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Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures+44 (0) 191 33 43034
Member of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 


I have an MA in English Literature (American University of Beirut) and a PhD in the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East (SOAS, University of London). Before coming to Durham in 2012, I taught at the American University of Beirut and the University of Manchester and I was also a post-doctoral researcher on the AHRC/ESRC “Islamism in Arab Fiction and Film” project at Lancaster University.

I have a primary research specialism in modern Middle Eastern literatures, film and cultures with a particular interest in questions of health, illness and disability. My monograph The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature (Syracuse University Press, 2014) is the first major study of female physical illness and disability in contemporary Arabic literature of the Levant and Egypt from 1950 to the present. Please see the following link for further details:

I also have an additional specialism in literature and religion, particularly literary and filmic representations of Islamism from the Middle East and North Africa. I have co-edited a collection of essays (with Lindsey Moore) entitled Islamism and Cultural Expression in the Arab World (Routledge, 2015). I also specialise in gender and postcolonial literatures and film more broadly and have published a number of articles and book chapters that explore my research interests. In more recent years, I have written articles on death and dying in the context of Middle Eastern visual culture. Finally, I am also a short story writer and playwright.

Since 2017, I have been working on a research project that extends my interests in Middle Eastern literatures, film and the medical humanities: a cultural history of cancer in the Arab world. This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Open World Research Initiative. One strand of the project  Performing Arab Cancer , which is grounded in arts-based-research, has been shortlisted for the AHRC / Wellcome Trust 2020 Medical Humanities Awards in the Best International Research category. Based on extensive qualitative fieldwork (in the form of personal interviews) conducted with female cancer patients from the Arab world, Performing Arab Cancer deploys creative, performative, visual and critical practice to generate a ‘living archive’ of Arab female cancer stories and testimonies. As part of my work on this strand, I wrote, produced and curated a series of creative arts outputs – including two ethnodramas, a film and a video installation – in collaboration with international artists, healthcare practitioners and cancer NGOs to highlight women’s subjective experience with the disease. For further details please see: and

Research interests

  • Death and Dying in Literature and Visual Culture
  • Modern Middle Eastern Literatures, Film and Cultures
  • Illness and Disability
  • Religion and Literature/Film
  • Gender
  • Postcolonial Literature and Film

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Other (Digital/Visual Media)


Supervision students