Beeta Baghoolizadeh (PhD, History, University of Pennsylvania) is an Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at Bucknell University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the visuality of race, particularly in relation to memory and erasure. Currently, she is working on her first book project, tentatively titled The Color Black: Visualizing Slavery and Abolition in Iran, 1800-1979, on the moving racial boundaries of slavery and abolition and their legacies in Iran and the surrounding region. She also serves as an editor of the Ajam Media Collective, an online space dedicated to issues concerning the broader Persianate world, and directs the Ajam Digital Archive. Her visual project “Diaspora Letters” features scenes from the mundane and every day in Iranian life. She is also working with an animator on her first short film.
Wolf Humanities Center Regional Fellow
2019—2020 Forum on Kinship
Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Africana Studies
The Family that Finds Each Other: Runaway slaves, dervishes, and abolition in early twentieth-century Iran, 1900-1929
“The Family that Finds Each Other” examines the various family structures constructed or denied in the last three decades of legal slavery in Iran. While some enslaved peoples, especially women, remained with their slaving families during the entirety of their lives, others escaped or were granted manumission. This project examines what kinship patterns emerged amongst those divorced from their families through enslavement, and how they forged new relationships to find a place in society.
This project is a chapter my current book project, The Color Black: Visualizing Slavery and Abolition in Iran, 1800-1979. The book investigates blackness as it came to define enslaved East Africans, and ultimately slavery as a whole, at the peak of abolition efforts in the late nineteenth century and its legacy thereafter.