Research and Publications
The Color Black: Enslavement and Erasure in Iran (Duke University Press, March 2024)
Praise for The Color Black
In this pathbreaking study, Beeta Baghoolizadeh weaves together a social history of slavery in Iran; a feminist analysis of modern Iranian households and their racial underpinnings; a gendered reading of state policy on emancipation; and an intervention into the study of slavery and its afterlives. The Color Black is a tour de force of research and a beautiful and brilliant contribution to multiple fields.” — Sarah Gualtieri, author of Arab Routes: Pathways to Syrian California
Decentering the dominant lenses in Iranian studies, Beeta Baghoolizadeh advances a new understanding of Iran by showing how its modern construction of history was built upon the erasure of Black Iranians. Rigorously argued, ethically principled, and elegantly written, The Color Black is poised to be one of the most provocative and important new books in Iranian studies and Middle East studies.” — Neda Maghbouleh, author of The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race
Through an analysis of archival, visual, and spatial sources, Beeta Baghoolizadeh unearths an intentionally hidden history within both institutional spaces and collective memory. Baghoolizadeh draws on photographs, architecture, theater, circus acts, newspapers, films, and more to document how the politics of visibility framed discussions around enslavement and abolition during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In this way, Baghoolizadeh makes visible the people and histories that were erased from Iran and its diaspora. The Color Black has been award the Scholars of Color First Book Award from Duke University Press.