Candidate, Ph.D. Program: Near Eastern Studies: Arabic Language and Literature
As a student of literature and language – Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and French – with a focus on modern Arabic literature, I am interested in linguistic, generic, and formal innovation, and interactions between literature and the environment in which it is produced, circulated, and read. Among my central concerns are the influence of social media networks and other new media on literature, both its content and medium, and how these modes of communication and other new trends interrelate with established traditions. I also study means of categorizing and delineating literary movements, periods, and scenes, and attempts to theorize newness.
My dissertation investigates formal and thematic trends and linguistic innovation in an understudied and often misunderstood body of Egyptian literature written over the course of the 1990s and up to the January 25 revolution of 2011. My analyses draw in key actors in the Cairo literary scene in those years, including writers, literary awards, state ministries, publishers, literary criticism, books (as physical commodities) and others.
• Egyptian literature, 20th- and 21st-century Arabic literature
• The nahda
• Arab uprisings
• History of the book and new media studies
• Literary theory
• Cultural studies
• Teaching Arabic as a foreign language
• CairoBookStop (http://cairobookstop.wordpress.com/): a noncommercial web-project that Michele Henjum and I created and maintain that provides basic information about and a map to Cairo's literary publishers and bookstores.