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Rama Alhabian

7th Year Ph.D. Student

Rama Alhabian

Educational Background

  • 2011-2013, Purdue University, PhD student in the Comparative Literature program
  • M.A., 2011, King Saud University, Riyadh, English Literature with focus on East African Anglophone Postcolonial fiction
  • B.A., 2003, Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, English Language and Translation


I am a sixth year-graduate student in the department of Near Eastern Studies. Entitled “the Poetics of Translation in the Nineteenth Century Arabic Maqāmāt,” my dissertation examines the works of (Ahmad) Fāris al-Shidyāq, Rifāʿa al-Ṭahṭāwī, and Nāṣīf al-Yāzijī with a focus on the intersections among genre, travel, and translation.

Committee Members

Deborah Starr (Chair), Ross Brann, Shawkat Toorawa


  • Lynn Fellowship for Graduate Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2011.
  • Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace, the School of Hebrew Language, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, Summer 2014.
  •  School of Criticism and Theory Fellowship, Seminar Attended: “Story of Reason in Islam,” led by Sari Nusseibeh. Cornell University, Ithaca, Summer 2015.
  • Dissertation Writing Group Award, the Society for the Humanities, 2018-19.

Courses taught:

  • FWS: On Islands: Poetics of the Insular in World Literature
  • FWS: The Sons of Sinbad: Reading in Arabic Travel

Research Focus

  • Modern and Medieval Arabic Literature
  • Translation Studies
  • Travel Writing
  • Critical Theory
  • Poetics and Geopoetics
  • The Essay and Essayism
  • Science Fiction and the Postcolonial  
  • Umberto Eco  


  • Near Eastern Studies