professor
Atefeh Shahmirzadi

Jan 2021

Ati creates a teaching environment that is completely collaborative. Each World Literature Revisited class is structured around the discussion posts students submit on weekly readings. I think this is an excellent model of teaching and gives students the ability to actively contribute to class discussions. World Literature Revisited reframed my understanding of the terms literary “canon and “masterpiece. This class will broaden your scope of literary knowledge, especially for people with a little religious background and people who went to U.S. public high schools. Throughout World Literature Revisited I, we read sections of creation myths, national epics, and ancient poetry. The reading load is doable and class discussions mostly focus on the issue of translation and critiques of the text, as opposed to the plot. Ati did an incredible job adapting to Zoom and is the most responsive professor I have had post-COVID. She is highly accommodating and approachable. Whether communicating over Zoom or email, Ati is very personable and will always provide you with thorough recommendations/resources.

Jan 2021

This is the best professor I've ever had at Barnard! She is so incredibly understanding, open-minded, and knowledgeable. She really puts the emphasis on allowing student contribution to lead the class and incorporates our discussion posts within everything. I don't know a single person in my class who didn't love her seriously. The readings are always interesting and she just lets us enjoy them and organically bring in our thoughts without having to be a critical literary genius. The class itself was really great and opened my eyes up to a lot of issues existing within the translation. Continuously throughout the class, we question what World Literature even is. The workload is not bad at all! This was one of my chillest classes. Above all, though it's the Prof that really made the class shine and made my week every time we had class. Definitely have to take a class with her!

Dec 2020

Ati is the kindest and most approachable professor I've had at Barnard. She truly understands the importance of flexibility and student participation in building on the course itself. I had her for two semesters back to back in World Literature I and II, and her choice of texts was pretty expansive which made the class really interesting. Each week, she asks for a discussion post on the readings, which can be just 3-4 sentences, that acts as a journal for recording initial thoughts on the texts. In class, she lectures during the first half and lets students react to each other's discussion posts in the latter half. The lectures themselves were admittedly a little dry but gave the necessary background for beginning to understand the texts. For discussions, the group of students you are with definitely makes the bulk of the experience, since it is more of a free space to react to each other than planned with a set topic list or goal. In my first semester, the group of students I was with participated a lot so the discussion was very lively. In the second semester, there were only 6 of us and not everyone wanted to talk all day, so discussions would lag more. Overall, I think every English major should take this class to broaden their definition of literature, and with a professor like Ati, the experience is only enriched.