Hoda El Shakry’s book The Literary Qurʾan: Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb (Fordham University Press, 2019) was awarded the ACLA’s 2018 Helen Tartar Book Subvention Award and the MLA’s 2020 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies. It examines the influence of Qurʾanic textual, hermeneutical, and philosophical traditions on twentieth-century novels from the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco). Placing canonical Francophone writers into conversation with lesser-known Arabophone ones, The Literary Qurʾan stages a series of pairings that invite paratactic readings across texts, languages, and literary canons. Challenging the canonization of secular modes of reading that occlude religious epistemes, practices, and intertexts, the study extracts a model of ethical narratology from the Qurʾan.
Hoda El Shakry is a scholar of twentieth- and twenty-first century cultural production from North Africa and the Middle East, with an emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Specializing in Arabic and Francophone literature, visual culture, and criticism, her interdisciplinary research explores aesthetic theory, Islamic philosophy, comparative literary criticism, as well as gender and sexuality. El Shakry received her Ph.D. from UCLA. Before joining the University of Chicago as Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, she was an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Penn State University and a Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her current book project is a critical history of twentieth-century cultural journals and periodicals from the Maghreb. She is also working on a study of speculative and science fiction from the Middle East and North Africa.
Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.