Updated September 2016
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Box 1970, Providence, RI 02912-1970
RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS
Middle East, Iran, Shi'a Islam; revolution and media; political anthropology; paramilitary and military organizations; war; visual culture; documentary films and documentary filmmaking.
2016 Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, New York University
2014 Graduate Certificate, Program in Culture and Media, New York University
2013 MPhil, Anthropology, New York University
2012 M.A., Anthropology, New York University
2008 M. A., Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
2004 B.A., Department of Political Science, Wellesley College
FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS
2016-18 Postdoctoral Research Associate in International and Public Affairs, The Watson Institute, Brown University
2016-18 Affiliated Fellow, Humanitarian Innovation Initiative, Brown University
2015-16 Fellow, The Center for Humanities at New York University
2015-16 Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, NYU
2013-14 Social Science Research Council: International Dissertation Research Fellowship
2013-14 The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research: Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
2013-14 National Science Foundation: Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Awarded/Declined
2013-14 American Institute of Iranian Studies: Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
2013-14 Torch Prize Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, NYU
2009-15 MacCracken Graduate Fellowship, NYU
2009-10 Alice Palmer Fellowship for Graduate Studies, Wellesley College
2004 Susan Knafel Fellowship (Wellesley College) Awarded to one member of the graduating class per year.
Studied at University of Tehran’s Faculty of Law and Political Science.
2003-04 Jerome Schiff Fellowship (Wellesley College) for Honors Thesis
2003 Summer Opportunity Stipend
2002 Summer Opportunity Stipend
2002-03 International Study Scholarship
* Indicates peer review article
2017 Special Issue + Editors' Note: “Battling Truths: The Legacy of the Iran-Iraq War in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Middle East Critique 26(1), co-editor with Amir Moosavi.
2017 “The Outcasts: The Start of 'New Entertainment' in Pro-Regime Filmmaking in the Islamic Republic of Iran." Middle East Critique 26(1).*
2016 Review Essay: “Media in Iran: From the 1979 Revolution to the Green Movement” in Review of Middle East Studies 50(1): 1-5.
2016 "Iran and the Arab Spring," with Arang Keshavarzian in The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance. David W. Lesch and Mark L. Haas, eds. Westview Press.
2014c "Digital Technology as Surveillance: The Green Movement in Iran" in Wired Citizenship: Youth Learning and Activism in the Middle East, Linda Herrera, ed. Routledge Press.
2016 “Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran” in International Journal of Middle East Studies 48(3).
Other Scholarly Publications
2016 2016 "Towards and Archive of the Basij: Memories from Iran's Volunteer Militia," in Ajam Media Collective (http://ajammc.com/2016/05/31/contesting-histories-of-irans-basij-militia/).
2015 "Iran's Unfair Nationality Laws," in Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), November 2015. (http://www.merip.org/irans-unfair-nationality-laws)
2014 "Debating the Iran-Iraq War on Film," in Summer 2014 issue of Middle East Research and Information Project 271.
2012a “Blisters and Sanctions” with Shahriar Khateri in Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), November 2012 (http://www.merip.org/blisters-sanctions)
2012b “Missed Opportunities: A Review of Arab Media.” The Revealer, July 5, 2012.(http://therevealer.org/archives/11895)
2012c “Iranian Cyber-Struggles,” Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), May 2012 (http://www.merip.org/mero/mero050312)
2012d “Engaging the Public: Shirley Lindenbaum and Anthropology Now,” Anthropology News, April 2012 (http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2012/04/02/engaging-the-public/)
2012e “OWS, Anthropology, and New York City Student Engagement” with Natasha Raheja in Anthropology News, January 2012 (http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2012/01/10/january-aes-news/)
2011 “Painting a State of Suspension,” Interview with Bahar Behbahani, The Revealer. November 29, 2011 (http://therevealer.org/archives/9950)
2005 “Returning to Iran: Challenges and Promises,” Published report for MIT-based Iran Studies’ Group: www.isg-mit.org/projects-storage/ReturningToIran/ReturningToIran-Final.pdf, October 2005. Research Coordinator and Co-author.
2015 Director and Editor, Coming to America: The Cyrus Cylinder, part of 7 Sides of a Cylinder Film.
2014 Director and Editor, The Skin That Burns (25mins). Distributed by Film Media Group. Documentary on Iran’s volunteer soldiers who were exposed to chemical warfare during Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). For the Graduate Program in Culture and Media.
