How cross-cultural trade and travel and the consumption of commodities shape knowledge, culture, and society is central to the research of Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe, who holds the Darakjian Jafarian Chair in Armenian History at Tufts University. Her first book, The Shah's Silk for Europe’s Silver: The Eurasian Silk Trade of the Julfan Armenians in Safavid Iran and India (1590–1750) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), focused on the competition between European companies and the Armenians for the silk trade in Iran and India. Baghdiantz-McCabe is also coauthor of Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Seventeenth Century Safavid Isfahan (I. B. Tauris, 2002), which highlights the economic, political, and cultural importance of the previously unexplored Safavid royal household in early modern Iran.
While a Radcliffe Institute fellow, Baghdiantz-McCabe will prepare her next book, “Orientalism Under the Sun King: Eurasian Trade and the Transformation of French Society and Culture (1650–1789).” This book will explore the consequences of France’s economic and diplomatic encounters with what was defined as the Orient during the reign of Louis XIV (1644–1715). One of the book’s central aims is to analyze French material life together with the production of knowledge brought about by these cross-cultural exchanges.
Baghdiantz-McCabe was a recipient of a Dolores Liebmann Zohrab publication grant, Gulbenkian Foundation grants, and Clara and Krikor Zohrab fellowships at Columbia University, where she earned a PhD in Middle Eastern history. She also holds a DEA in European history from Paris IV, Sorbonne.