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Student spotlight: Atussa Mohtasham

Jun 16 2018

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Atussa Mohtasham graduates this weekend with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and German Studies, as well as a minor in Global Studies. "I chose these subjects with an interest in modernity, and how this phenomenon has played out across cultures," she says.

Her favorite class at Stanford was the Persian Literature survey course with Shervin Emami, and she also enjoyed the Global 101 gateway course: "it was extremely effective in providing me with basic knowledge on the major global political movements of our age,” she says. “It's given me a sense of grounding and greater ability to understand and participate in political discussions."

For her capstone project, Atussa explored the philosophical underpinnings of Ghazals by Hafez, through a directed reading, in both English and Persian, with Professor Abbas Milani. This culminated in a paper: "An Altar of Yearning: The Concept of Truth in Classical Persian Literature," in which she explored how the concept of truth is presented as something sensory, subjective, and multiperspectival in the poems of Hafez and stories of Nizami. "This alternative vision of truth represented in literature is a deeply anti-clerical, anti-metaphysical gesture," she says. "I then explored the ethical implications of this concept of truth."

Atussa says she is most proud of making the most of Stanford’s study-abroad opportunities: "Building a worldly perspective was pertinent both to my intellectual and personal growth," she says. During her undergraduate career, she studied in Oxford, Switzerland, Germany, and Tajikistan.

In the fall, she will start a Ph.D. program in German studies at Princeton University.

Congratulations Attusa and best of luck!

Please join us in congratulating the class of 2018! As the academic year draws to a close, we are highlighting students graduating from across our 14 programs. Click here to view more student spotlights.