Mina Shah is from South Salem, New York, where her parents and two dogs still live. She finished her undergraduate degree at Stanford in Comparative Literature and wrote an honors thesis comparing the different ways that the authors of two novels from West Africa employed techniques of disorientation and reorientation to open space for cultural self-determination within each of the novels. Mina has spent two summers working in Accra and Takoradi, Ghana with the West Africa AIDS Foundation, helping with outreaches and writing projects, as well as conducting two interview-based studies. She is committed to public service in a variety of different capacities and has worked closely with the Haas Center for Public Service during her undergraduate career, both on fellowships and in a peer-advising capacity.
Mina is interested in representations of Africa in literature, particularly in literature coming out of the African continent. As an M.A. student, she plans to explore African literary history and connections between literature and politics in Africa.