Dr Anissa Daoudi

Photograph of Dr Anissa Daoudi

Department of Modern Languages
Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Translation Studies
Language Co-ordinator for Arabic

Contact details

Room G4, Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Anissa Daoudi's research examines how language and translations shape memories, public narratives, and enhance campaigns for transitional justice. Her project: Breaking the Protectorate of Silence: Violence Against Women in 1990s Algeria, funded by the Leverhulme Fellowship, focuses on the experience of women survivors of sexual violence and rape committed during the Civil War.  Daoudi’s research focuses on the processes of documenting trauma through speaking and translating into literary and visual arts. Her research expands the concept of “untranslatability” in Translation Studies to areas of feminist activism and giving agency to feminist translators.   Her latest research project is on Transnational Feminist Translation with the theorist Prof Luise Von Flotow, Canada.  She is the organiser of Transnational Feminist Translation Forum.


I studied for a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Leeds. After this, I held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for three years at the University of Durham. The project was entitled Globalisation and its impact on Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and dialects, and was an interdisciplinary project analysing the linguistic changes that happened to Arabic as a result of the ‘Internet Revolution’ using an Internet based corpus, developing into deeper analyses of the cyberspace and the relationship between language and the various discourses that emerged prior, during and post Arab Revolutions.


I am currently a lecturer in Arabic and Translation Studies.  I am Head of Arabic area and a Specialist for the Translation Studies (Arabic-English-Arabic).   My research area is Language and Power in the MENA region and how they manifest in various discourses (particularly gender discourses).  My research interests extend to the areas of Translation, Memory and Narrativity.   I also have research interest into Francophone Postcolonial literature and culture.

Prior to coming to Birmingham, I held an ESRC Fellowship for 3 years  at the University of Durham, Department of Modern Languages (Arabic section), working on a research project entitled Globalisation and its impact on Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and dialects.  It was an interdisciplinary project analysing the linguistic changes that happened to Arabic as a result of the ‘Internet Revolution’ using an Internet based corpus, developing into deeper analyses of the cyberspace and the relationship between language and the various discourses that emerged prior, during and post Arab Revolutions.

For my PhD, I studied at the University of Leeds under the supervision of Prof. Dionisius Agius, working on the ‘Strategies EFL learners use to decode and encode idioms with particular reference to the bilingual Dictionaries, Arabic-English-Arabic.

As for my Masters degree, I studied at the University of Leeds, School of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  My dissertation was on ‘Traditional Qur’anic Schools: An Anthropological Study’, in which I analyse Qur’anic schools in Algeria as language large classes.  I studied the Qur’anic schools in terms of large class management and teaching techniques.

At the University of Constantine (Algeria), I studied for 4 years for a BA in English.  My BA ‘memoire’ was on ‘Victorian Women Writers’.


I teach Translation Studies Modules: (Translation and Professional Communication Skills Module, Applied Translation Module and Extended projects), Readings in Modern Arabic, Arabic (3 levels) and Open Access Arabic Modules (Open to the public).

Postgraduate supervision

In collaboration with Dr Benedetta Rossi, West African Studies, we have been successful in getting a PhD scholarship to work on Arabic Sources for West African History, West African Manuscripts in collaboration with the British Library.

I am currently supervising the following postgraduates:

Lead supervisor for Muman Saleh
Lead supervisor for Waleed Alsubhi
Lead supervisor for Farah Nadia Harun
Lead supervisor for Marwan Ismail
Lead supervisor for Sarah Shubaily
Lead supervisor for Dunya Ismail
Previous thesis I have supervised:

PhD: ‘Narrating and reframing Syrian Issue after Arab Spring in the new media translation of breaking news, media reports and blogs: Corpus-based approach’, September 2013.
PhD: ‘Corpus-based Stylistic Analysis in Arabic news writing: a comparative study between BBC Arabic and Al-Jazeera’, September 2013.
PhD: ‘Semantic and stylistic problems in translating news to Arabic: a case study of the Malaysian National News Agency BERNAMA, September 2013.
PhD: ‘Semantic shifts in the translation of self-help books from English into Arabic’, September 2013.
PhD: ‘Gendered ideology and translation: the effect of ideology on the translation of feminist texts into Arabic’, September 2013.
MA: “Attention Deficit Disorder”, Translation Dissertation, University of Birmingham, (2012).
MA: “Subtitling a video by Al Baz, religious preaching” Translation Dissertation, University of Birmingham, (2012).
MA: “Translation of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies’ website from English into Arabic”, University of Exeter (2006).
MA: “Translation of a novel by Tayeb Saleh” (2007).