Experts Report on Iran Policy for U.S. President. Prepared with National Iranian American Council for the 45th President of the United States, September 2016.
2016a "Tipsy in Tehran" in The New York Times Magazine, May 15, 2016.
2016b "Learning to Play by Ear in Iran," in The New York Times Magazine, April 10, 2016.
2016c "The IRGC's Plans to Win Hearts and Minds," in Al Monitor, March 2016.
2016d "How Women, the Green Movement, and an app Shaped Iran's Election," in The Washington Post, March 1, 2016.
2016e "Women Win Big in Iran's Parliamentary Elections" in Al Monitor, February 2016.
2015a "How Iran is Trying to Win Back the Youth" in The Guardian, July 20, 2015.
2015b "Iranian Vets Also Push for Nuclear Deal" in LobeLog, July 20, 2015.
2015c "Why Iran's Revolutionary Guard Supports the Deal" in LobeLog, April 6, 2015.
2014 "The Fight to be the Nation’s War Storyteller" in IranWire, October 3, 2014.
2013a Op-Ed "US-Iran Nuclear Deal Should Open Up Academic Exchanges As Well," in The Guardian, November 24, 2013.
2013b "In Iran, Green is Sometimes Safest," in IranWire, reprinted in Environment News Service and Earth Times, October 2013.
2013c Guest on DemocracyNow! with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh: Obama and Rouhani Welcome New Talks, Offering Hope to Iranians Suffering Under U.S.-Led Sanctions, September 25, 2013.
2013d Op-Ed: "President Rouhani's Overtures to the West are Genuine. Iran Voted for Change," The Guardian, September 24, 2013.
2013e "Iran's Chemical Weapons Survivors Show Twin Horrors of WMD and Sanctions" in The Guardian, September 2, 2013.
2013f "When I Ran Out of Birth Control in Iran" in The Huffington Post, July 29, 2013.
2012a “Argo and the Roots of U.S.-Iran Tensions” in Other Words (re-published in The Providence Journal, December 26, 2012
2012b “Principled Defiance,” Interview with Shirin Neshat. Bespoke Magazine, August 2012.
2009 “Devouring Their Own: The Basij in the Islamic Republic,” Huffington Post, August 21, 2009
2016a "Anxieties of Power," Oklahoma State University
2016b "Iran after the Nuclear Deal," San Jose State University
2015 “Battling Truths: Defending the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Sacred Memories in Film and Literature,” Iranian Studies Initiative, New York University.
2014 "Islamic Media: Technology and the Sacred" organized by Negar Mottahedeh and Ellen McLarney, Duke University.
2013 “Social History of Iranian Cinema” Workshop, Northwestern University.
2012a “Anthropology and Social Change,” organized by Emily Martin and Katherine McCaffery, American Ethnological Society Annual Conference, New York.
2012b “The Green Revolution and Beyond: Religion, The Internet, and Politics in Iran,” Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics, and Practice Conference at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media.
2007 “Assessing Alliances Across Generations: The Future of the Women’s Rights Movement in Iran,” 18th International Women’s Studies Foundation, University of Maryland.
2016 "Digital Iran," Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
2012 “Iran Asthma Files” at University of California, Irvine, Samuel L. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture.
2011 “Iran Ethnography Conference,” University of California, Irvine, Samuel L. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture.
Invited Film Screenings
* Indicates a Q/A or a talk
2015 Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival*
2014 Naval Postgraduate School
2013 Ohio State University
2013 Noor Iranian Film Festival
2013 Princeton University*
2013 Peace on Earth Film Festival
2013 Columbia University School of Journalism*
2013 Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, NYU*
2013 Jaipur Film Festival
2012 Cantor Film Center, New York, NY*
2012 University of California, Irvine*
2012 Hiroshima, Japan
2012 The Hague, Netherlands
2012 Tehran Peace Museum, Tehran, Iran
Conference Panels Organized
2016 “Evidence in National Security Contexts,” American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
2015 "The Politics of 'Moderate Islam' Beyond U.S. Empire," American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
2013 “Religion, Media, and Politics in the Middle East: An Anthropological Perspective,” Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.
