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MemberElizabeth M. Holt

At Bard, I direct the Middle Eastern Studies program, and teach courses on Arabic language and literature, literary theory, the global cultural cold war, empire and Arabic literature, the 19th and 20th century Arabic Nahḍah, 1001 Nights, Arabic poetry, and Palestinian literature.  I serve as Associate Editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature, and am the author of Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel (Fordham 2017).  I am presently finishing a second monograph, Imperious Plots: Arabic Literature in the Cold War.

MemberVeli N. Yashin

Veli N. Yashin is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He holds a PhD in Arabic and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and he is the winner of the 2013 Horst Frenz Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. Yashin’s work focuses on modern Arabic and Turkish literatures and more broadly engages the theoretical implications of the complex entanglement between cultural and political representation. His current book project, tentatively titled Disorienting Figures: The Rhetoric of Sovereignty between the Arab and the Turk, argues for the disorienting force of new techniques of writing and reading in the emergence of literary modernity in Arabic and Turkish and the transformations of Ottoman sovereignty in its long-nineteenth century. Bringing together examples of fiction, poetry, drama, travelogue, literary history and criticism, political edicts and commentary published in Arabic and Turkish, Disorienting Figures analyzes emergent conceptualizations of literary and authorial authority in tandem with critical reconsiderations of Ottoman sovereignty. Through its comparative historical and theoretical frame, this project uncovers an hitherto unstudied archive around questions of authority and representation to argue for the entanglement of the rhetorical figuration of the sovereign with the political reconfiguration of the author. In doing so, Disorienting Figures not only shows the fundamental role of literature in the making of modern politics in the Ottoman Empire, but also reveals obscured currents of cultural and political exchange between Arabic and Turkish in light of a shared Ottoman past—a past whose unsettled legacies still inform issues of cultural and political representation in the Middle East today. Yashin’s research and teaching interests include the post-Ottoman world; the relationship between area studies and literary scholarship; conceptions of authority and sovereignty; legacies of German romanticism; histories and future(s) of philology; and Mediterranean studies.

MemberLevi Thompson

Levi Thompson holds a BA in History and Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he grew up in the Appalachian Mountains. He has an MA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Arabic Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation, Speaking Laterally: Transnational Poetics and the Rise of Modern Arabic and Persian Poetry in Iraq and Iran (https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3bq9v3sc), brings together the theoretical richness of Comparative Literature and the philological rigor of Area Studies to critically investigate the development of literary modernism in the Middle East. After completing his PhD in 2017, Levi was the Artemis A.W. and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies at the Pembroke Center at Brown University, where he was a member of the Pembroke Seminar organized on the topic “The Cultures of Pacifism.” While at Brown, he transformed a dissertation chapter into the forthcoming article “An Iraqi Poet and the Peace Partisans: Transnational Pacifism and the Poetry of Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb,” to appear in College Literature. He is currently working on several projects, including a book manuscript tentatively titled Re-Orienting Modernism: East-East Poetic Exchange in Arabic and Persian, a book chapter about the Iranian leftist poet Aḥmad Shāmlū for a collection on Persian literature as world literature, and translations of poetry and prose by the Syro-Palestinian poet Ramy al-Asheq, among others. Levi teaches courses covering modern Middle Eastern literature, cinema, and culture more broadly, with a focus on the Arabic- and Persian-speaking worlds during the twentieth century. While studying Arabic in Cairo during the 2011 uprising, Levi co-founded Tahrir Documents, a digital archive of paper ephemera distributed by protestors in Tahrir Square which a group of volunteers collected, translated into English, and made available online.

MemberHannah Boast

I am a Teaching Fellow in Contemporary and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Birmingham. I joined Birmingham in 2016 after completing my PhD, which was co-supervised between the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York and Geography at the University of Sheffield. My research examines literature and world water crisis. I am currently completing my first monograph, titled Hydrofictions: Water, Power and Politics in Israeli and Palestinian Literature, for Edinburgh University Press. My wider interests are in the politics of natural resources, histories of environmentalism, and popular culture. My next project extends the ‘hydrofictions’ frame to examine literary and cultural responses to water crisis in a comparative, global context. Developing the critical project begun by scholars of ‘petrofiction’, I bring together works from countries including America, Canada, China, Finland and India in order to theorise the ways in which imagining water scarcity becomes the vehicle for a range of geopolitical anxieties around the potential for resource scarcity to lead to shifts in the global balance of power and economic order. I am particularly interested in the formal strategies used to imagine water contamination or crisis, and the extent to which work on petrofictions can be usefully applied (or not) to thinking about water and world literature. The first research to come out of this project will be an article on the work of the contemporary Canadian poet Rita Wong as ecofeminist ‘hydrofiction’, and an outline of the ‘hydrofictions’ theoretical approach. I am also  working on an article on gender and ‘pop militarism’ in contemporary Israeli culture. At Birmingham, I convene the third-year module Feminist Killjoys: Theories of Gender and Sexuality, and teach on a range of modules in contemporary and postcolonial literature. I previously convened the module Modern Tragedy, and convened the third-year module Modern Arabic Literature at the University of York.

MemberRamzi Salti

Ramzi Salti, Ph.D. Lecturer of Arabic, Author & Radio Host Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2006 ___ My Stanford Faculty Page: https://profiles.stanford.edu/ramzi-salti My Arabology Blog: http://www.arabology.org Arabology on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/arabology My Arabology Podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/arabology Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ramzisalti LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ramzisalti Stanford DLCL Page: https://dlcl.stanford.edu/people/ramzi-salti