Principal Investigator

Professor Rebecca Gould

Professor Rebecca Gould

Professor and Professorial Research Fellow, Islamic World and Comparative Literature

Rebecca Gould is the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press, 2016), which was awarded the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies and the best book award by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, and the translator of After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems ...

Postdoctoral Researchers and Translators

Dr Hany Rashwan

Dr Hany Rashwan

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Arabic rhetoric leader)

Hany Rashwan earned his PhD in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies from SOAS (2016). Prior to joining the GlobalLIT project to lead the Arabic strand, he was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the American University of Beirut. Dr. Rashwan is the recipient of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR) Research Fellowship in 2015.

His research ...

Advisory Board

These are scholars who offer the project guidance and positive criticism

Peter Adamsonpeter-adamson

Peter Adamson's is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich. His primary areas of interest are late ancient philosophy and Arabic philosophy. His two monographs deal with the Arabic version of Plotinus, the so-called "Theology of Aristotle," and with al-Kindi (d. after 870 AD). He has devoted articles to several figures of the Greek tradition: Aristotle, Plotinus, and Porphyry; and numerous philosophers of the Arabic tradition, including al-Kindi, Abu Bakr al-Razi, Yahya Ibn 'Adi, Miskawayh, Avicenna, and Averroes. He has also edited several books including, most recently, "In the Age of Averroes" published by the Warburg Institute. In 2012 Prof Adamson moved to the LMU from King's College London, which is the home of a research project he oversees, on "Natural Philosophy in the Islamic World," funded by the Leverhulme Trust. He is also the host of the History of Philosophy podcast.

Natalia Chalisova 

Natalia is a Deputy Director and Chief Research Fellow of the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” in Moscow. She translated and researched the Persian treatises on the art of poetry (Rashīd ad-Dīn Waṭwāṭ. Hadā’iq al-siḥr. Introduction, translation into Russian, commentary (Moscow 1985); Shams-i Qays Rāzī, al-Muʿjam (Part II). Introduction, translation into Russian, commentary (Moscow 1997); she is also the author of the chapter on Persian Rhetoric in the General Introduction to Persian literature: A History of Persian Literature, ed. J. T. P. De Brujin, Vol. 1 (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008) and of several articles on rhetorical figures in the Encyclopaedia Iranica (ed. by E. Yarshater). She is currently the chief of a research project on hagiographic narrative in Persian literature and culture whose goals include the study of the narrative patterns at the formative period of the Persian hagiographic life writing. She also participates in the “Russian Hafiz” project and is now co-editing the second volume, which will be published in the Orientalia et Classica Series of the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, following Vol. I of Hafiz. Ghazals in philological translation (Moscow, 2012, co-authored with N. Prigarina and M. Rusanov).

rita-copelandRita Copeland

Rita Copeland is Rosenberg Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature.  Inaddition to literature, her fields include the history of rhetoric and literary theory.  Her publications include Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and Translation in the Middle Ages; Pedagogy, Intellectuals and Dissent in the Middle Ages; Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric:  Language Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300-1475 (with I. Sluiter); The Cambridge Companion to Allegory (with P. Struck), and most recently, the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, 800-1558.   She is finishing a book called Emotion and the History of Rhetoric in the Middle Ages, and she is General Editor (with Peter Mack) of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Rhetoric

Linda G. Jones

Lina is a Ramon y Cajal Research Professor at the Pompeu University in Barcelona. She is the author of The Power of Oratory in the Medieval Muslim World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). She is the Principal Investigator of a research project funded by the Spanish Education Ministry and the European Regional Development Fund (Ref. no.: MINECO/FEDER, UE, FFI2015-63659-C2-2) whose goals include the comparative study of premodern Muslim, Christian, and Jewish preaching and transcultural interactions in and around the Mediterranean. She is currently co-editing a book based on the collective results of this research, which will be published in Brepols’ series Sermo. From 2014-2015, she was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research on her current book project, which is based on a unique manuscript of 14th-century Muslim hortatory sermons from the Crown of Aragon in Spain.

Todd Lawson

Todd is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on Qur’anic exegesis, Shi’i Islam, and the writings of Sayyid ‘Alí Muhammad Shírází (d.1844), known to history as The Báb. His two most recent books are: Quran, Epic and Apocalypse (Oneworld 2017) and Intimacy and Ecstasy in Qur’án Commentary (Brill 2018). His two-volume study (co-edited with Sebastian Günther), Roads to Paradise appeared from Brill in 2016.

