Ph.D. in History, University of Pennsylvania, 2018, with certificate in Africana Studies. Dissertation: Seeing Race and Erasing Slavery: Media and the Construction of Blackness in Iran, 1830-1960.
M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2012.
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, in International Development Studies and Iranian Studies, UCLA, 2010.
2022- Associate Research Scholar, Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University
2018-22 Assistant Professor, History and Critical Black Studies, Bucknell University
The Color Black: Enslavement and Erasure in Iran, forthcoming with Duke University Press.
2023 “Seeing Black America in Iran,” American Historical Review, forthcoming.
2021 “From Religious Eulogy to War Anthem: Examining Kurdizadeh’s ‘Layla Bigufta,’ and Blackness in late twentieth-century Iran,”
Journal of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (2021) 41 (3): 441-454.
2021 “The Myths of Haji Firuz: the Racist Contours of the Iranian Minstrel,” Lateral, Journal of the Cultural Studies Association (Spring 2021) Issue 10.1.
ترجمه به زبان فارسی توسط الهه نژادحسین : "افسانه های حاجی فیروز: نمودهای نژادپرستانه ی تخت حوضی ایرانی"، لترال، ژورنال موسسهی فرهنگ شناسی
2020 Research Fellow, Bard Graduate Center
2019-2020 Regional Faculty Fellow, Wolf Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania
2015-2016 SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council
2015, 2017 Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania
2013-2014 Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship (Arabic), University of Pennsylvania
2012-2013; Vartan Gregorian Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania
2011-2012 Continuing Fellowship, UT Austin
2010-2011 Graduate Recruitment Fellowship, UT Austin
2022 Anti-Racism Grant, Bucknell University
2022 High Impact Research Grant, Bucknell University
2021 Honorable Mention, BlackStar Film Festival Pitch
2019 Scholarly Development Grant, Bucknell University
2019 Mellon Confounding Problems Grant, Bucknell University
2018 Art and Change Grant, Leeway Foundation
2016 Iran Media Program, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication Studies; Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Pennsylvania
2015 Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, Office of the Vice Provost for Education; University of Pennsylvania
2015 Dean’s Award for Research and New Media, Office for the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies; University of Pennsylvania
2014 Faye Rattner Research Grant, University of Pennsylvania
2022 “The Color Black: Enslavement and Erasure in Iran,” Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University, September 28.
2022 “Memory and Memorialization: Forgetting the History of Enslavement in Iran,” Middle East Center, University of Washington, February 28.
2021 “Black Geographies of Enslavement,” Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Race and the Middle East/North Africa, CUNY, November 19.
2021 “Whose Photographs? Enslavement, Intimacy, and Invisibility,” Department of History of Art, Yale University, April 15
2021 “’We had no slaves in Iran’: Uncovering Evidence of an Erased History,” the Middle East Librarians Association, January 21.
2020 “(Not) Seeing Race in 19th Century Iranian Photograph,” Arab Crossroads Studies Seminar, NYU Abu Dhabi, December 9.
2020 “The Ajam Digital Archive,” Wilson Learning Center Forum, University of North Carolina, December 1.
2020 “Blackness in Iran: Legacies of Enslavement and Abolition in the 19th and 20th centuries,” a three-part lecture series, Bard Graduate Center, September 17, 24, October 1.
2020 “Nishapur and its Legacy,” UCLA History Geography Project, June 18.
2019 “Locating Ajamistan: Moving Across Borders in the Digital Humanities,” Closing Keynote for the “Forty Years and More: International Conference on Iranian Diaspora Studies,” Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University, March 30.
2019 “Histories of Migration Through Comics in the Classroom,” Annual Sawwaf Comics Initiative Symposium, American University of Beirut, March 9.
2018 “Race in Iran: How Slavery Defined Color,” Department of History, Agnes Scott College, October 16.
2018 “From White to Walnut, Brown to Black: the Color of Slavery in Iran,” Roshan Persian Institute, University of Maryland, April 24.
2017 “Defining Slavery through the Verbal, Visual, and Spatial in Iran, 1837-1877,” Central Asian Studies Workshop, Harvard University, December 5.
2016 “Black, Brown, or Burnt: The Language of Slavery in Iran, 1850-1930,” Department of Religious Studies, University of California, San Diego, October 12.
2015 “’We Have Black People Too!’: The Erasure and Tokenization of an African Presence in Iran, 1880-1990,” Department of International and Area Studies, University of Oklahoma, September 29.
2015 “How Slavery Became an Un-Iranian, Un-Islamic Problem: Rewriting the Past and Present in Iran, 1925-1979,” Minorities and Diasporas Symposium, University of Texas at Austin, May 19.
