For the year 2015-6 I’m based in Sweden as an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala. In Summer 2016 I will begin an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at EUME in Berlin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2015, 3-5pm. “Arabs and Other Foreigners in Moscow Dorms: Echoes in Literature and International Relations.” Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University. UCRS Library, Gamla Torget 3.

August 5, 2016, 1:30-3, Kings College London. On Arab Shakespeare (specifically Ashtar’s strategies with Richard II) as part of the Arab/ic panel at the World Shakespeare Congress. The WSC is 31 July-6 August 2016 in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, UK.



December 10-11, 2015. Discussant, workshop on “What’s in a Year? Reflections on 1967.” Research group on Figures of Thought: Turning Points, Cultural Practices, and Social Change in the Arab World, Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.

December 8, 2015. Spectators to their Own History: Sonallah Ibrahim and Mohamad Malas, Moscow 1973.” Seminar for research group on Figures of Thought: Turning Points, Cultural Practices, and Social Change in the Arab World, Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.

November 24, 2015. “Shawqi’s Arabic Elegy for Tolstoy.” Uppsala University Semitiska Seminariet, Institutionen för lingvistik och filologi, Humanistiskt Centrum 9-3042, Engelska Parken.

November 17, 2015. “Arabic Shakespeare and the Global Literary Kaleidoscope,” Litteraturvetenskapligt forskningsnätverk (LILAe) seminar, Faculty of Languages, Uppsala University. Humanistiskt Centrum 9-3042, Engelska Parken.

October 28, 2015, Berliner Seminar for EUME:  Arab Intellectuals Encounter Another Europe: Sonallah Ibrahim and Mohammed Malas in Moscow.” Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.


October 22, 2015, at SCAS (Uppsala, Sweden) “Frosty Utopia: Arabic Literature’s Russian Connections.”

October 13, 2015. Leo Tolstoy and the Modernization of Arabic Literature,” Profilseminarium inom Transkulturalitet vid Institutionen för språk och litteraturer. Department of Languages and Literatures, Gothenburg University (Sweden).

May 14, 2015. Boston University. “True Stories from the Moscow Dorms.” At “Illusion and Disillusionment: Travel Writers in the Modern Age,” a Boston University Department of Modern Language and Comparative Literature conference on travel writing.

Monday, November 3, 2014, 7pm. Panel discussion on Sayed Kashua’s hit sitcom Arab Labor with Kashua and Michael Loman, professor at the BU School of Communications. Photonics Hall, Boston University.  Also see the interview Simon Rabinovitch and I conducted with Sayed Kashua (photo below).

2014-11-03 11.39.13

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6pm. “Frosty Utopia: Russian Connections in Arabic Literature from Mikha’il Nu`aymah to Sonallah Ibrahim.” American University in Cairo Center for Translation Studies, Oriental Hall, AUC, Cairo.  You can watch the video at

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 5pm. “Do American Students Need Global Shakespeares?” Wellesley College, co-sponsored by Wellesley College Shakespeare Society and Middle East Studies Program.

Thursday, May 8, 2014, 2pm. ‘“Forgive me, Tolstoy!’: Russian Literature and Russian Reality in Arab Writers’ Lives.” Conference on Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies: East-West in Dialogue. At University of London: Institute for Modern Languages Research. Room 349 Senate House, South Block, Malet Street, London.

Friday, March 7, 2014. “Do American Students Need Global Shaksepeares?”  Part of Practicing the Future of Shakespeare Studies. Conference Organized by the Columbia University Seminar on Shakespeare. Seminar Room 1, Second Floor. The Faculty House, Columbia University. 64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY 10027.

January 10, 2014, 8:30-9:45 am. “Sindbad’s Happy Wreck: ‘Global Shakespeare’ Meets ‘Arab Spring.'” Part of a panel on International Shakespeares with Alexa Huang, Anston Bosman, and Garrett A. Sullivan at the Modern Language Association annual meeting, Chicago.

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 11:00am, New Orleans. Discussant for Middle East Studies Association panel P3370 “Revisiting Arab Theater: The Construction of Resistance.”

June 20-21, 2013: Workshop on Arab-Russian and Arab-Soviet Literary Ties at the Oriental Faculty, St. Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia. (Very interesting exploratory workshop. Stay tuned for conference video and follow-up call for papers – or stay in touch via our Facebook group – email me to join.)

May 30, 2013, 4:30pm: “Egyptian Theatres of Revolution.” Husni Haddad Lecture (and talk in memory of Farouk Mustafa), University of Chicago, Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Stuart 105, 5835 S. Greenwood Ave, Chicago, IL.

May 6, 2013, 4-5pm: “Other Russias,” discussion with Jacqueline Loss as part of a day on The Politics of Polyglossia, Center for the Humanities, City University of New York. (My talk was not recorded, but you can listen to a fabulous lecture by Motoyuki Shibata and a couple of other great panels here.)

May 2-3, 2013: “Innocents Abroad: Sonallah Ibrahim and Muhammad Malas in Moscow.” AtMidans of the Self,” a colloquium on Sonallah Ibrahim organized by Elliott Colla and the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University, DC.

April 7, 2013, 6pm: “Arts in Protest: The Arab Spring.” Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH.

