Amirah Goldberg, who graduates this year with a degree in political science and a minor in global studies, with a specialization in Iranian studies, says one of her favorite memories from her time at Stanford was sitting just a few feet away from Marjane Satrapi, a French-Iranian film director, at the 10th Annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts. She fondly remembers “getting a personalized, autographed copy of Persepolis,” a graphic memoir the author wrote about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. “I hold it dearly,” said Amirah.
She decided to pursue a minor to add an interdisciplinary perspective to her studies. “For someone whose mantra is ‘the personal is political,’ political science was an obvious choice. It wasn’t as easy as that though, as my scholarly interests are interdisciplinary,” she said. “That’s where global studies came into the picture.”
Amirah says she is grateful to the faculty and staff in the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies, who have been an integral part of her Stanford journey and critical to her growth as an individual. “They were the mentors that I needed, and even once I am gone, I will still think of them often and look up to them as role models,” she shared.
Over the past four years at Stanford, Amirah says she is most proud of the person she has grown into and the resilience she has developed. Her resilience has been put to the test in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced her to leave campus and return home. “What I miss most about being on campus is the human connection I used to have with professors, and the psychosomatic experience of the movement of diverse bodies around me amidst the subtly grand buildings,” she explained.
Next year, she is looking forward to starting a master’s degree program at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “My Iranian Studies minor has opened a variety of intellectual doors through intensive language training, and the opportunity to study Iranian cinema and politics,” she said. “It is through these doors that I will be moving onto my graduate studies, where Persian literature and film are likely to be front and center.”