Golnar Nikpour

Assistant Professor
Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of History

Golnar Nikpour is a scholar of modern Iranian political and intellectual history, with a particular interest in the history of law, incarceration, and rights. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University's department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, & African Studies. She teaches on an interdisciplinary set of topics including modern Middle Eastern and North African history, Iranian history, political theory, Islamic studies, critical prison studies, and women and gender studies.

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From 2015-2017, Nikpour was an A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and in 2017-2018, she served as Neubauer Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, and the Giles Whiting Foundation, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, The Canadian Journal of History, and Tehran Bureau. She is currently finishing her first book, The Incarcerated Modern: Prisons and Public Life in Iran, a study of prisons and punishment in 19th-21st century Iran that situates the expansion of Iran's modern prison system (and public discourses on those prisons) in the context of the global expansion of incarceration. She is also co-founder and co-editor of B|ta’arof, a journal for Iranian arts and writing, where she has written extensively on the intellectual and cultural histories of Iran and its diaspora. 

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Carson 307
HB 6107
B.A. Barnard College
M.A. Columbia University
M.Phil. Columbia University
Ph. D. Columbia University

Selected Publications

“Claiming Human Rights: Iranian Political Prisoners and the Making of a Transnational Movement, 1963-1979.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 9, no. 3 (Winter 2018), 363-388.

“Drugs and Drug Policy in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Brandeis University Crown Center for Middle East Studies Middle East Brief, no. 119 (June 2018): 1-7.

“Revolutionary Journeys, Revolutionary Practice: The Hajj Writings of Jalal Al-e Ahmad and Malcolm X.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 34, no. 1 (2014): 67-85.