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Elias Muhanna is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies at Brown University. He has interests in classical Arabic literature and intellectual history, the reception of Near Eastern texts in medieval and Renaissance Europe, comparative encyclopedism, and the problem of the vernacular. He earned his PhD in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from Harvard University, and his dissertation won the Bruce D. Craig Prize from the Mamluk Studies Review in 2012. His article, "The Sultan's New Clothes: Ottoman-Mamluk Gift Exchange in the 15th Century" (Muqarnas) was awarded the 2008 Margaret P. Sevcenko Prize by the Historians of Islamic Art Association, and he is currently completing a book on classical and early modern encyclopedic literature in the Islamic world, as well as an abridged translation of Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri's 14th-century Arabic compendium, "The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition" (forthcoming, 2015). He is the creator of the Digital Islamic Humanities Project at Brown, and the convenor of a recent conference on October 24-25, 2013.

In addition to his premodern interests, Professor Muhanna has written on the evolving political cultures of the contemporary Middle East. His blog, Qifa Nabki, is a forum for intellectual exchange and debate on Levantine politics, and he has written over thirty essays and pieces of commentary for a variety of other publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Guardian, Bidoun, Transition, and Foreign Policy. He has served as an expert consultant on questions of Lebanese political reform, and his 2012 article "Establishing a Lebanese Senate: Bicameralism and the Third Republic" was used as the basis for a proposal on institutional reform in Lebanon in 2013.

For a list of selected publications, see here.

For media inquiries, please contact me at my email address.

Assistant Professor
Comparative Literature

E-mail: Elias_Muhanna@brown.edu

Elias Muhanna's Brown Research URL:

On The Web:
Qifa Nabki
The Digital Islamic Humanities Project
@QifaNabki (Twitter)

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