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Dr. Samina Najmi

Samina NajmiDr. Samina Najmi came to Fresno State in 2006 from Boston, where she taught courses in Asian American literature and Gender Studies at Babson College. She received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and her doctorate from Tufts University. At Fresno State she teaches courses in contemporary multiethnic U.S. literature (Engl 179) and core courses in the major (Engl 32, 105). She also enjoys teaching GE courses (Engl 103) and the upper-division writing workshop (Engl 160W). Her topics courses have included: "Multiethnic Memoirs," "Literature of the U.S.-Iraq Wars," "South Asian American Women Writers and Filmmakers," and "Middle Eastern American Literature." She also offers topics courses in Asian American literature on the graduate level (Engl 250T).

In addition to critical essays on Naomi Shihab Nye, Brian Turner, Nora Okja Keller, Carlos Bulosan, Onoto Watanna/Winnifred Eaton, Sui Sin Far, and Charles Chesnutt, her scholarly publications include Form and Transformation in Asian American Literature (U of Washington P, 2005), coedited with Zhou Xiaojing; White Women in Racialized Spaces (SUNY, 2002), coedited with Rajini Srikanth, and the reissue of The Heart of Hyacinth (U of Washington P, 2000), by Onoto Watanna, Asian America's first-known novelist. In recent years Dr. Najmi's research has focused on war narratives and post-9/11 literature. Her essay, "Narrating War: Arab and Muslim American Aesthetics"--on the writings of Suheir Hammad, Naomi Shihab Nye, Wafaa Bilal, Mohsin Hamid, and H.M. Naqvi--appears in The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature (2015), edited by Rajini Srikanth and Min Song. Dr. Najmi was among twenty-one writers nationwide to contribute an address on the state and future of Asian American literature for the twentieth anniversary of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in 2017.

In 2011, Dr. Najmi enrolled in a creative writing course that inspired her creative nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including World Literature Today (2017). Penguin Random House's online magazine Signature refers to her "Triptych" as an example of the possibilities of the genre. Her memoir "Abdul" won Map Literary's 2012 nonfiction prize. 

Having lived on three continents, Dr. Najmi is happy to call Fresno home and watch her two children, her students, and her succulents grow around her.

Recent publications available online:

Benign Baggage” in Entropy

Triptych” in World Literature Today

First Thanksgiving Without Them” in Mothers Always Write

"Ring In the New" in Warscapes

How I Became the Other Type of Soccer Mom” in Paste

The Cab Driver and I” in Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature

“Applause” in Damselfly

Greenford’s Gift” in The Rumpus

She Leaves Me, She Leaves Me Not” in BioStories