2014 “Forging and Forgetting: The Preservation of Slavery in Iranian Historical Memory,” the Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University, December 10.
2014 “Erasing Slavery in the Name of Modernity: The Early Pahlavi Era,” Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania, October 3.
2022 "What can the Middle East teach us about race?" Presidential Panel, Middle East Studies Association, December 1-4.
2022 “Remembering their History: Khyzran, Narges, and Haji Naneh,” Regional Meeting for the Middle East on the International Decade for People of African Descent, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations, October 31-November 1.
2022 “From Slave(?) to Citizen(?),” Association for Iranian Studies, August 29-September 2.
2022 “What is a photograph? Race, enslavement, and photography in late Qajar Iran,” Minoritization in Middle East Geopolitics: Histories and Theoretical Approaches, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, January 6-7.
2020 "“Playing-Black”: Minstrelsy in Iranian Streets, Stages and Shows during the Pahlavi Era," Middle East Studies Association, October 5-17.
2019 “The Many Yaquts: Tracing Enslavement, Manumission, and Blackface Caricatures,” 1840-1979,” Africa in the Middle East, the Middle East in Africa Conference, NYU/Cornell University, Nov 18-19.
2018 “Eunuchs in Life, Death, and Freak Shows: The Visuality of Race and Gender in Iran, 1860-1900,” the American Historical Association, January 4-7.
2017 “Buying and Selling Blackface: Theatrical Anti-Blackness in Pahlavi Era Iran, 1930-1965,” Middle East Studies Association, November 18-21.
2016 “’But Where Are You Really From?’: Mapping a Racial Homeland in Iran, 1928-1980,” Middle East Studies Association, November 17-20.
2016 “White, Black, and Iranians in Between: The Racial Language of Difference, 1880-1940,” International Society for Iranian Studies, August 2-5.
2014 “Outsiders on the Inside: Slaves and their Family Portraits from the Late Qajar Period,” International Society for Iranian Studies, August 6-9.
2013 “Reza Shah and Manumission: The End of Slavery in Iran,” Middle East Studies Association, October 10-13.
2013 “Stretching Sovereignty and Breaking Boundaries: Consulates and Shi’is in the Nineteenth Century Middle East,” Ottoman-Persian Exchanges Conference, University of Pennsylvania, April 26.
2012 “From Fellows to Foreigners: The Qajar Experience in the Ottoman Empire,” Middle East Studies Association, November 17-19.
2012 “Women’s Education in the Early Twentieth Century Press,” International Society for Iranian Studies, August 1-5.
2011 “A Triangle of Fighting Loyalties: The Ottomans, the Persians, and the Shi’is of Iraq,” Middle East Studies Association, December 1-4.
2022 “A Conversation about Protests in Iran,” Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University, October 6.
2021 “Picturing the Middle East and its Diasporas: Memory, Migration, and Archives in New Digital Landscapes,” Middle East Studies Association, November 29-December 3.
2020 “Images and Archives: Digital Collections in the Time of Corona,” Middle East Studies Association, October 1-15
2020 “Fluid Frontiers of the Middle East: Connecting Narratives of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf,” Middle East Studies Association, October 1-15.
2016 “Being Social on Social Media: Academia, the Digital Humanities, and the Middle East,” Middle East Studies Association, November 17-20.
2022 “Persian Language Roundtable,” Lexicons of Race Roundtable Series, Middle East Studies Association, September 12-15.
2018 "Remembering the Dead: Slavery and Mortality through Visual Culture, a Comparative Perspective," the American Historical Association, January 4-7.
2017 “Blackness in the Middle East, a Comparative Perspective,” Middle East Studies Association, November 18-21.
2016 “Moving Homelands: Migrations and Memory in the Twentieth Century,” Middle East Studies Association, November 17-20.
2016 “From African Slavery to American Immigration: Race and Racial Constructs in the Iranian Context, 1850-present,” International Society for Iranian Studies, August 2-5.
"The Black Middle East"
“Comic Book Histories of the Middle East”
“History of the Modern Middle East”
“Podcasts, Museums, and Digital Archives”
University of Pennsylvania
Certificate in College and University Teaching, 2015
University of Texas at Austin
“Race & Ethnicity in Iran: Advanced Persian,” Intensive Persian Language Institute
Instructor of Record, 2013
Persian: superior in reading, writing, and speaking
Arabic: advanced in reading, writing, and speaking
French: intermediate in reading, writing, and speaking
2020- Collective for Black Iranians, Resident Historian
2015-present Ajam Digital Archive, Director
2012-2019 Ajam Media Collective, Editor
Media Appearances and Interviews
“ما هستیم؛ نمایشگاهی از آثار ایرانیان آفریقاییتبار در فلادلفیای آمریکا” [“We Are Here: Exhibition featuring works from Afro-Iranians in Philadelphia, US”], BBCPersian, October 2, 2021 (voice-over for animated piece on research).
