Classical Arabic Literature
2019 – present: Associate Professor – Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
2013 – 2019: Assistant Professor – Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
2013 – present: Associate Member – The Centre for Comparative Literature and the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
I am currently working on a book manuscript examining al-Jahiz’s ninth-century Book of Animals. The book deals with al-Jahiz’s language theory, particular his semantics, in relation to the example of animal categories and al-Jahiz’s critique of Aristotelian classification and definition. As part of my investigation of al-Jahiz’s thinking about how words mean, the book addresses comparisons between humans and animals, and the theological, logical, and literary ramifications of making such comparisons.
At the same time, I am working on an article on the shifting afterlife of al-Jahiz’s language theory in later Islamicate thinking. And I am compiling sources for a second project on Arabic disputational rhetoric in the ninth century and before, as presented in narratives of fictional and historical disputes, as well as in discussions of the art of rhetorical disputation.
NMC 255: Arabic Literature in Translation
NMC 256: 1001 Nights Around the World
NML 412/NMC 2130: Survey of Classical Arabic Literature
“Bayān, Genre, and Gesture: Al-Jurjānī’s Self-Positioning,” forthcoming in Journal of Abbasid Studies.
“Man is Not the Only Speaking Animal: Thresholds and Idiom in al-Jahiz” in Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: a Festschrift for Everett K. Rowson, ed. Shawkat Toorawa and Joseph Lowry (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 94-121.
“What It Means to Be a Son: Adam, Language, and Theodicy in a Ninth-Century Dispute” Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 16 (2016), 60-79.
Book review of: James Montgomery, In Praise of Books, JNES April 2016.
Book review of: Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arabic Science in Arab Studies Journal Vol. 20 No. 1 Spring, 2012, pp. 209-213.