Professor of the Practice of Arabic on the Gordon Gray Endowment
On leave 2019-2020
William Granara is professor of Arabic language and literature at Harvard University in the departments of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Comparative Literature, and is currently the director of its Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He is also the founding director of Harvard Summer School’s Program, Postcolonial Studies: France and the Arab World, in Aix-en-Provence, France. He studied Arabic and French at Georgetown University, and received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the former executive director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad at the American University in Cairo and the former director of the Arabic Field School of the U.S. Department of State in Tunis, Tunisia. Professor Granara specializes in the literature and history of the Arab Mediterranean in both the medieval and modern periods. He writes extensively on Muslim Sicily, and has published numerous articles on Ibn Hamdis, Sicily's most celebrated Arab poet. His monograph: Narrating Muslim Sicily: War and Peace in the Medieval Mediterranean World, was published in June, 2019.
In addition, he lectures and writes on contemporary Arabic literature and has published translations of several Arabic novels into English: The Earthquake ; Granada [ 2004]; and The Battle of Poitiers . His work on literary criticism focuses on postcolonialism and cross-cultural poetics. His articles include: “Nostalgia, Arab Nationalism, and the Andalusian Chronotope in the Evolution of the Modern Arabic Novel” (2005); “Nile Crossings: Hospitality and Revenge in Egyptian Rural Narratives” (2010); “A Room of One’s Own: The Modern Arab Heroine between Career and Domesticity” (2014), and “The Mediterranean in Colonial North African Literature: Contesting Views” (2019).