Grace Afsari-Mamagani




My teaching praxis is student-centered, adaptive, and invested in facilitating connections that make content feel relevant and actionable. I encourage students to track the relationships between what they’re reading and their epistemological and political contemporary; in many cases, this kind of networked learning helps both myself and my students open up new pathways for thinking about social justice and possible futures. Most recently, I designed and launched a new summer session course in NYU’s Department of English that introduces students to justice-oriented humanities methods for thinking about data.

Within and beyond the classroom, I try to implement modes of information delivery and evaluation that acknowledge all the different ways in which humans learn, including formative assessments that privilege visual representation, teamwork, reflective writing, and oral/aural modalities. Where possible, I choose open-source publications and learning technologies that prioritize accessibility.

Some things I’ve taught:

Undergraduate courses

as sole instructor:

Readings in Contemporary Literature: Literature & Data (NYU, Summer 2019)
This course uses post-2000 North American novels and poetry as an entry point to questions about data models and apparatuses of information organization, recording, and retrieval. It sets out to introduce students to a theory and history of data informed by critical race and feminist methodologies and asks them to think contemporary ideas about data through legacies of instrumental ethnography, colonialism, capitalism, and nation-building. Readings by: Nikky Finney, M. NourbeSe Philip, Teju Cole, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Safiya Umoja Noble, Jacqueline Wernimont, and others.

View the course site and syllabus here.

as recitation instructor (seminar-style discussion courses complementing large lectures):

American Literature to 1900 (NYU, Spring 2019, with Prof. Thomas Augst)

A survey of early American literature, this course belongs to the four-course introductory sequence in the undergraduate English major at NYU. The syllabus begins with accounts of “contact” in the 17th century by figures like Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and ends with texts in American hemispheric literature (e.g., José Martí), immigrant fiction, and the rise of American realism.

Texts & Ideas: Unbelief in Western Thought (NYU, Fall 2018, with Prof. John Guillory)
This course represents one of the several options in the “Texts & Ideas” category of NYU’s Core Curriculum, a liberal arts sequence required for all undergraduates in the College of Arts and Science. “Unbelief in Western Thought” traces ideas about un- and disbelief through religious, literary, and philosophical texts from Plato to Beckett.

as teaching assistant:

Computing in the Humanities and Arts (NYU, Fall 2014, with Prof. Deena Engel)
This course in NYU’s Computer Science department introduces students (especially CS minors) to computational methods for studying and generating literary, historical, and artistic content. As the course’s teaching assistant, I helped students with assignments in basic Python and web development, in addition to delivering guest lectures and evaluating student performance.


Public workshops

Data Epistemologies / Intro to Data Taxonomies (New York City Digital Humanities Week 2019)



as primary teacher:
Digital editing & publishing (grades 6-10, elective, Cardigan Mountain School, 2012)

as apprentice teacher:
English as a Second Language, Introductory Spanish (grades 6-10, Cardigan Mountain School, 2012)


Professional tutoring

Between 2013 and 2014, I worked as a private tutor for grades 6-10 in New York City. I offered one-on-one and small group instruction in: SAT & SSAT preparation; mathematics (algebra, geometry, precalculus); and reading & writing.