of public events and attendant research projects.   

In addition to her academic writing, Professor Bajoghli has also written for such publications as The New York Times, The New York Times MagazineForeign Affairs, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Jacobin. She has also appeared as a guest commentator on Iranian politics on CNNDemocracyNow!NPRBBC WorldServiceBBC NewsHour, and PBS NewsHour as well as in Spanish on radio across Latin America. 

Outside of academia, Professor Bajoghli has created non-profit organizations, was a community organizer, and has crated cultural programming and exchanges in the United States, Iran, and Cuba for two decades.
Bajoghli, N (2019) Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic. Stanford University Press



  • Iran


  • Anthropology

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