My research focuses on the politics of representing the past in modern Spanish and Arabic literature and culture.
I am currently working on two book projects related to my interest in modern Hispano-Arab cultural interactions. The first book, an expansion and substantial revision of my doctoral dissertation, is the first comparative study of Spanish colonialism in Morocco based on both Spanish and Moroccan sources, in the original Spanish and Arabic. The book, tentatively titled Africa Begins in the Pyrenees, Europe Ends in the Atlas, explores the ways in which Spanish and Moroccan writers used the history of al-Andalus (medieval Muslim Iberia) as a framework for understanding Spanish colonialism in Morocco.
My second book project, tentatively titled The Invention of al-Andalus, explores the long cultural afterlife of al-Andalus in several different Mediterranean contexts. The book reflects upon the malleability of al-Andalus as a historical legacy that is simultaneously claimed by competing cultural and political actors. The historical memory of al-Andalus has been put to the service of diverse and contradictory projects in a variety of different national contexts: including Spain, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. While my first book focuses on literature and historiography, my second book traces the cultural afterlife of al-Andalus in literary texts but also in other forms of cultural representation, such as film, television, and tourism.
In addition to my academic publications, I have also pursued literary journalism and creative non-fiction in such venues as NPR, the BBC, The Boston Globe, The American Scholar, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and McSweeney’s. A commitment to the public life of ideas shapes my identity as a scholar and as a teacher.
Recent and Selected Publications
“Proyectando al-Andalus: Alegorías andalusíes en el cine árabe moderno,” forthcoming in Los andalusíes (Barcelona: Anthropos, 2014).
“The Invention of Al-Andalus: Discovering the Past and Creating the Present in Granada’s Islamic Tourism Sites,” forthcoming in The Journal of North African Studies 19.1 (2014).
“The Beginning (or End) of Moroccan History: Historiography, Translation, and Modernity in Ahmad b. Khalid al-Nasiri and Clemente Cerdeira.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 44 (2012): 399-420.
“Study Abroad.” Harvard Review 40 (2011): 210-218.
Critical edition of La venganza venturosa by Lope de Vega. Introduction, text, notes, and critical apparatus. In Comedias de Lope Vega. Parte X. Lérida: Editorial Mileno; Departament de Filologia Espanyola de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2010. 231-359.
“The Road to Damascus.” New England Review 31.3 (2010): 168-175. Cited in The Best American Travel Writing 2011. Ed. Sloane Crosley and Jason Wilson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
“Letter from Algeria: Waiting for a Goal.” The American Scholar Fall 2010: 6-11. Cited in The Best American Sports Writing 2011. Ed. Jane Leavy and Glenn Stout. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
“Letter from Madrid.” McSweeney’s Quarterly 34 (Spring 2010): 13-15.
“The Blind Plumber of Tetouan.” Virginia Quarterly Review Winter 2010: 102-113.
“Letter from Morocco: The Living and the Dead.” The American Scholar Fall 2009: 7-11.
“The Violence Network.” Ideas Section. Boston Sunday Globe. January 18, 2009. C1-C2. Reprinted in “Best Columns: The U.S.” section. The Week. January 30, 2009: 12.