She taught English literature at the University of Tehran and Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai University in Iran. She was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the veil and left Iran in 1997. She now is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. Her new memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, is about the book club she formed with seven of her former women students to read and discuss forbidden Western literature. They read Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita.