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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Associate Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University

Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow - Class of Spring 2013

Sinan Antoon is associate professor at the Gallatin School of New York University and a fellow of the university’s Hagob Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. He holds a BA in English from Baghdad University, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown, and a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies from Harvard University. His research focuses on classical and modern Arabic poetry and contemporary Arab politics. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013) and numerous essays on the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.


Antoon is also a poet and a novelist. His essays and creative writing have appeared in major Arab and international journals and publications, including the New York Times,, The Nation, Middle East Report, Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of Arabic Literature, The Massachusetts Review, World Literature Today, Ploughshares, and the Washington Square Journal. He has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and one collection in English, entitled The Baghdad Blues (Harbor Mountain Press, 2007). His novels include I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, which has appeared in German, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Italian, and The Pomegranate Alone (Beirut, 2010), whose English version is forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2013. A French translation will be published by Actes Sud in late 2013. He recently published a third novel in Arabic, entitled Ya Maryam (Ave Maria) (Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2012) which is shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (The Arabic Booker).


His translations from Arabic include Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence (Archipelago, 2011), which won the best translation award in 2012 from the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). His poetry was anthologized in Iraqi Poetry Today and Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry. He returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 as a member of InCounter Productions to co-direct a documentary, About Baghdad, about the lives of Iraqis in a post-Saddam-occupied Iraq. In 2008 and 2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the EUME (Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe) Program at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. Antoon is a member of the advisory and editorial review board of the Arab Studies Journal and co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.

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