March 28, 2013. “From Tahrir to ‘Tahrir'”: a talk in the Doomed by Hope Theatre Series, Yale University, New Haven (Canceled)

March 1, 2013, 5:30-7:30pm: “The French Source of the Earliest Surviving Arabic Hamlet.” A talk on the Arab Hamlet Tradition at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center seminar on Shakespearean Studies, William Carroll and Coppelia Kahn, chairs.

January 30, 2013, 12:30pm:“The ‘Arab Spring’ and the Arts”: a talk in the Boston University Alumni Association’s “Arts, Culture, and Ideas” lecture series.

Friday, Jan 4, 2013 at the MLA Convention in Boston:
Paper in “Cultures of the Arab Uprisings” session: “Between Tahrir and ‘Tahrir’: Some Paradoxes of Memorializing a Revolution in Real Time.”

November 17-20, Middle East Studies Association conference (Denver)
Paper, “Letters to Tolstoy: Arab Writers Between Prophesy and Fiction,” in session on Russian and Soviet Strands in Arabic Literature co-organized with Spencer Scoville.

October 4-5  – Rhodes College, Memphis
Symposium on “Global Hamlets” at Rhodes College organized by Scott L. Newstok and colleagues

September 27-30, St. Andrew’s College, Scotland
Presentation on Russian-Arab cultural ties at the 1st Honeyman Conference: “At the Crossroads of Arabic Literature: The Arabic Literary Heritage in the Context of World Literature.”

Sunday, March 25, 2011 at George Washington University, Washington, DC
“What Can Arab Shakespeares Teach the Field of World Literature?” at symposium on “Cultural Translations: Medieval, Early Modern, Postmodern”
hosted by the GWU Department of English and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (MEMSI)
Photos (by Alex Huang and his indefatigable co-organizers) are here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 4:30pm, Anthro Department, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Hamlet on the Barricades: Shakespeare and Arab Revolutions
Tisch Library 304
Part of a series on “Degrees of Belonging”

February 21, 2012, 12:15-1:15pm, at Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Workshop on early Arabic Hamlet translation as part of “Translating the Canon” event, Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies

Friday, February 3, 2012 Kevorkian Center at New York University 12:30-2pm
Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost
Details at

December 15, 4pm at NYU Abu Dhabi conference on World Literature and Translation. Panel on “Tragedy and Translation” (i.e. Hamlet and Oedipus!) with Philip Kennedy and Peter Meineck.

Lecture series at universities in Cairo, co-organized by the respective departments with the Arabic Theatre Working Group of IFTR under the umbrella title: “Hamlet on the Barricades: Shakespeare in ُEgyptian Political Theatre.” These are all 45-minute talks followed by discussion, of which about 20 minutes are common to all the talks, and the last half focuses on a different case study each time.

Thursday, December 8, 3:30pm at Helwan University, Comparative Literature department “نكون أو لا مكون؟؟” Shakespeare and Arab Revolutions. Video to come.

With Areeg Ibrahim and two English dept colleagues at Helwan U

Thursday, November 24, 4-5:30pm at Ayn Shams University Department of Drama: The Global and Local Sources of Mohamed Sobhi’s Hamlet.

Thursday, November 17 10:30am-noon at Al-Alsun University Department of English “Justice or Oppression, That is the Question:” Alfred Farag’s Hamletesque Freedom Fighter

Receiving a book from Dr. Laila Galal Rizk at Al-Alsun

Saturday, November 19, 5pm at Cairo University, English Department.

Actor Mohammad Fahim (who played Hamlet), director Hani Afifi, Professor Lobna Ismail, and me

Special seminar featuring adapter/director Hani Afifi and Mohammad Fahim: Hani Afifi’s I Am Hamlet: The Shakespeare Tradition Comes to Cafe Cilantro.YouTube video (kindly filmed by Nadine Tawdi) is here:  Part 1 is the intro by Prof. Lobna Ismail. My talk is mostly in English, the discussion with Hani and Mohammad is mostly in Arabic, and the Q&A is mixed

Monday, November 21, 1-2pm at American University in Cairo, New Cairo, English and Comparative Literature department. Organized by the AUC Literature Club:
Hamlet on the Barricades: Global Shakespeares, Arab Dreams. In the picture below, the image on the leftis from Tahrir; some students left after the talk to go precisely there. (Some photos, mostly of the excellent Literature Club head Mohga Hassib, here; video of the talk should be coming online somewhere.)

Tuesday, November 15, 12-5pm
Workshop for theatre students at National Center for Theatre, Film, and Folk Arts (Hassan Sabry Street, Zamalek): “Arab Theatre Between Local Contexts and Global Audiences: Shakespeare as a Case Study” المسرح المصري بين السياقات المحلية والجماهير العالمية:  شكسبير نموذجاً Not many of my original goals were realized, but the students were really sharp, and it was very thought-provoking and enjoyable exercise in cross-expectational communication in its own right!
With Holderness and Al-Bassam at ArtsEmerson, Oct 13, 2011

Conversation with playwright-director Sulayman Al-Bassam and Shakespeare scholar Graham Holderness at Boston University, Oct. 12, 2011 (hit launch EchoPlayer, sorry for weird recording quality), and at Paramount Theatre, Boston (click Extras), Oct 13, 2011.

Talk at Center for American Studies and Research, American University in Beirut, May 5, 2011: “2001-2011: A Decade of Arab Performance Under American Eyes” (on YouTube)

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