Mohammad R. Salama

Mohammad R. Salama

Mohammad R. Salama

Chair

Professor

Arabic: Classical Arabic; Qur’anic Studies; Comparative Literature; Intellectual History, Postcolonialism

I am a comparatist by training, post-colonialist by way of theory, and a cultural materialist when it comes to reading texts. But above all, I am an Arabist, with deep investment in classical texts , the literary features of the Qur'an, and the rise of Arabic literary theory concomitant with the birth of i‘jaz al-Qur’an discourse in the 9th and10th centuries. I am intellectually drawn to literary tafsir, which was a main reason why I wrote The Qur’an and Modern Arabic Literary Criticism. I studied ancient Arabic grammar, pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, classical and modern Arabic literature, literary theory, modern philosophy, and postcolonial cultural trends in the Arab world and Europe. Before I moved to the US to obtain my PhD in comparative literature, I did all my undergraduate work and a good part of my graduate studies in ‘Ayn Shams University-Cairo.

The aftermath of 9/11, however, sparked my interest in writing about the status of Islam in a global world and prompted the writing of my first book, Islam, Orientalism and Intellectual History. Capturing the complexities of Islamophobia in global post-modernity required a particular kind of contextualizing. The chapters on Ibn Khaldūn, Hegel’s disregard of Islamic philosophy and Arabic translations of Plato and Aristotle, as well as the construction of Islam as a historical category in eighteenth and nineteenth-century European thought, for instance, all serve as a crucial prehistory to the troubling misrecognition of Arabs and Muslims in today’s world and invite us to rethink the much-maligned categorizations of “Islam” and “modernity” across the East/West divide.

 I continue to be fascinated by the rise of intellectual thought of visual culture, especially the pre-history of my own upbringing in postcolonial Egypt. This is why I decided to write  Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt, mostly in order to interrogate, but also understand from below, the roots of the tension between the secular and the sacred in the first 50 years of the last century. The point is to radically contextualizes the field of cultural production in modern Egypt in a network of epistemological conditions that underlie them all, establishing necessary links with the historical background of modern Egypt and the socio-political backdrops of intellectual and visual culture in the decades leading to the 1952 military coup and the rise of Nasserism.

Selected Publications

Books:

The Qur’ān and Modern Arabic Literary Criticism: From Țāhā to Naṣr (London: Bloomsbury, May 2018)

Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt: From the Monarchy to the Republic (Cambridge University Press, December 2018)

 Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History: Modernity and the Politics of Exclusion since Ibn Khaldūn (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011)

 German Colonialism: Race, The Holocaust, and Postwar Germany. Co-edited with Volker Langbehn (New York: Columbia UP, 2011)

Recent Articles:

“Cairo in Her Eyes: Space and Gender Dynamics in Naguib Mahfouz’s Bayn al-Qasrayn.” Routledge Handbook on Cairo (Routledge, 2022).

 “The Untranslatability of the Qur’ānic City.” Chapter contribution to The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives. (Edinburgh UP, 2018)

“Fundamentalism” in Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline. Routledge (2017)

 “Naguib Mahfouz, The Postcolonial (Re)Turn” in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. (New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)

 “Postcolonial Arabic Literature” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies (New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)

أدب اﻟﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﺑﯿﻦ اﻟﻤﺮﻛﺰﯾﺔ و اﻟﺘﮭﻤﯿﺶ: ﻗﺮاءة ﻓﻲ اﻷدب اﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ ﻣﺎ ﺑﻌﺪ الآستعمار.

ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics. A Special Issue on World Literature, No. 34 (2014)

“Science in Islam.” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. ( Oxford UP, 2009)

“Arabs and the Arab World.” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford. (Oxford UP, 2008)

 

 

 

 

Expanded Publication List

 Books

2018. The Qur’ān and Modern Arabic Literary Criticism: From Țāhā to Naṣr (London: Bloomsbury, May 2018)

2018. Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt: From the Monarchy to the Republic (Cambridge University Press, December 2018)

2011. Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History: Modernity and the Politics of Exclusion since Ibn Khaldūn (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011) 2011. German Colonialism: Race, The Holocaust, and Postwar Germany. Co-edited with Volker Langbehn (New York: Columbia UP, 2011)

2011. German Colonialism: Race, The Holocaust, and Postwar Germany. Co-edited. (New York: Columbia UP, 2011)

Peer- Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

2023. “A Bridge too Far? Ludovico Marracci’s Translation of the Qur’ān and the Persistence of Medievalism." Co-authored. Boundary2 Vol. 50. No.2 (2023)

