Persis Karim
Persis Karim, Ph.D.

Outstanding Professor Award
San José
English and Comparative Literature

Teaching is a fundamental vehicle for citizenship. When we have empathy for others who might not enjoy the same privileges that we have, we discover our capacity for understanding.

Persis Karim, professor of English and Comparative Literature, received the Outstanding Professor Award, which recognizes a faculty member for overall excellence in academic assignment. Karim is the editor of three anthologies of Iranian-American writing, the coordinator of San Jose State’s Middle East Studies program and director of Persian Studies. In her work as a poet, professor and scholar, Karim creates an inclusive space for students to ask big questions and discover their voices. In 2016 she produced "Together Tea", a play based on the diaspora novel by Marjan Kamali and adapted by SJSU Communication Studies Professor Matthew Spangler. This is just one example of her efforts to diversify the representation of Iranian-Americans and expose students to the world of literature.