Picturing the Other: Race and Afro-Iranians in Documentary Photography

These types of documentary ventures, both filmic and photographic, identify a racialized community as their subject, visibly recognizable by their visual characteristics. Despite this clear reliance on race, there is rarely much attention given to the issue of race itself. Instead, most tend to emphasize successful assimilation predicated on nationalist sentiments and champion the diversity of these communities. By ignoring race and its relationship to photography, we overlook crucial elements that have structured similar stories in the past.
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Lior Sternfeld on Polish Refugees in Mid-Century Tehran, War and Migration in the Cosmopolitan City

Another installment of the Emerging Scholarship series, where we sat down with Dr. Lior Sternfeld and talked about the Polish refugee community in Iran during and after World War II. Dr. Sternfeld explains Iranian relations with other countries during World War II and what this meant for its new European refugee community.
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Farzin Vejdani on “Making History in Iran: Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture”

The latest in our Emerging Scholarship series, we spoke with Dr. Farzin Vejdani about history and history-making in Iran during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Vejdani describes the changing nature of Iranian historiography from court histories to national ones, while also elucidating the roles women and foreigners had in Iranian history-making. Dr. Vejdani is an Assistant Professor of History at Ryerson University in Toronto.
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Neda Maghbouleh on “The Limits of Whiteness, Iranian-Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race”

Ajam’s first podcast features Dr. Neda Maghbouleh, author of The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian-Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race. Her research examines the production of racial categories and identities through macro-level policy and micro-level interaction, with a special emphasis on Iranians and other “liminal whites” in North America.
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Marriage Contracts and the Mashhadi Jewish Community: Art as a Second Identity in the Nineteenth Century

During the 19th century, Mashhadi Jews cloaked their identities and lived their public lives as Muslims. As a result, major documents, such as marriage contracts, mimicked their Muslim counterparts. The language, art, and general presentation of the texts serve as clues towards better understanding the precarious position of the Mashhadi Jewish community, as well the preferred aesthetics of the period.
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