2023. “Cairo in Her Eyes: Space and Gender Dynamics in Naguib Mahfouz’s Bayn al-Qasrayn.” Routledge Handbook on Cairo (Routledge, 2023)

2022. “Naguib Mahfouz’s Cinematic Cairo." Co-authored. In Cinematic Cairo: Egyptian Urban Modernity from Reel to Real (AUC, 2022)

2018. “The Untranslatability of the Qur’ānic City.” in The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives (Edinburgh UP, 2017)

2017. “Fundamentalism.” Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline (Routledge, 2017)

2016. “Naguib Mahfouz, The Postcolonial (Re)Turn”  in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies (New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016) http://www.literatureencyclopedia.com/subscriber/uid=2756/tocnode?id=g9781444334982_chunk_g9781444 33498217_ss1-2

2016. “Postcolonial Arabic Literature”  in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies (New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016) http://www.literatureencyclopedia.com/subscriber/uid=2756/tocnode?id=g9781444334982_chunk_g9781444 3349825_ss1-19

2016. “Colonizing a Colonizer: Repression, Myth and Mimesis in Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis.” Journal of Modern Art History Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade 12 (2016): 253-271

2016. “The Dialectic of Writing and Forgetting in Luay Hamza Abbas.” Al-Kalimah [The Word: A Monthly Cultural Review] 105 (January 2016).
http://www.alkalimah.net/article.aspx?aid=7959 

أدب اﻟﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﺑﯿﻦ اﻟﻤﺮﻛﺰﯾﺔ و اﻟﺘﮭﻤﯿﺶ: ﻗﺮاءة ﻓﻲ اﻷدب اﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ ﻣﺎ ﺑﻌﺪ اﻻﺳﺘﻌﻤﺎر 2014. ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics. A Special Issue on World Literature: Perspectives and Debates 34 (2014): 42-66.

2014. “Jean-Luc Godard and the Dilemma of Postcolonial Cinema.” Journal of Modern Art History Department Faculty of Philosophy. University of Belgrade 10 (2014):9-30.

2014. Review Essay of Understanding the Qur’an Today, by Mahmoud Hussein. SCTIW Review, October 2014.http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/310

2012. “Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb.” Co-authored. Arab Studies Journal Vol.20, no. 1 (2012):104-131.

2009. “Science in Islam.” Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009)
http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t236/e0712

2008. “Arabs and the Arab World.” Encyclopedia of the Modern World (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008)
http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195176322.001.0001/acref-9780195176322-e-91?rskey=Yu3Gha&result=92

2007. “Yanko’s Footprints: Edward Said and the Experience of Exile.” Pacific Coast Philology Vol.42, no. 2
(2007):238-253.

2006. “The Ruses of Denshawai: History, Event, Fiction.” Journal of Middle Eastern and North African Cultural and Intellectual Studies Vol.4, no. 1 (2006): 1-29.

2006. “A ‘Salary’ of Death: On Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb’s Ḥaffār al-Qubūr.” Journal of Arabic Literature Vol.37, no. 2 (2006):190-205.

2002. “The Interruption of Myth: A Nancian Reading of Blanchot and al-Bayyātī.” Journal of Arabic Literature Vol.33, no. 3 (2002):248-254.

2001. “The Mise en Scène of Writing in al-Bayyātī’s al-Kitāba ‘Alā al-Țin.” Journal of Arabic Literature. Vol.32, no. 2 (2001):142-166.

2000. “The Aesthetics of ‘Pygmalion’ in G.B. Shaw and Tawfīq al-Ḥakīm.” Journal of Arabic Literature. Vol. 31, no. 3 (2000): 222-237.

 

Book Reviews

2021. Book Review of Hoda El Shakry’s The Literay Qur’ān: Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb (Fordham UP, 2019). Journal of Arabic Literature. Forthcoming, 2021.

2016. Review Essay of The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters, by Muhsin al-Musawi. SCTIW Review, October 2016. http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/862

2015. Review Essay of Immigrant Narratives, by Waïl Hassan. "Kafka and the Anglophone Arabs, or, The Starting Point of Theorizing Arab Immigrant Narratives." SCTIW Review, December 2015.
http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/502

2014. Review of The Arab Nahdah: The Making of the Intellectual and Humanist Movement, by Abdulrazzak Patel. The American Historical Review Vol.119, no. 4 (2014): 1393-1394.

2012. Review of Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times, by Allen James Fromherz. der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East Vol. 89 (2012): 203-207.