2016a “Research with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij Paramilitary Organization: Negotiating Access, Gathering Evidence, and Attempting Distance,” American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
2016b “Transmitting the Revolution: An In-Depth Look at Pro-Regime Cultural Centers and Cultural Activists in Iran,” Surveying Iran Conference, Central European University and University of Pennsylvania, Budapest, Hungry.
2016c “Research With Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij Paramilitary Organization: Negotiating Access, Questioning Collaboration, and Attempting Distance,” Society for Cultural Anthropology, Ithaca, NY.
2015 “Creating Moderate Shi’a Heroes for Youth in Iran,” American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
2014a "'Vaccinating Society': Soft War Politics in the Islamic Republic's Media World," Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.
2011a “Censors and Cultural Producers: The Basij and Revolutionary Guards as Media Makers,” Conference: Cinema in Iran: Circulation, Censorship, and Cultural Production. Iran Media Project of Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania. Presented in Berlin, Germany.
2011b “Chemical Warfare, Invisible Traces, and Photographed Pain: Evidence from the Iran-Iraq War,” in Unsettling Accounts: Photographs, Traces, and Evidence Panel, American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.
2008a “The Outcasts: Reforming the Internal ‘Other’ by Returning to the Ideals of the Revolution,” Middle East History and Theory Conference (MEHAT), The University of Chicago.
2008b “The Outcasts: Reforming the Internal ‘Other’ by Returning to the Ideals of the Revolution,” Visual Representations of Iran Conference, St. Andrews University, Scotland.
2008c “The Outcasts: Reforming the Internal ‘Other’ by Returning to the Ideals of the Revolution,” Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference, Washington, DC, November 2008
Exhibitions, Workshops, and Speaker Series Organized
2015-6 "Animating the Archives: A Series of Symposiums on Iranian Cultural History," New York University. Online at: www.iranarchives.org. Organized four panels throughout the academic year on the issue of archives with Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi.
2012 Organizing Committee, Fifth International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, UCLA. Online at: www.iranianalliances.org
2010 Inside/Outside/Offside: The Role of Ideology and Citizenship in Iran from the 1979 Revolution to the 2009 Green Movement, UCLA October 9, 2010. Archived at: http://iranideologyconference.wordpress.com/
2006 Bam and Beyond Seminar Part 2, Tehran, Iran (Seminar for leading local and international NGOs on earthquake humanitarian relief and rebuilding efforts).
2005 Bam and Beyond Seminar, Columbia University (Seminar for leading local and international NGOs on earthquake humanitarian relief and rebuilding efforts).
2007 Curator, TRANSFORM/NATION: Contemporary Art of Iran and its Diaspora, sister-exhibitions in Washington, DC and Tehran. Archived at: http://iranianalliances.org/programs/past/art
2004 First International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, UCLA. Online at: www.iranianalliances.org
Fall 2016 Middle East: Media Wars (Upper-Level Undergraduate course)
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Fall 2015-Spring 2016 Teaching Assistant: Video Production I & II (Graduate course), with Noelle Stout, Pegi Vail, and Cheryl Furjanic
Fall 2014-Spring 2015 Teaching Assistant: Video Production I & II (Graduate course), with Noelle Stout and Cheryl Furjanic
Spring 2015 Awarded Certificate: Preparing Future Faculty: Achieving Success Through Communication
Fall 2012 Teaching Assistant: Human Society and Culture (Undergraduate course), with Noelle Stout
Spring 2012 Teaching Assistant: Anthropology of Language (Undergraduate course), with Sonia Das
Fall 2011 Teaching Assistant: Human Society and Culture (Undergraduate course), with Bruce Grant
2011 Voices of Silence by Ahmad Nategh. Tehran: Tehran Peace Museum.
2007 “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream.” PEW Center for Research: www.pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf (Persian to English translator).
