Ajam Podcast #41: Prof. Golnar Nikpour on "The Incarcerated Modern" with Belle Cheves

In this episode, Belle Cheves from the Ajam Media Collective interviews Golnar Nikpour, Assistant Professor of History at Dartmouth College, about her recent book The Incarcerated Modern: Prisons and Public Life in Iran (Standford, 2024).

In "The Incarcerated Modern" (and our podcast episode), Nikpour addresses the history of imprisonment and incarceration in Iran, and how it is intertwined with threads of carceral infrastructures traversing the globe from the late nineteenth century to today. We also discuss the transnational solidarity and opposition movements that developed against carceral institutions and practices in Iran and around the globe. Nikpour argues that the history of incarceration is inseparable from what it means to simply be a citizen in Iran, and how crucial it is to not only take into consideration the stories of "political" prisoners, but to recognize that all prisoners are inherently political.  

Golnar Nikpour is an Assistant Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Nikpour is a scholar of modern Iranian political and intellectual history, with a particular interest in the history of law, incarceration, revolution, 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, colonialism and decolonization, and women and gender studies.

 is a senior editor at Ajam Media Collective and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Bard College. Her research focuses on the history of family in Qajar Iran, specifically on how transformations of marital practices and affective perceptions of gender, race, and ethnicity shifted understandings of kinship, enslavement, and domestic service over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.