Yass Alizadeh: Yass teaches Persian Language and Literature at NYU. She has a PhD in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from The University of Connecticut, a Masters of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Masters of Arts from Tehran University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Her research focuses on the ingenious layering of ethical themes in the ambiguously coded language of folktales in Modern Iran, the intricate link between politics and fiction, and the critical role of metaphors in the reframing of Iran’s classical oral tales. Yass has been a Practitioner in Residence at The University of New Haven where she has taught English and launched Persian as a core course. She has taught English Literature at Middlesex Community College and Persian at The University of Connecticut.
Gabriela Nik Ilieva: Gabriela is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU. She is passionate about exploring the ways language encodes certain socio-cultural meanings. Specifically, she examines discourse structures in Hindi and Sanskrit literature that reproduce or challenge gender-based relations of power and dominance in Indian society. She also analyzes the formulation of gender (self/)identity as a dynamic process through which Indian social contexts are actively constructed by applying the so-called ‘doing/ performing gender’ approach. In the field of foreign language pedagogy, her research interests are focused on differentiated pedagogical approaches to instruction and assessment of Hindi and Urdu heritage vs. foreign language learners. Her translation work includes stories by Amrita Pritam, Manto, Kamleshwar, Mukktibodh, poetry by Manglesh Dabral into Bulgarian and Bulgarian poetry into Hindi. In addition, she has examined Medieval Indian poetics, namely the schools of alankaara (ornaments) and dhvani (suggested meaning) in comparison with Ancient Greek and Roman Rhetoric and some contemporary European literary theories. Gabriela teaches advanced Hindi language courses, as well as Ancient Indian Literature and Modern South Asian Literature courses.
Tahira Naqvi: Tahira's interests lie primarily in translation of literary texts. Along with works by Saadat Hasan Manto, Munshi Premchand, Khadija Mastur, she has translated the works of the famous India writer, Ismat Chughtai, a project she began in 1983 and one that still continues. "Translation offers an opportunity to examine language in all its permutations very closely, providing insights into cultural and linguistic contexts, syntactical and stylistic trends and subsequently an understanding of the role language plays in producing effective and powerful narratives. Recently, after a request of a translation of an English short story and which resulted in my first experiment with translating from English to Urdu, I found myself heady with the excitement of this amazing reversal. Marquez had just died and he is one of my favorite writers, so I started translating his work. So far I have completed ten stories. Translating into Urdu has led me down a path I had long abandoned: writing in Urdu. It has been an unforgettable learning experience for me both as a teacher and a writer."