Cornelia Schoeck

Cornelia is Professor of Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Philology, Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). Before that, she has also taught at the Universities of Freiburg i.Br., Kiel, Berlin. She has published monographs and articles on Islamic theology and Arabic logic including Adam im Islam: Ein Beitrag zur Ideengeschichte der Sunna (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1993), Koranexegese, Grammatik und Logik (Leiden: Brill, 2006) and “Jahm b. Safwān (d. 128/745-46) and the ‘Jahmiyya’ and Ḍirār b. ʿAmr (d. 200/815)” in The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology, ed. by S. Schmidtke (Oxford: University Press, 2016). Together with Asad Ahmed (University of California, Berkeley) and Robert Morrison (Bowdoin, Maine) she is editor of Oriens: Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Science in Islamic Societies (Brill). She has been principal investigator of the project “Major issues and controversies of Arabic logic and philosophy of language” co-funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the British Arts and Humanities Research Council (principal investigator: Tony Street) and edited the collaborative Special Issue of Oriens 44.3-4 (2016) on Major Issues and Controversies of Arabic Logic.

Asghar Seyed-Gohrab

Ashgar is Associate Professor at Leiden University. His publications include The True Dream: Indictment of the Shiite Clerics of Isfahan, (London: Routledge, 2017, together with S. McGlinn); Soefism: Een levende traditie, (Amsterdam: Prometheus / Bert Bakker, 2015, third print); Literature of the Early Twentieth Century: From the Constitutional Period to Reza Shah (ed., London / New York: I.B. Tauris 2015), Layli and Majnun: Love, Madness and Mystic Longing in Nizami’s Epic Romance, (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2003), Mirror of Dew: The Poetry of Ālam-Tāj Zhāle Qā'em-Maqāmi, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Ilex Foundation Series 14, 2015), Metaphor and Imagery in Persian Poetry, (ed., Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2012), The Great Omar Khayyam: A Global Reception, (ed., Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2012), Courtly Riddles: Enigmatic Embellishments in Early Persian Poetry, (Leiden: LUP, 2008, 2010). He has translated several volumes of modern Persian poetry into Dutch, including the poetry of Sohrâb Sepehri, Forugh Farrokhzâd, Mohammad-Rezâ Shafi’i-Kadkani, and (together with J.T.P. de Bruijn) Ahmad Shâmlu, Nâder Nâderpur, and Hushang Ebtehâj. He is the founding general editor of the Iranian Studies Series at Leiden University Press and the Modern Persian Poetry Series.

International consultants

Muhammad Asif, consultant on the GlobalLit projectMuhammad Asif

Muhammad Asif is Assistant Professor of English at Government College University, Faisalabad. He holds a PhD in English Literature from National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. His research interests include Contemporary Literary and Postcolonial theories; Pakistani Anglophone, Urdu and regional literatures. Currently, he is supervising PhD theses on Pakistani and Kashmiri Literature. 

Magomed Gizbaelev

magomed-gizbulaevMagomed Gizbulaev holds a PhD (2005) in History from the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Dagestan Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Science. His main research interests relate to issues of the medieval history of Caucasus through early Arabic geographical and historical works (9th -13th cc.), Islamic intellectual history, and the Arabic literary traditions of Daghestan. He is author of a number of peer-reviewed articles on these subjects in Russian and English and has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar. As a principal investigator, he carried out a research project concerning an "Anthology of 18th century Legal Manuscripts from the North Caucasus in Arabic" (2013-2015) funded by the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Foundation. He is a member of the Islamic Manuscript Association (London) and member of the Russian Fulbright Alumni Association (Moscow).  

Syed Akhtar Hussain

Syed Akhtar HussainSyed Akhtar Husain has joined Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies as an Assistant Professor in 2001. Since 2013 he has been professor in the Centre. For over nineteen years he has guided many Ph.D. students in India and examined Ph.D. theses for Indian and foreign universities. His academic interest is in Indo Persian literature and he has worked on Khosrow, Hazin and Ghalib. He has insight into the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. He has participated in the international conferences on Shahnameh in India and abroad. He has several published articles on the Shahnameh and Ferdowsi to his credit. He has co-edited Essays on the Arabian Nights. Presently he is engaged with Persian and Indo-Persian literary studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University and as well in his Institute of Indo Persian Studies. 