“Episode 3: Art of Black Africa,” Story of Iran podcast series, University of California, Davis, July 21.
“Empowering Black Iranians to Tell Their Stories,” AJ+, December 11, 2020 (video interview).
“’We are part of the tapestry’: Black Iranians launch collective,” Al Jazeera English, September 2, 2020 (quoted interview).
“’Words that shattered their self-esteem’: Black Lives Matter movement forces Middle East to reflect on its own racism problem,” The Independent, June 25, 2020 (quoted interview).
“Iranian Diaspora Spotlight: Dr. Beeta Baghoolizadeh,” With a Trace, Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University, December 5, 2018.
“Illustrations that Capture the changing face of Iran: Diaspora Letters” Huck Mag, March 3, 2018.
“Love Letters to Iran: An Interview With Beeta Baghoolizadeh,” Bigmouth Comix, February 16, 2018.
“Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh Sheds Light on Iran’s Unique, But Forgotten, History of Slavery,” World Views Podcast, November 5, 2015.
“Nizhad, Bardih-dari, va Laghv-i an dar Iran,” 15 Minute History Podcast transcribed and translated into Persian on Meidaan, October 11, 2015.
“Episode 70: Race, Slavery and Abolition in Iran,” 15 Minute History Podcast, August 26, 2015.
“A Talk with the Collective for Black Iranians: On the Importance of Centering Erased Black and Afro Iranian Histories from Iran and the Diaspora,” Bilingual Lecture Series, Iranian Studies, UCLA, February 27, 2022.
“Hidden Histories #3 – Siyah Zibast, Black is beautiful,” in conversation with the Collective for Black Iranians, SOAS Decolonising Working Group, January 25, 2022.
“The Collective for Black Iranians: Writing Ourselves into Existence,” in conversation with the Collective for Black Iranians, Pickle Bar by Slavs and Tatars, December 16, 2021.
“We Everywhere: Dialogues of the African Diaspora [Iran]” in conversation with the Collective for Black Iranians, Brooklyn Public Library, July 30, 2021.
“Asho and Welcome Valentine: Double Feature Screening,” Penn Museum Second Sunday Culture Films, February 14, 2021.
“The Importance of Media in Times of War,” CODEPINK’s Summit on Peace with Iran, December 1, 2018.
“Writing Ourselves into Existence with the Collective for Black Iranians,” interview with Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda, MERIP issue 299 “Race—Legacies and Challenges,” June 29, 2021.
“White Fantasies, Colorful Interiors: the Problem with Cultural Appropriation in Home Design,” Off Beat, May 24, 2018.
“The National Archives and Library in Tehran,” Dissertation Reviews, December 2, 2014.
“Marriage Contracts and the Mashhadi Jewish Community: Art as a Second Identity in the Nineteenth Century,” Jadaliyya, August 12, 2013.
Solo Art Exhibitions
Diaspora Letters, Twelve Gates Arts, January 23-February 10, 2018.
Group Art Exhibitions
Group exhibition curated by Maamoul Press, Art Mile Detroit, June 17-July 11, 2021.
Visual Stories from Home, featuring Beeta Baghoolizadeh and Mary Hazboun, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, May 1-June 14, 2020 (cancelled due to Covid-19).
On Home, Identity, and Diaspora, Vox Populi Gallery, January 11-February 17, 2019.
Making Space: Leeway @ 25, Moore College of Art and Design, September 20-December 8, 2018.
Twelve Gates Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
2021- Committee on Antiracism and Antidiscrimination, Middle East Studies Association.
2021-22 Committee on Instruction, Bucknell University.
2021-22 History Department Faculty Colloquium, organizer, Bucknell University.
2021 External reviewer, Gender and History.
2021 External reviewer, Journal on Global Slavery.
2020 External reviewer, International Journal of Middle East Studies.
2018-21 Advisory Committee Member, Africana Studies Program, Bucknell University.
2017 External reviewer, Public Culture.
2017 Elected Student Representative, Association for Iranian Studies.
2017 Program Committee for the 12th Annual Biennial Conference, Association for Iranian Studies.
2015-2017 History Department Graduate Colloquium, co-founder and organizer; University of Pennsylvania.
American Historical Association
Middle East Studies Association
Association for Iranian Studies
African American Intellectual History Society