I am an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago with affiliations in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality; Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

My research centers on twentieth- and twenty-first century cultural production from North Africa and the Middle East, with an emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics and ethics. My interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching bridge Arabic and Francophone literatures, aesthetic theory, Islamic philosophy, film and visual culture, speculative fiction, as well as gender and sexuality studies. Specializing in Arabophone and Francophone literature, visual culture, and criticism of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), I foreground the region’s multilingualism both within and across languages.

My first book, The Literary Qurʾan: Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb (Fordham University Press, 2019) was awarded the ACLA’s 2018 Helen Tartar Book Subvention Award and the MLA’s 2020 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies. It explores the influence of Qurʾanic textual, hermeneutical, and philosophical traditions on Arabophone and Francophone fiction from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Placing canonical Francophone writers into conversation with lesser-known Arabophone ones, The Literary Qurʾan stages a series of pairings that invite paratactic readings across texts, languages, and literary canons. Challenging the canonization of secular modes of reading that occlude religious epistemes, practices, and intertexts, the study attends to literature as a site in which the process of entextualization obscures ethical imperatives.

My current book project, Printed Matter(s): Critical Histories of Maghrebi Cultural Journals, aggregates and theorizes twentieth-century Arabophone, Francophone, and bilingual journals from the Maghreb. Bridging the humanities and social sciences, Maghrebi cultural journals serialized and published fiction, alongside literary criticism, art and aesthetic theory, as well as political and social commentary. I argue that they reflect a view of cultural edification in which knowledge formation is a mediated and shared social praxis. To that end, the study investigates the concepts, intellectuals, and readership networks that Maghrebi cultural journals staged across North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. These rhizomatic flows of cultural capital signal subversive geopolitical exchanges operating outside the dominant logics of colonial mediation.I am also at work on a study of contemporary speculative and science fiction from the Middle East and North Africa that looks across the mediums of literature, film, and visual culture.

I recently served as the MLA Delegate Assembly representative for the Global Arab and Arab American Forum (2019-2021) and on the executive committee of the Forum on Arabic Literature and Culture (2015-2019). I am part of the Editorial Board of the journal Middle Eastern Literatures and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Modern Literature.

Before joining the University of Chicago in 2019, I was an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Penn State University and a Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA.





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