Affiliated Scholars

These are scholars who are directly involved with GlobalLIT’s activities, mainly publishing, joining workshops/conferences.

Berat Açıl

Berat received his PhD in Turkish Language and Literature from Boğaziçi University, in 2010. He is now an associate professor in the Turkish Language and Literature department in Istanbul Şehir University and the director of the Cultural Studies Program of the same university where he teaches both Ottoman literature and Ottoman book culture.

He is interested in the fields of Ottoman literature, allegory, narratology, literary theory, and book culture in the Ottoman Empire. His last works have focused on critical-edition studies on the Ottoman literary texts and different aspects of the Ottoman book culture. He also interested in the Ottoman literary theory as he has published some articles such as those on the allusion in the Ottoman literature, the first use of the word “literature”, aesthetic usages of flowers in the Ottoman literature. Some of his publications in book-length are: Klasik Türk Edebiyatında Allegory, 2013 (Allegory in the Classical Turkish Literature), Osmanlı Kitap Kültürü: Cârullah Efendi Kütüphanesi ve Derkenar Notları, 2015 (Ottoman Book Culture: The Library of Cârullah Efendi and his Marginal Notes), On Altıncı Yüzyılın Tanıklarından Cûşî ve Dîvânı, 2016 (Cûşî As a Witness of the Sixteenth Century and His Collected Poems).          

Haifa S. Alfaisal 

Haifa is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at King Saud University in Riyadh. Her publications include “Indigenous Epistemology and the Decolonisation of Postcolonialism” (Studies in Social and Political Thought, 2011), “World Reading Strategies: Border Reading Bandarshah” (Alif 34 , 2014), “Liberty and the Literary: Coloniality and Nahdawist Comparative Criticism of Rūḥī al-Khālidī’s The History of the Science of Literature with the Franks, the Arabs and Victor Hugo 1904” (MLQ, 2016), “Border Reading: Epistemic Reading and the Worlding of  Postcolonialism”  (Transmodernity,  2017). Her research interests involve exploring the epistemological bias in postcolonial theory, coloniality in world literature reading strategies and the role of modernity/coloniality in the rise of modern Arabic literary criticism.

Feriel Bouhafa 

Feriel received her PhD in Islamic studies from Georgetown University. She has been the Lecturer in Islamic studies in the Faculty of Divinity University of Cambridge since September 2017. Before Cambridge, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Philosophy department at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg where she joined the Research Project LIDIAC (an interdisciplinary contribution to the history of ideas centered on the disciplines of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in Arabic-Islamic culture 800-1100), funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German state. She also held fellowships at Georgetown University in Washington D.C and Qatar, Orient-Institut in Beirut and the Center of Middles East studies at Harvard University.  Her research interests include Arabic philosophy and Islamic sciences.

Ferenc Csirkés 

Ferenc received his PhDin Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and is currently an Assistant professor of History at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Prior to that, he worked at Central European University in Budapest and the University of Tübingen. Straddling literary, intellectual and cultural history, as well as historical sociolinguistics on the one hand, and Persian and Turkish on the other, his research focuses on the interrelation of the politics of language, confessionalization and state building in the larger Turko-Persian world during the late medieval and early modern periods. He is currently working on the history of Turkic Literature in Safavid Iran and intellectual biography of Sadiqi Beg, a major Safavid painter, and litterateur.

Majid Daneshgar

Majid, PhD, is a Junior Fellow and Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union at Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany. His research interests pertain to the connection between Islamic intellectual and exegetical progress in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as Malay Islamic studies. His main publications include a monograph entitled Tantawi Jawhari and the Quran: Tafsir and Social Concerns in the Twentieth Century (Routledge 2017), and two edited volumes: The Qur’ān in the Malay-Indonesian World: Context and Interpretation, co-edited with Peter G. Riddell and Andrew Rippin (Routledge 2016) and Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin, co-edited with Walid A. Saleh (Brill 2016).

