Behnaz Mirzai


Behnaz Mirzai

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., York University, Canada
M.A., York University, Canada
B.A., Shahid Beheshti, Iran
At Brock University since 2006
Behnaz Mirzai is an historian of modern Iran, who teaches Middle Eastern history at Brock University. Her areas of specialization include comparative and cross-cultural studies, ethnicity, slavery, gender, as well as social, economic and religious interactions in the Middle East. Her dissertation was entitled "Slavery, the Abolition of the Slave Trade and the Emancipation of Slaves in Iran 1828-1928". She is currently working on her book manuscript for publication.
HIST 2P72 Modern Middle East
HIST 2P70 The Middle East, 600-1800
HIST 3P86 Cultures and Societies of the Middle East
HIST 3P85 Minorities of the Middle East
HIST 4V64 Slavery in the Middle East
HIST 4V59 Women of the Middle East

HIST 5V30 The Iranian Revolutions
HIST 5V11 Women and gender in the Middle East

  • Behnaz A. Mirzai ed. "The Baluchi and Baluchistan." Special issue,  
    The Journal of the Middle East and Africa, 4:2 (2013).
  • Co-edited with Ismael Musa Montana, and Paul Lovejoy, Slavery, Islam and Diaspora, Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, 2009.
Book Chapters
  • The Persian Gulf and Britain: The Suppression of the African slave Trade.” in Abolitions as A Global Experience. ed. Hideaki Suzuki. National University of Singapore. Forthcoming.
  • Identity Transformations of African Communities in Iran.” in The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports and History. ed. Lawrence Potter. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2014. 351-376. 
  • Qajar Haram: Imagination or Reality, In Behnaz A. Mirzai, Ismael Musah Montana and Paul E. Lovejoy eds., Slavery, Islam and Diaspora, Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, 2009. pp. 77-89.
  • The Trade in Enslaved Africans in Nineteenth-Century Iran, In Kiran Kamal Prasad and Jean-Pierre Angenot, eds., TADIA – The African Diaspora in Asia: Explorations on a Less Known Fact, Bangalore: Jana Jagrati Prakashana, 2008,pp. 220-235.
  • The 1848 Abolitionist Farmān: A Step Towards Ending the Slave Trade in Iran,” in Gwyn Campbell ed., Abolition and its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, London: Routledge, 2005, pp. 94–102.
Journal Articles
  • Baluchi Identity and Culture: An Introduction.” in The Baluchi and Baluchistan. ed. Behnaz A. Mirzai. Special issue. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa. 4:2 (2013). 121-125.
  • Emancipation and its Legacy in Iran: An Overview. Cultural Interactions Created by the Slave Trade in the Arab-Muslim World. Paris: UNESCO, 2008. 
  • Le commerce des esclaves africains dans l’Iran du XIXème siècle, Les Cahiers des Anneaux de la Mémoire, 9, 2006, 29–40.
  • The Slave Trade and the African Diaspora in Iran. ZIFF journal, 2, 2005, pp. 30–4.
  • African Presence in Iran: Identity and its Reconstruction, Société française d’Histoire d’Outre-mer,  no. 336-337, 2002, pp. 229-246.
  • SSHRC Connection Grants "People of African Descent: Recognition,Empowerment and Equity," 2014
  • SSHRC Connection Grants "Baluchi identity and culture", 2012
  • Brock SSHRC Institutional Grants (BSIG), 2011 
  • Brock Humanities Research Institute (HRI), 2011
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grants “Iranian Borderland: Baluchi Identity and Culture”, 2010-2013
  • Brock University Advancement Fund (BUAF), 2008
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2007
  • Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant (BSIG), 2007
  • Brock Humanities Research Institute (HRI), 2007
  • The Stevenson Scholar in African Studies, York University, 1999-2000
  • Co-ordinator and member of the preparatory Committee for the Slave Route project, UNESCO 


Arabic, Turkish (Azari, Osmanli), Persian, English, French

Behnaz Mirzai

telephone: 905.688.5550 ext. 5283 e-mail: