Mira Zaman

Picture of Mira Zaman

Assistant Professor

EMAIL: mizaman@bmcc.cuny.edu

Office: N782A

Office Hours: Wednesday: 11am-2pm

Phone: +1 (212) 776-6321

Mira Zaman joined the faculty at BMCC in 2019 after completing her doctorate at Fordham University in 2019. Also a CUNY graduate, Mira did her Masters at City College in Manhattan and BA at Barnard College.


Mira’s research interests focus on the social, moral, and political dimensions of persuasion in eighteenth-century literature. She studies the uses and abuses of various rhetorical devices across a wide range of Enlightenment-era texts, and draws upon cognitive literary theory to study how specific rhetorical devices influence mental activity. A major part of Mira’s research centers on satanic persuasion, including forms of deceit and manipulation, as well as the status of the devil across the British Enlightenment period.

Mira is passionate about teaching composition and literature, and is particularly interested in empowering student authors by encouraging them to write assignments for class with the goal of publication. She also values immersive classroom experiences where students can become active agents in the production of knowledge. Mira loves developing exciting interactive projects, in which students physically act out their learning experiences through various forms of collaborative play, such as re-creating fictional trials, holding debates on controversial textual issues, and rewriting and modernizing scenes from ancient literature.


PhD, Fordham University

MA, City College, CUNY

BA, Barnard College, Columbia University

Courses Taught

Research and Projects

Mira’s current book project is called “Satanic Persuasion: The Devil in the Eighteenth-Century Novel,” based on her doctoral research. Challenging the familiar claim that the devil expires against the intellectual and secular forces of the Enlightenment, the book argues that novelists of this era do not actually erase the devil from their narratives, even though devil characters rarely appear in the eighteenth-century novel. Mira argues that novelists like Daniel Defoe, Elizabeth Griffith, and Jane Austen move the devil from the realm of empirical reality to the uncertain territory of the imagination. In so doing, novelists neither guarantee the devil’s presence nor efface it entirely. Navigating this liminal space, they mark a new territory of English novelistic practice that extends the legacy of early modern devil literature and theology, but readjusts its focus to the threat of evil persuasions inside the mind.  The book argues further that the trope of satanic persuasion serves as an important narrative and rhetorical apparatus for novelists to advance their own serious moral investigations into the nature and origin of evil during the Enlightenment period.

You can listen to Mira discuss the devil in the eighteenth century (and beyond) on A Student’s Progress: The Eighteenth Century Podcast.


Peer Reviewed Articles

“Save us from Deceiving Ourselves: What Jane Austen’s Prayers Reveal about Self-Deception in Emma.” Persuasions. No. 41 (2019): pp. 233-246.

“‘Your Reasonings Carry My Judgment”: Deception, Mischief, and Satanic Persuasion in Austen’s Emma.ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews. 29.2 (2016): pp. 67-71.

“Grafting the Texts: An Intertextual Reading of Marvell’s Mower and Garden Poems.” Marvell Studies: 4.1 (2012).

Non-Academic Publications

“A Joyful Dance: The Story of Our Hindu-Muslim, Jewish-Christian Friendship” (co-authored with Samantha Gonzalez-Block) in Uncommon Bonds: Women Reflect on Race and Friendship, Eds. Kersha Smith and Marcella Runell Hall. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2018.



Honors, Awards and Affiliations

Additional Information