Aida Gasimova 

Aida is a Professor of Arabic Literature at Baku State University. Her research interests cover a wide range of topics within Classical Arabic Literature, Mental-Spiritual State of pre-Islamic Arabs, Qur’anic Symbolism in Azeri Turkic Sufi Poetry. In 1998 she was awarded “Abdulaziz Saud al-Babtin’s prize for grandchildren of Imam al-Bukhari”. In 2013 she was granted Open Society Foundation’s Global Faculty award and held visiting scholar at Duke University. In 2016 she held Library research fellowship at California State University, Sacramento. She is currently working on two projects “Qur’anic Symbolism in Depiction of the Facial Features in Azeri Turkic Sufi Poetry” and “Mental-Spiritual State of pre-Islamic Arabs”. She has numerous academic publications in several languages (Arabic, Russian, English and Azeri Turkic) including articles in prestigious peer-reviewed European academic journals, among them “Qur’anic Imagery of the Curl in Classical Azeri-Turkic Sufi Poetry”; “Qur’anic Symbolism of the Eyes in Classical Azeri Turkic Poetry”, “Marginal Discourses of Arabic Poetry, A Case Study of the Baku Manuscript, “Taj al-Lughah wa-Sihah al-Arabiyyah” by Abu Nasr Ismail ibn Hammad al-Farabi al-Jawhari.

Alexander Key 

Alexander earned his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University and is currently Assistant Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University. His first book is Language Between God and the Poets: maʿnā in the eleventh century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018). His publications include “Moving from Persian to Arabic” in Essays in Islamic Philology, History, and Philosophy, edited by William Granara, Alireza Korangy, and Roy Mottahedeh (Walter De Gruyter, 2016), 93-141; "The Philosophy of Language in Arabic Sources” co-authored with Peter Adamson,  in Linguistic Meaning: New Essays in the History of the Philosophy of Language, edited by Margaret Cameron (Oxford University Press, 2015), 74-99; “Al-Raghib al-Isfahani” in Essays in Arabic Literary Biography I, edited by Mary St. Germain and Terri de Young (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2011), 298-306. He is currently working on comparative poetics, and exploring the options for a renewed focus on formalism.

Marc Toutant

Marc is a member of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. His research focuses on Turko-Iranian interactions and their contributions to Central Asian history, culture and literature. He is the author of Un empire de mots: Pouvoir, culture et soufisme à l’époque des derniers Timourides au miroir de la Khamsa de Mīr ʿAlī Shīr Nawā’ī, and co-editor of Literature and Society in Central Asia: New Sources for the Study of Culture and Power from the 15th to the 21th Century. He received the First Prize of the ‘GIS Moyen-Orient et mondes musulmans’ for the best dissertation written in French about the Muslim world (2013-2016), as well as the “Médaille Delalande-Guérineau” (Delalande Guérineau Medal) awarded by L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, in 2018, for his book Un empire de mots. Pouvoir, culture et soufisme à l’époque des derniers Timourides au miroir de la Khamsa de Mīr ‘Alī Shīr Nawā’ī.

Veli N. Yashin 

Veli is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He earned his doctorate from Columbia University in Arabic and Comparative Literature, and is the winner of the 2013 Horst Frenz Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. Yashin's research and teaching focuses on modern Arabic and Turkish literatures and more broadly engages the theoretical implications of the complex entanglement between aesthetics and politics, between issues of cultural and political representation. His work has appeared in the Yearbook of Comparative Literature, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the Journal of Arabic Literature, and Middle Eastern Literatures. He is currently finishing his first book entitled Disorienting Figures: The Sovereign and the Author in the Ottoman Nineteenth Century.

Postgraduate Fellows

Hossein Salimian Rizi


Hossein is currently completing his PhD dissertation “(Un-)Gendered Self-Annihilation: A Comparative Study of Hafiz, Emerson and Keats” at the University of Vienna. It is a comparative study of three concepts, namely fana’, self-annihilation and negative capability, respectively in the selected lyrical poems of Hafiz, Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Keats. The thesis investigates the concepts in the selected poems, then compares the close correspondence of female representation and role of gender in poetic self and creativity, and finally compares the role of (un-)gendered self-annihilation between the selected poems. Hossein published his poetry book White Sparks of Youth (2010) for which he was acclaimed as a Researcher in the University of Isfahan. His primary areas of interest include Shakespeare studies, Romantic poetics and poetic tradition and American Transcendentalism from Western literature, and Persian classical Sufi poetry, especially Hafiz and Rumi, and Persian balaghat (eloquent poetics) from Eastern literature. Balaghat in Persian mystical texts always draws his attention, especially when it comes to the level of syntactic units. He is also interested in comparative and world literature and literary theory and has already published peer-reviewed academic articles in this field. His proposal for the symposium “Thinking with Mysticism,” held on May 31, 2019, has also been accepted in the University of York. He has a passion for writing and memorising poems, both in Persian and English.