I am the College’s tutor for undergraduate and postgraduate Oriental Studies students. My main teaching is in modern Arabic literature (1800 to the present). My lectures and seminars include surveys of the subject as well as in-depth study in the form of special and further subjects and postgraduate options.
I have a BA in English and Linguistics from the University of Tunis, Tunisia. My MA and PhD in comparative literature were completed at Washington University in St Louis. Before joining the University of Oxford, I taught at the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St Louis in the US and, prior to that, at the University of Exeter in Britain where I was also Director of the Centre for Mediterranean Studies. I have been at St John’s since 2010.
My key research interests include modern Arabic literature in relation to its past, to its socio-political contexts and to world literature. I have particular interest in issues of narrative form, cultural politics and comparative literature. I welcome postgraduate applications from students interested in these fields. In addition to focused essays, which range from classical Arabic literature, the Arabic novel, Francophone literature of North African and cultural politics, I published a book on the writer al-Mas’adi from a comparative perspective (Routledge, 2006), edited The Novelization of Islamic Literatures: the intersections of Western, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Turkish Traditions (2007) and published three monographs in collaboration with historians Abdeljalil Temimi, Maria Fusaro and Colin Heywood and (2002 and 2003 and 2010).