Dr Niveen Kassem

Dr Niveen Kassem

Dubai Campus
Assistant Professor in Arabic Cultural Studies.
Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

Contact details

University of Birmingham Dubai
Dubai International Academic City
Block 2, PO Box 341799
Dubai, UAE


 Dr Niveen Kassem is Assistant professor in Arabic Cultural Studies.

Her research activities are broad and build on interconnected thematic areas such as heritage, cultural studies, memory, identity and trauma in contemporary literature and culture. Her current research explores historical trauma and its impact on the shaping of contemporary identities and memories of disenfranchised communities within the Middle East and American culture.

 Work with heritage and art sectors

As a published scholar working on the impact of the past in the present, Niveen intends to make her work accessible to the wider audience and beneficial to the sector and society. She has worked with several art galleries and heritage centres within the UK and has co-produced provision and provided training on the use of art in teaching to raise awareness about key issues. She has also curated exhibitions from archive material to raise awareness about marginalised communities whose heritage has been underrepresented.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), Durham University, UK 

  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK)                                                             

  • PhD (Literature ), Newcastle University, UK           

  •  Mlitt, Newcastle University, UK                                                                                                                                                                                     


Niveen has taught various subjects that reflect her interdisciplinary research work, interests and academic training, including literature; translation, public history, Arabic language and culture.

Postgraduate supervision

Her main research interests and areas of PG supervision:


  • Middle Eastern Studies, including Arabic literary heritage and culture;
  • representations of gender, identity and cultural trauma;
  • comparative literature;
  • translation studies;
  • memory and identity research with art and story-telling (and oral history);
  •  decolonisation; 


For more than a decade, Niveen’s research work has focused on her interests and training across fields such as modern and historical literature and culture. She has studied the enduring legacy of historical trauma and its impact on the shaping of contemporary identities and memories of disenfranchised groups within the Middle East and American culture.

 In her PhD she worked on the under explored representations of black masculinity in African-American culture as depicted in the literary works of contemporary African-American writers to connect black manhood with the traumatic history of slavery. After the PhD, Niveen successfully completed an AHRC- funded project to extend her research interest in the legacy of historical trauma and its impact on the shaping of contemporary identities and memories of marginalised groups, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern culture to explore interconnected thematic areas, including collective memory and identity.

Alongside these activities Niveen maintains research interests in innovative and technology enhanced teaching and learning, and pedagogical strategies to promote autonomous learning.

Other activities

  • Visiting Researcher at Newcastle University, UK
  • FHEA
  •  Member of Cultures of Memory
  •  Member of BATA ( British Association of Teachers of Arabic)


Selected Publications

 Niveen Kassem & Mark Jackson (2020) Cultural trauma and its impact on the Iraqi Assyrian experience of identity, Social Identities, 26:3, 388-402, DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2020.1762557

 Zaher, A., & Kassem, N. (2022). Enhancing employability skills and supporting transition to the year abroad: a case study. In C. Hampton & S. Salin (Eds), Innovative language teaching and learning at university: facilitating transition from and to higher education (pp. 35-43). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2022.56.1371

View all publications in research portal