Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Narges Bajoghli

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Narges Bajoghli

Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs


Narges Bajoghli is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Watson Institute at Brown University. She received her PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from New York University, where she was also trained as a documentary filmmaker in NYU's Culture and Media Program.  Her research focuses on pro-regime cultural producers in Iran, and is based on over 18 months of ethnographic research with Basij, Ansar-e Hezbollah, and Revolutionary Guard media producers in Iran.

​Narges' dissertation is entitled: "Paramilitary Media: Revolution, War, and the Making of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and was supported by dissertation research grants 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, and NYU's Torch Fellowship.

In addition to her academic writing, Narges has also written on Iran for The New York Times Magazine (Learning to Play by Ear in IranTipsy in Tehran), The Guardian, The Washington Post, Al Monitor, ​Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), The Huffington Post, and LobeLog, and has appeared as a guest commentator on DemocracyNow!, NPR, BBC WorldService, PBS NewsHour, BBC Persian, and HuffPost Live. 


I am a media and political anthropologist with expertise in revolution, religion, and in the Middle East. Broadly, my research concerns contemporary mass mediations of Islamic politics. Grounded in ethnographic research, my work speaks to interdisciplinary questions of generational change and how media “make” and retain revolutionary citizens over time. My current project, Anxieties of Power: Paramilitary Media in the Islamic Republic of Iran, builds on 18-months of ethnographic fieldwork in Iran exploring military and paramilitary produced media as sites of internal contestations about the future of the Islamic Republic and the struggle to create “new” revolutionaries among Iran’s majority-young population.


Journal Articles
* Indicates peer review

2016 Special Issue: “Battling Truths: The Legacy of the Iran-Iraq War in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” co-editor with Amir Moosavi in Middle East Critique (Forthcoming)*

2016 “Pro-Regime Iranian Filmmakers and the Legacies of the Iran-Iraq War” in Middle East Critique (Forthcoming)*

2016 Review Essay: “Media in Iran: From the 1979 Revolution to the Green Movement” in Review of Middle East Studies 50(1) 1-5.

Book Chapters

2016 "Iran and the Arab Spring," with Arang Keshavarzian in The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance, 2nd Edition. David W. Lesch and Mark L. Haas, eds. Westview Press.

2014 "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.

Book Reviews

2016 “Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran” in International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) 48(3).


Fall 2016 Middle East: Media Wars (Upper-Level Undergraduate course)

News|Recent News

Behind the Iran Protests (written by Narges Bajoghli)

January 5, 2018 Jacobin Magazine

Postdoctoral Fellow Narges Bajoghli in Jacobin Magazine, "At the moment, the protests are leaderless, and the slogans vary from demands for economic equity to the freedom of political prisoners to the overthrow of the supreme leader to the downfall of the entire regime."


The genesis of a new Iranian nationalism (written by Narges Bajoghli)

December 15, 2017 Al-Monitor

Postdoctoral Fellow Narges Bajoghly in Al-Monitor, "The new wave of nationalist sentiment is neither happenstance nor the sole result of outside threats such as the Islamic State, the rhetoric of US President Donald Trump or the heated rivalry with Saudi Arabia. 


The last Iranian Americans (written by Narges Bajoghli)

October 3, 2017 Al Monitor

Postdoctoral Fellow Narges Bajoghli in Al Monitor, "If it becomes indefinite — which could very much be the case given the absence of diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States — Travel Ban 3.0 will have severe consequences for the Iranian American community."


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