Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi

Instructional Professor of Persian
Pick Hall 303
Office Hours: Friday 10:30-11:30am (please make an appointment by email)
Ph.D., University of Ottawa, 2012
Teaching at UChicago since 2021

Academic Bio

I teach Persian language and culture at all proficiency levels as well as Media Persian and Persian Literary Translation. Before joining the University of Chicago, I taught Persian language and linguistics as well as Persian literature and translation at McGill University (2006-2021), the University of Oxford (2014-2015), the University of Chicago (summer 2008), and Tehran Azad University (1997-2004). My research focuses on teaching and learning Persian as a second language, as well as Persian literary translation. I am interested in applying the theoretical concepts of linguistics and applied linguistics in my teaching of the Persian language to facilitate the acquisition of the language for second language learners of Persian. To that end, I have published four textbooks for Persian learners, namely The Routledge Introductory Persian Course (coauthor, Routledge, 1st edition 2010 and 2nd edition 2020and The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course (coauthor, Routledge, 1st edition 2012 and 2nd edition Forthcoming), The Routledge Advanced Persian Course (author, Routledge, 2020), and What the Persian Media Says (author, Routledge, 2015). In order to make available the research conducted in the field of teaching and learning Persian as a second language to scholars and students, I edited a volume, entitled The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy of Persian (2020) that encompasses theoretical and practical concepts of Persian language teaching and learning. Hence, it is useful both to the instructors and to the students of Persian language. I have also co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Persian Linguistics (2018), to which I have contributed two chapters, one on the history of teaching Persian as a second language, and the other on Persian psycholinguistics.

I have a passion for languages and how they work. Being a multilingual myself, I always find it intriguing to compare and contrast the structure and the lexicon of two or more languages. To that end, I have published a book on how Persian speakers process compound verbs in Persian, namely Processing Compound Verbs in Persian: A Psycholinguistic Approach to Complex Predicates (Leiden and University of Chicago Press, 2014), and a book on the practice of translation, namely Translation Metacognitive Strategies (VDM Verlag, 2009), and recently I co-edited a volume on translating Persian literature into English, entitled The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation (2022). In the practice of translation, I have done some translation for several legal offices and the court in Canada, but when it comes to translating a book, I believe in collaborative translation where a source language native speaker works closely with a target language native speaker. Therefore, I have co-translated four books to date, including a historical book called The Thousand Families: Commentary on Leading Political Figures of Nineteenth Century Iran by Ali Shabani (with Patricia Higgins, Peter Lang, 2018), two novels, namely Hafez in Love: A Novel (Hafez-e Nashenide-Pand) by Iraj Pezeshkzad (with Patricia Higgins, Syracuse University Press, 2021) and Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran (Jazire-ye Sargardani) by Simin Daneshvar (with Patricia Higgins, Syracuse University Press, 2022), and finally a poetry collection, entitled The Eight Books: A Complete English Translation (Hasht Ketab) by Sohrab Sepehri (with Prashant Keshavmurthy, Brill, 2021).

Other than teaching and research, I serve as reviewer for various academic journals, including International Journal of Iranian Studies, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Sage Open Journal, Frontiers in Psychology, International Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, and LINGUA. In addition, I had the honor to serve as President of the American Association of Teachers of Persian from 2018 to 2020. In my free time, I like to spend time with family and friends, in person and on social media, listen to Persian classical music, read Persian novels and poetry, and paint. I also like to go for walks and enjoy nature and architecture.


Selected Publications

Recent & Regularly Taught Courses

  • Elementary Persian (PERS 10101, 10102, & 10103)
  • Intermediate Persian (PERS 20101, 20102, & 20103)
  • Media Persian (PERS 20500)
  • Persian Literary Translation (PERS 20502)
Subject Area: Persian Language Program