Who We Are

Persis Karim

Neda Nobari Distinguished Chair and Director

Persis KarimPersis Karim is the Neda Nobari Chair of the newly-established Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and a professor in the Comparative and World Literature department at SF State.

Karim received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1999-2017, she was a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University, where she taught courses in English, American literature, world literature, ethnic literature, creative writing and Middle Eastern studies. She coordinated the Middle Eastern Studies minor program from 2010-2017 and was the founding director of the Persian Studies Program. 

Karim is the editor/co-editor of three anthologies of Iranian diaspora literature: Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (2013); Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (2006), and A World Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian-Americans (1999). She has written numerous articles on modern Iranian literature and Iranian diaspora literature for journals such as Iranian Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States. She is also a published poet.

Photo Credit: Hamid Mozaffari

Kathy Bruin

Program Assistant

Kathy Bruin

Kathy Bruin is the Program Assistant at the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies where she is in charge of administrative and operational functions including event planning, website content management, and production of print collateral and the Center’s digital newsletter. As a teenager, Bruin lived with her family in Tehran, Iran which generated a lifelong interest in Iran and Iranian culture. Their stay was cut short in December, 1978 by the Iranian Revolution.

Bruin has 30 years of experience in publishing, event management, logistics and site operations. From 2012-2015 she was the Operations Manager at Impact Hub San Francisco, a 700-member co-working space focused on Social Entrepreneurship. In 2016 & 2017 she worked with Next Steps Marketing where she produced the digital magazine for the Port of San Francisco. In 1995 she founded About-Face, a media literacy campaign for girls and women which has evolved to combat the impact of social media and the culture at large.  

Bruin is a blogger, cartoonist, and published essayist. In 2017 she won Honorable Mention in the Keats Soul-Making Literary Contest for her memoir piece One Good Egg. She makes greeting cards starring her original “Snappy” people, and a game she developed called the Fox Box.

Photo Credit: Miles Buhrmann