Dr. Rita Nezami teaches writing and literature in Stony Brook University’s Writing and Rhetoric Program. Nezami introduces her students to academic writing, research and argumentation as she expands their awareness of global issues through global literature. She strives to build global citizens by teaching world literature and encourages students to read important literary voices from various cultures. Her main focus is postcolonial Francophone and Anglophone literatures from North Africa and South Asia.
Nezami was educated in Dhaka, London, Moscow, Barcelona, Paris and Dallas. She has lived and taught on four continents. Speaking six languages and translating from three, French, Russian and Bengali, Nezami has taught languages and literature for more than 20 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Russian language and literature from Moscow State University and her doctorate in postcolonial Francophone literature and literary translation from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has been a featured reader at the Stony Brook Humanities Institute, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric Reading Series and the American Literary Translators Association conferences since 2003. Nezami has published and presented scholarly papers at conferences in the United States and abroad.
The New Yorker published her translation of a novella, By Fire, by Tahar Ben Jelloun in 2013, and Northwestern University Press published her book of translations, By Fire: Writings on the Arab Spring with a substantial introduction by Nezami, in 2016. She is currently translating a novel on racism in Morocco by Ben Jelloun.
Most recently, Rita Nezami created a new course called Global Literacies that enables students to engage with global issues through world literature, an especially appropriate addition to the PWR curriculum given the university’s culturally rich and diverse student community. Nezami’s future projects include new approaches to broadening students’ perspectives beyond their comfortable cultural boundaries such that they become astute global citizens.