Olin Center 316
Medford, MA 02155
Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature
Program Director, Arabic Program
Ph.D. & M.A. Columbia University
B.A. Hampshire College
Comparative literature, film studies, modern Arabic literature,
modern Persian literature, memory studies, postcolonial studies
I joined Tufts in 2009 and have held prior appointments at Brown University
(2005-2006) and the University of Edinburgh (2006-2009). My teaching at Tufts
includes courses on Arabic literature and to thematic courses on cinema,
cultural history, and comparative courses on cultural memory and trauma studies.
I also teach courses on literary theory for the International Literary and
Visual Studies program.
My research encompasses two areas relating to the study of modern Arabic and
Persian literatures and cultures. First, I study Persian and Arabic literary
history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a focus on
movements of cultural revival or innovation. My first book Literary Modernity
between Europe and the Middle East explored the origins of the conception of
literary modernity in Arabic and Persian literatures, a topic that I have
further addressed in articles and as editor of a special issue of the journal Middle
Eastern Literatures. Second, I research the role of cinema and visual
culture in the formation of cultural memory in conflict and post-conflict social
settings. This research is reflected in my second book, Surviving Images:
Cinema, War and Cultural Memory in the Middle East.
I direct the
Arabic program and have been intimately involved in the formation of the
Colonialism Studies program at Tufts, and serve on the program's executive board.
- Surviving Images: Cinema, War and Cultural Memory in the Middle East.
(Oxford University Press, 2015).
- Literary Modernity Between Europe and the Middle East: Transactions in
Nineteenth-Century Arabic, Persian and English Literatures.
New York: Routledge, 2007.
- Editor of special issue: "Authoring the Nahda: Writing the Arabic 19th
Century" Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures, 16:3, 2013.
Selected Articles and Chapters
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
- "Translations between
Center and Periphery: from Iran to the West" (Roundtable) Southerly Journal,
76:3, June 2017. View Here >
- "Treacherous Memory: Bashu, The Little
Stranger and the Sacred Defense," in Moments of Silence: Literary and
Artistic Narratives of the Iran-Iraq War, Arta Khakpour, M. M. Khorrami and
Sholeh Vatanabadi (eds), New York: New York University Press. 2017. 61-87.
- "Introduction," Tales from the Arabian
Nights, NYC: Race Point Publishing, 2015. ix-xvi.
- "Film Studies" Women in Islamic
Societies, Disciplinary Paradigms and Approaches: 2003-2013. ed. Suad
Joseph, et. al., Leiden Press: Leiden, Netherlands. 2013. 87-102.
- "'Sawwaru Waynkum?' Human
Rights and Social Trauma in Waltz with Bashir," College Literature,
Special Issue: Human Rights and Cultural Forms, 40.3, Summer 2013. 60-80.
- "Balancing Integration and Disintegration: Amir Elsaffar and the
Contingent Avant-Garde," in The Arab Avant Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity.
Thomas Burkhalter, Kay Dickinson and Benjamin Harbert (eds.), Wesleyan
University Press, 2013. 74-89.
- "Global Frames on Afghanistan: The Iranian Mediation of Afghanistan
in International Art-House Cinema," in Globalizing Afghanistan, Terrorism,
War, and the Rhetoric of Nation Building, Zubeda Jalalzai and David Jeffries
(eds.). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2011. 145-164.
- "Mashruteh and al-Nahda: The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in
the Iranian Diaspora Press of Egypt and in Arab Reformist Periodicals," in
Iran's Constitutional Revolution: Popular Politics, Cultural Transformations and
Transnational Connections. Houchang Chehabi and Vanessa Martin (eds.), IB
Tauris, 2010. 357-368.
- "The Glass Agency: Iranian War Veterans as Heroes or Traitors?" in
Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy and the Ethics of State-Building,
Thiranagama, S. and Kelly, T (eds.), Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
University Press, 2010. 188-200.
- "Al-Sinama al-Filistiniyya wa al-sinama al-Kurdiyya wa
mas'alat al-sinama al-wataniyya," (Palestinian and Kurdish Cinemas and The
Question of National Cinema) in Intaj al-ma'rifa 'an al-'alam
al-'Arabi. Hoda Elsadda (ed.) al-Qahira, al-Majlis al-'ala lil
thaqafa, 2010. 273-290.
- "Literary Modernity Between Arabic and Persian Prose: Jurji
Zaydan's Riwayat in Persian Translation," Comparative Critical Studies,
Vol. 4:2, 2007. 359-378.
- "The Unintended Gift: The Adventures of Hajji Baba Ispahani as
Transactional Text," Middle Eastern Literatures. Vol. 10:3, 2007.
- "Trauma and Maturation in Women's War Narratives: The Eye of the
Mirror and Cracking India," Journal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies,
2:3, 2006. 22-47.
- "Literary Transactions in the Changing Value of Alf Layla wa
Layla For Modern Readers," Journal of Arabic Literature, 36:3, 2005.
Co-convenor, Mellon Sawyer Seminar, Tufts University
- Faculty Fellow, Center for Humanities at Tufts University
- Neubauer Faculty Fellow at Tufts University (2010-2011)
- British Academy funding for research network: "Memory,
Trauma and Identity in Literary and Visual Representation in the
Middle East" (2008-2009)
- Funding for program: "New Cinemas of the Arab World" film
festival and academic symposium, funded by EU MedScreen cultural
- Fulbright IIE Fellowship, Cairo, Egypt (2001-2002)
- Critical Studies Fellow, Whitney Museum Independent Study
- Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies
- Visualizing Colonialism
- War and Cultural Memory in Literature and Cinema
- Postcolonial Cinemas
- Modern Arabic Literature
- Middle Eastern Cinemas
- Cultural History of the Modern Middle East