Samina Najmi came to Fresno State in 2006 from Massachusetts, where she taught courses in Asian American literature and Gender Studies at Babson College. She received her B.A. Honors in English from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and her graduate degrees 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 (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 courses in Asian American literature on the graduate level (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--is forthcoming in The Cambridge History of Asian America, edited by Min Song and Rajini Srikanth.
In 2011, when Fresno State hosted CSU Summer Arts for the thirteenth and final time, Samina Najmi enrolled in a creative writing course that has inspired essays in creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in print journals such as Pilgrimage, Gargoyle, Asian American Literary Review, Chautauqua, and The Progressive. 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 citrus grow.
Recent publications available online:
"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
“Abdul” in Map Literary: A Journal of Contemporary Literature