My current research is on ‘Sexual violence against women in Algeria: narratives, translations, languages'.  The project firstly aims to contribute to the study complex intersection between language, translation studies and literature related to violence in contemporary Algeria. The project’s output will be a monograph, bridging the gap of knowledge between literature in Arabic and in French, highlighting the role of translation in understanding discourses.  Secondly, it investigates why colonial violence against Algerian women in the Liberation War is relatively well researched compared with terrorist violence committed in the 1990s, which remains understudied.  The monograph investigates narratives of lived trauma translated through various mediums (novels, testimonies, memoirs and personal interviews of survivors) and through languages (French, Arabic) and in translations. Sexual violence in wartime (Community on Facebook)

My first publication on the theme of sexual violence in Algeria in the 1990s will appear in a Special Issue I am an editing for Boundary 2, Duke University Press.

I organised an international conference on the theme of sexual violence at wartime in the MENA region at the University of Birmingham.

The project builds on my research on language and power and their relations to gender discourses in the MENA region in general. It investigates the relationship between language, literature, translation and cultural memory on sexual violence against women in conflict in Algeria and how this violence is translated through various mediums (novels, testimonies, memoirs and interviews of survivors), across languages (French, Arabic) and in translations.  I organised an international conference at the University of Birmingham in 2014 on the theme of ‘Narrating and Translating Sexual Violence at wartime in the MENA region’.

My research on language and power was on the emergence of new variety of Arabic which I call e-Arabic as a result of globalisation.  After exhausting the topic, I became particularly interested in a new genre of writing that is emerging out of blogs, emails…etc.; making its way into Arabic literature despite the controversy it is creating.  An example of these ‘novels’ are Banat Al Riyadh (2005) and Ayza Atjawiz (2008). (For more information see my blog: http://earaby.blogspot.co.uk/).  I organised International Conferences on the theme for example one at the University of Durham: “Cyber space and minorities/oppositional voices in the Arab world”. I collaboratively with Professor Abdeljalikl Temimi organized an International conference in Tunisia (Foundation Temimi, Tunis, Tunisia) on “The Internet and the Arabic Language”. I published extensively on the concept of e-Arabic and gave papers at various conferences and symposia.

My first monograph is published with Peter Lang, entitled Cultural and Linguistic Encounters: Arab EFL Learners Encoding and Decoding Idioms, in which I study idioms and their translations into English by Arab EFL learners, with a particular reference to bilingual dictionaries (Arabic-English-Arabic).

Other activities

Transnational Feminist Research Talks

1st event (20/03/2021): Professor Luise Von Flotow (University of Ottawa, Canada) in conversation with Dr Anissa Daoudi (Modern Languages, Arabic and Translation Studies).

This first major event in the academic year part of Translation Studies Research ForumArabic Studies and of our Forging Links research stream will benefit from the intellectual exchange with the theorist and translation scholar Professor Luise Von Flotow. As part of decolonising Translation Studies as well as Feminism, Professor Von Flotow and Dr Daoudi will engage transnationally with postgraduate students and scholars from the Global South, for example, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Spain, Argentina and many more.

This talk begins with a short description/discussion of how locally positioned the early examples of “feminist translation” were, how intermingled with friendships, alliances and shared political motivations. It moves on to discuss how politics of ‘gender’, and more importantly, ‘intersectionality’ have diversified and fragmented work in the field, and how transnational approaches (De Lima Costa and Alvarez 2014, Castro and Ergun 2017, Flotow and Farahzad 2017, Flotow and Kamal 2020) have been brought to the fore in recent years. A few current studies in transnational feminist translation (Yanez 2020, Alsharekh forthcoming, Kamal Mansour 2020) will serve to further expand on the question of how ‘feminist otherness’ has an impact on the work of translation: from selection to translation to dissemination and reception (Flotow 2017/2019).

Funding and prizes awarded

  • 2016: Leverhulme Fellowship for a year to work on a new research project on ‘sexual violence during the Civil War in Algeria 1990s’.  The output is a monograph and articles.
  • 2013: AHRC Collaborative PhD Scholarship with the British Library and University of Birmingham (3-4 Years Full PhD Scholarship).
  • 2012 Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, Tunisia. Amount Awarded: £15,000 for organising an international conference in Tunisia on the 29th March 2012 on ‘e-Arabic and Gender discourse(s)’.
  • 2008-2012: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (approx: £150,000) at Durham University on ‘Globalisation and its impact on Arabic (Standard/Dialects).
  • 2010: British Academy International Partnerships: successful. Amount awarded: £20,000 for 2 years (extended) to work on the bloggers’ communities  (UAE, Tunisia and Egypt). The outcome was an international conference in Durham on ‘e-Arabic and minorities in the MENA region.
  • 2010: Centre for Advanced Study of the Arab World. Amount awarded £20.000. The outcome was an international conference in cooperation with Temmimi Foundation in Tunisia on the ‘Arabic and the Internet’.
  • 2010: British Academy Overseas Grant: successful. Amount awarded: £500 travel costs to a conference in Canada.
  • Getty Foundation: to spend time at the American Centre for Research in Cairo, Egypt. US$8000 towards costs of travel and accommodation for fieldwork stay in Egypt and Tunisia.
  • 2010: British Embassy in Tunisia: £5000 Tunisia conference.
  • 2010: British Council in Tunisia £1000 for publication costs (Tunisia conference).
  • 2007: E-Learning Grant, Exeter University: £7000 for developing courses on WebCt.
  • 1996: Al Tajeer Foundation: £3000 for M. ED. in TESOL

