Part of the Fall 2019 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series
Narges Bajoghli, Assistant Professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
More than half of Iran's citizens were not alive at the time of the 1979 Revolution. Now entering its fifth decade in power, the Iranian regime faces the paradox of any successful revolution: how to transmit the commitments of its political project to the next generation. New media ventures supported by the Islamic Republic attempt to win the hearts and minds of younger Iranians. Yet members of this new generation—whether dissidents or fundamentalists—are increasingly skeptical of these efforts. Iran Reframed offers unprecedented access to those who wield power in Iran as they debate and define the future of the Republic. Over ten years, Narges Bajoghli met with men in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ansar Hezbollah, and Basij paramilitary organizations to investigate how their media producers developed strategies to court Iranian youth. Readers come to know these men—what the regime means to them and their anxieties about the future of their revolutionary project. Contestation over how to define the regime underlies all their efforts to communicate with the public. This book offers a multilayered story about what it means to be pro-regime in the Islamic Republic, challenging everything we think we know about Iran and revolution.
Narges Bajoghli is Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. She has written for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, and the Washington Post, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, NPR, PBS, and the BBC. She is the director of the documentary The Skin That Burns, screened at The Hague, Hiroshima, Jaipur, and film festivals throughout the United States.