Meet the new faculty members in Asian Studies

As we kick off the new academic year, we’d also like to extend a huge welcome to our new faculty members joining us this year! We’ve asked each of our new faculty member to tell us a little bit about themselves.

Mostafa Abedinifard—Assistant Professor in Modern Persian Literature and Culture

A literary and cultural critic and historian with a passion for modern Iranian and Persianate literatures and cultures, Mostafa Abedinifard has a diverse range of teaching and research interests. Before rejoining the Department of Asian Studies in his current position, he served as Assistant Professor Without Review of Persian Literary Culture and Civilization. Dr. Abedinifard has been organizing the Alireza Ahmadian Lectures in Iranian and Persianate Studies since 2018.

Nesrine Basheer—Assistant Professor of Teaching in Arabic

Nesrine Basheer is an applied linguist and a specialist in teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL). Her research interests include the teaching and assessment of writing and the multidialectal approach to teaching Arabic. Dr. Basheer is passionate about advancing Arabic first and second language education at the K-12 and tertiary levels. Prior to UBC, she had taught Arabic at the American University in Cairo, the United Nations, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Maryland, and more recently, the University of Sydney.

Zoe Lam—Lecturer in Cantonese Language

Zoe Lam’s interest in speech perception and heritage language maintenance led her to complete her Ph.D. in Linguistics at UBC, where she investigated how heritage speakers of Cantonese in Canada perceive tones. As an advocate of knowledge mobilization, she works closely with community members, and is the instructor of a Cantonese Saturday School held at the Mon Keang School in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Dr. Lam is also a faculty associate of UBC Language Sciences and UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative.

Li-Jung Lee—Lecturer in Chinese Language

As a lecturer for both heritage and non-heritage Chinese courses, Li-Jung Lee believes learning should be meaningful and fun. Only then will students be able to overcome their frustrations and become life-long learners. For her, the satisfaction of teaching comes when students immerse themselves in the language and share their ideas in Chinese confidently. Prior to her position as a Lecturer, Lee Laoshi was a Visiting Lecturer in Chinese.

Janet Um—Lecturer in Sanskrit Language and Literature

Janet Um is a scholar of Sanskrit literature and the literary histories of premodern South Asia. Her current work explores the relationship between narrative, literary genre, and conceptions of the author in Sanskrit prose literature. Her broader research interests include narrative traditions across South Asia, the aesthetics of sociability, gender history, and Sanskrit language pedagogy.