2013-2014 Tehran and Abadan, Iran, Hiroshima, Japan
Winter 2012 Tehran, Karaj, Abadan, and Ahvaz, Iran
Winter 2011 Tehran, Iran
Winter 2010 Tehran, Iran
Jan-Aug 2009 Tehran, Karaj, and Isfahan, Iran
Sep-Dec 2008 Tehran, Semnan, and Isfahan, Iran
Jan-Dec 2005 Tehran, Sanandaj, Paveh, Saaghez (Kurdistan), Ardebil, Urumieh, and Oshnavieh (Azarbaijan), Iran
Jan-Dec 2004 Tehran, Iran
2015 Reviewer, British Journal of Middle East Studies
2015 Reviewer, Medicine Anthropology Theory
2014-15 Association of Middle East Anthropology, Steering Committee for Conference Panel Planning
2012-14 Contributing Editor, Cultural Anthropology Journal
2011-13 Director, Outreach and Public Relations, Anthropology Now Journal
2011 Founder, Iranian Studies Graduate Students Association
New York University
2011-15 Steering Committee, Speaker Series, Iranian Studies Initiative, NYU
2014 Graduate Student Member, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Committee on Discipline
2012 Organizer, Radical Ethnography Study Group, NYU
2010 Steering Committee, Anthropology Graduate Students Association
RELEVANT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2003-Present Co-Founder Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB www.iranianalliances.org, a 501c3 non-profit organization)
2011-Present Acting Director, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)
2007-2009 Chair, Board of Advisors, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)
2002-2006 Executive Director, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)
Raised over $500,000 through grants. Recruited and managed staff of 25. Developed biannual international academic conferences on the Iranian diaspora. Curator of TRANSFORM/NATION: Contemporary Art of Iran and its Diaspora, sister-exhibitions in Washington, DC and Tehran (Summer 2007) with supplemental academic talks in both cities.
2014 Adviser, CNN "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Iran."
2009-13 Director, Oral History Project of Survivors of Chemical Warfare, Tehran Peace Museum
2007-09 Research Assistant, Professor Dan Slater, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago
Research and coding of authoritarian regimes for forthcoming book: Ordering Power: Contentious Politics, State-Building, and Authoritarian Durability in Southeast Asia. Focus on military coups in Turkey and political structure and elite cohesion in post-2003 Iraq.
2005 Researcher and Sound Director, Red Lines and Deadlines, PBS Documentary
Investigated role of press in 2005 Iranian presidential elections. Interviewed and filmed journalists, politicians, voters, and activists in Persian.
SELECTED MEDIA AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH
2016a Al Jazeera: "Iranian Americans await payoff from nuclear deal," September 9, 2016.
2016b PBS NewsHour: "Enforcing Iran sanctions still tangles Iranian-Americans in 'spider's web of laws'" February 27, 2016.
2015 New York Times: "Prominent Iranian Women Weigh in on Historic Nuclear Deal," April 3, 2015: http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2015/04/03/prominent-iranian-women-weigh-in-on-irans-historic-nuclear-deal/
2012 HuffPost Live: “Shake the Sanctions” Live interview on earthquake relief in Iran in face of increased sanctions. August 15, 2012
2011 PBS Frontline: “Empowering Iranian American Youth: The Camp Ayandeh Story – A Conversation with Co-Founder Narges Bajoghli” by Arash Karami, August 14, 2011: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/08/empowering-iranian-american-youth-the-camp-ayandeh-story.html
2011 Wellesley Magazine: “After the Revolution: Spotlight on Alum, Narges Bajoghli” by Marcy Barack Black, Spring 2011.
2007 Washington Post: “Iranian Artists Bridge Cultures” by Tara Bahrampour, July 30, 201212, 2007: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/10/AR2007071002300.html
2007 Northern Virginia Magazine: “Culture Framed: Iranian Art Exhibit Aims to Defy Stereotypes” by Willona Sloan, June/July 2007.
2006 Cultural Connect: “Bridge Builders: Narges Bajoghli and Nikoo Paydar.” http://www.theculturalconnect.com/magazines/mideast/2006-10-09/nonprofit.
2008 CNN International: “Iranian-American Youth Struggle to Define Themselves,” by David Ariosto, July 21, 2008:
2007 Washington Post: “Courtesy Around the Campfire” by Tara Bahrampour, July 7, 2007: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/06/AR2007070601974.html.
Persian (Fluent); Spanish (Fluent); Portuguese (Advanced reading)
American Anthropological Association
Society for Cultural Anthropology
Society for Visual Anthropology
Association for Middle East Anthropology
Middle East Studies Association
International Society for Iranian Studies
- Skilled in web design (Joomla, Adobe Dreamweaver, Wordpress)
- Skilled in non-linear video editing (Final Cut Pro)
- Professional training in grant writing and fundraising