External examiner for translation studies/language programmes

  • 2011-2013 Westminster University.
  • 2009-2012 Prince Sultan University, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2005-2008 University of West of England, Bristol.
  • 2011 Took part in the 6th Annual Malta-Mediterranean Literature Festival devoted to Literatures in Translation for translating poetry (Arabic-French-English).

Invited guest speaker

Organising international conferences

  • 9 -10 October 2014. International Conference on “Narrating and Translating Rape/Sexual Violence in Wartime in the MENA region: the Role of Language”. University of Birmingham. 
  • 14-15 March 2012.  International conference in Tunisia “e-Arabic and Gender Discourse(s) in the Arabic-speaking region”.
  • 7 -8 June 2010. symposium on  “Cyber space and minorities/oppositional voices in the Arab world”. Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research. Intellect Publishers. Autumn 2010
  • 9-11 December 2010. International conference in Tunisia, in collaboration with Foundation Temimi, Tunis, Tunisia on “The Internet and the Arabic Language”

Reading papers at international conferences 

  • The Algerian War of Independence:   Global and Local Histories 1954-62, and Beyond.  “Women’s narratives of violence in Algeria: history, fiction and memory”. Oxford University. May 2017.  https://litdemo.hypotheses.org/236
  • Political Violence, Terrorism, and Civil War Conference.  Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.   Conference “Gender narratives of violence in Algeria: history, fiction and memory”. 2-26, 2016.
  • The International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies Conference (IATIS) ‘‘Translating sexual violence at wartime in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region: a minority within the minority’, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  
  • International Forum on 'Women and the New Media in the Mediterranean Region' June 24-26 2011 , at the Palais des Congrès, Fez, Morocco. “Female voices in the MENA region: any chance of “change” of gender discourse(s)?
  • 41st ACAL on African Languages in Contact at the University of Toronto, Canada. “e-Arabic and the emergence of a sub-culture in the Arab World”.  Toronto, Canada, May 6-8 2010. 


Recent publications


Daoudi, A 2020, 'Testimonies and literature as alternative transitional justice in Algeria', Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1045-1064. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2020.1843516

Daoudi, A 2018, 'Introduction to Narrating and Translating Sexual Violence at Wartime in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region)', Boundary 2, vol. 1, no. 3. <http://www.boundary2.org/2018/07/anissa-daoudi-narrating-and-translating-sexual-violence-at-wartime-in-the-middle-east-and-north-africa-mena-region-english/>

Daoudi, A 2018, 'Multilingualism in Algeria: between ‘Soft Power’, ‘Arabisation’, ‘Islamisation’, and ‘Globalisation’', Journal of North African Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 460-481. https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2017.1391962

Daoudi, A 2018, 'Untranslatability of Algeria in ‘the Black Decade', Boundary 2, vol. 1, no. 3, Chapter 2. <http://www.boundary2.org/2018/07/anissa-daoudi-untranslatability-of-algeria-in-the-black-decade-2/>

Daoudi, A 2017, 'Algerian Women and the Traumatic Decade: Literary Interventions', Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies.


Daoudi, A 2020, Testimonies and literature as alternative transitional justice in Algeria. in M-S Omri & P Roussin (eds), Literature, Democracy and Transitional Justice: Comparative World Perspectives. Legenda, Oxford.

Special issue

Daoudi, A (ed.) 2018, 'Narrating and Translating Sexual Violence at Wartime in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region)', Boundary 2. <http://www.boundary2.org/2018/07/anissa-daoudi-introduction-narrating-and-translating-sexual-violence-at-wartime-in-the-middle-east-and-north-africa-mena-region-arabic/>


Sexual violence against women in Algeria, Arabic language, Algeria, Tunisia

Languages and other information

English, French, Arabic

Media experience

Media experience

In French:

  • Tunisian La Presse on 23-04-2013 on e-Arabic and the ‘new’ Arabic literary genre.
  • L’e-Arabic et son impact sur la culture Afkar / Ideas 35 - /10/2012

In Arabic:



Sexual violence against women in Algeria