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Personal profile

Biography

I have been educated and worked in both Egypt and the UK. I acquired my undergraduate degree in Political Science in 1989 from the American University in Cairo. In 1993, I attained my first MA degree in Women's Studies from Exeter University. After a few years, I started my second MA in English and Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo, under the supervision of Professor Ferial Ghazoul. My research focused on narratives of postcolonial cities including the work of such novelists as Salman Rushdie, Abdurrahman Munif, and Isabel Allende.

I was a Fellow at the Department of English and Comparative Literature and assistant at Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics at the American University in Cairo (1997-1999). I attained the second MA degree in 2002; and in 2003, I came to Manchester University to start my PhD research in Comparative and Postcolonial Literature under the supervision of Professor Terry Eagleton at the department of English and American Studies. My PhD dissertation is entitled 'Re-Cycling the Flâneur: The Image of the Narrator in Three Postcolonial Novels on the Cities of Cairo, Karachi, and Beirut'.

My research for the MA and PhD in Comparative Literature has focused on the changes and transformations of the city as represented in the postcolonial novel. I have worked on both postcolonial and Marxist theory and criticism and have studied novels written in both English and Arabic.

I attained my PhD degree in the summer of 2007; and from September 2007 to August 2011, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Modern Arab Cultural History at the department of Middle Eastern Studies, and was affiliated to the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW). My postdoctoral research focused on the literary and cinematic representations of Beirut during and after the Lebanese civil war.

From September 2011 to July 2021, I held the post of Lecturer in Arabic and Comparative Literature. During this period, I have developed and expanded my research remit and publications. My research portfolio demonstrates an established record and trajectory, and a substantial volume of high quality peer-reviewed publications which encompass an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of comparative literature, cinema studies, gender politics and popular culture.

From January to June 2020, I held the prestigious post of Visiting Professor with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Doha, Qatar), one of the leading higher education institutions in the Arab world. I taught on the Women's Studies MA Programme in the department of Middle Eastern Studies. I introduced a new course ‘Women and Gender in the Literature and Cinema of the Middle East and North Africa’ which is based on feminist approaches and aesthetics in literature and cinema. I also taught a course on 'Documentary Filmmaking in the Arab World' during the summer session.

The interdisciplinary scope of my research agenda is of tangible benefit to my research-driven teaching, giving students access to a range of theories and concepts including feminist, postcolonial, modernist and postmodernist frameworks with which to understand the Arab world’s vast cultural diversity.

 

Research interests

My research portfolio is interdisciplinary and diverse covering literature, cinema, gender politics and popular culture. My most recent publication is a monograph co-written with Dr Amina Elbendary (The American University in Cairo), entitled The Egyptian Coffeehouse: Culture, Politics and Urban Space (I.B. Tauris, 2020). https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/egyptian-coffeehouse-9780755635245 

In June 2016, I started a three-year AHRC-funded research project entitled 'Politics and Popular Culture in Egypt: Contested Narratives of the 25 January Revolution and its Aftermath'. I have taken part as a Co-Investigator on this project, which has yielded new research findings, publications and a digital archive (https://egyptrevolution2011.ac.uk). The project was implemented together with Dr Nicola Pratt as Principal Investigator (Warwick University), and Dr Dina Rezk (Reading University) as Co-Investigator. Our most recent publication is a co-edited special issue entitled “Politics and Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: Beyond Domination and Resistance”, in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 48:1 (2021).

My current research project focuses on post-2011 fiction and translation by Arab authors at home and abroad. The aim of this project is to bring together intersecting voices of authors and translators, male and female, in the Arab world and the diaspora around issues of migration, displacement, shifts in gender roles, political conflict, and notions of identity and the homeland. Through this investigation, I aim to assess new directions in writing and translation by Arab writers as well as the centrality of the literary digital sphere.

 

 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES); The Middle East Studies Association (MESA); The Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA).

Other research

Research areas

  • Comparative Literature; Middle Eastern Cinema; Popular Culture in the Arab World; Translation in the Arab World; Postcolonial Theory and Criticism

Other teaching information

Teaching areas

  • Arabic and Comparative Literature; Arab Cinema; Popular Culture in MENA

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

External Examiner for the Arabic Language programme - University of Kent

20202024

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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