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 am the author of Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel (Fordham 2017), and am presently finishing a second monograph, Imperious Plots: Arabic Literature in the Cold War.


Ph.D., Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Languages and Culture, Columbia University

B.A., Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Work Shared in CORE

Book chapters

Other Publications


Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel(Fordham UP 2017)

            Michelle Hartman in the Journal of Arabic Literature(2018)

            Ghenwa Hayek in Middle Eastern Literatures(2018)                                                https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1475262X.2019.1573540

Imperious Plots: Cultural Infiltration and Arabic Literature in the Cold War(in process)

Arabic at Sea(in process)

Articles and Book Chapters

“Al-Ṭayyib Ṣāliḥ’s Season of Migration to the North, the CIA, and the Cultural Cold War after Bandung,” Research in African LiteraturesSpecial Issue on African Literary History, the Cold War and “World Literature,edited by Bhakti Shringapure and Monica Popescu(forthcoming 2019). 
“Cairo and the Cultural Cold War for Afro-Asia,” Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties, edited by Chian Jen, Martin Klimke, Masha Kirasirova, Mary Nolan, Marilyn Young, and Joanna Waley-Cohen (New York: Routledge, 2018). 
“Cold War in the Arabic Press: Ḥiwār(Beirut, 1962-67) and the Congress for Cultural Freedom,” Campaigning Culture and the Global Cold War: The Journals and Networks of Congress for Cultural Freedom, edited by Charlotte Lerg and Giles Scott-Smith (New York: Palgrave, 2017).
The Story of Zahraand Its Critics: Feminism and Agency at War,” Arabic Literature for the Classroom: Teaching Methods, Theories, Themes and Texts, edited by Muhsin al-Musawi (New York: Routledge, 2017). 
“Narrating the Nahda: The Syrian Protestant College, Al-Muqtataf, and the Rise of Jurji Zaydan,” AUB: One Hundred and Fiftyedited by Nadia El Cheikh, Lina Choueri, and Bilal Orfali (Beirut: American University of Beirut Press, 2016).
“‘A Fabrication in Fabrication’: Yaʿqūb Ṣarrūf’s Fatāt Miṣr[The Girl of Egypt] and the Fictions of Finance in Colonial Egypt,” Al-Abhath64(2016).
“From Gardens of Knowledge to Ezbekiyya after Midnight:  The Novel and the Arabic Press from Beirut to Cairo, 1870-1892,” Middle Eastern Literatures16:3 Special Issue on Authoring the Nahḍa: Writing the Arabic 19th Century, edited by Kamran Rastegar (December 2013 print/2014 online).
“‘Bread or Freedom?’: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the CIA and the Arabic Literary Journal Ḥiwār(1962-67),” Journal of Arabic Literature 44:1 (2013).  
“Narrative and the Reading Public in 1870s Beirut,” Journal of Arabic Literature40:1 (2009).
 “‘In a Language that Was Not His Own’: On Ahlam Mustaghanami’s NovelDhakirat al-Jasad and Its French TranslationMémoires de la chair,” Journal of Arabic Literature39:1 (2008).  
Reprinted inArabic Literary Thresholds: Sites of Rhetorical Turn in Contemporary Scholarship,edited by Muhsin J. al-Musawi, Leiden, NL: Brill, 2009.
“Cartography and Clandestinitéin Leïla Sebbar’s Shérazade: 17 ans, brune, frisée, les yeux verts,” Dialectical Anthropology29, nos. 3-4 (September 2005). 


Translations from the Arabic with critical and historical introductions of 
            – “Henry and Emilia” (short story published in Al-Jinān1870) by Adelaide al-Bustani
            – “Selected Anecdotes and Announcements from the 1870s Beirut Press,” 
            The Arab Renaissance: Anthology of Nahda Thought, Literature, and Language, edited by Tarek El-Ariss for the MLA series Texts and Translations, 2018.


Modern Languages Association

Middle Eastern Studies Association

African Literature Association

American Comparative Literature Association

Elizabeth M. Holt

Profile picture of Elizabeth M. Holt


active 1 week, 5 days ago