Above: me at the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf (Monk House) in East Sussex. Photo by Kate Gould.
For my bio, see here.
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I am Professor, Islamic World and Comparative Literature, at the University of Birmingham, working at the intersections of literary, political, and legal theory. Developing and current interests include free speech and comparative legal cultures. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2017, I taught at the University of Bristol and Yale-NUS College (Singapore).
My books include the award-winning Writers and Rebels: The Literatures of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016). I have translated books from Georgian and Persian. My articles have received awards ranging from the International Society for Intellectual History’s Charles Schmitt Prize to the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages Association’s Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship.
Writers of importance to me include Virginia Woolf, Mahmoud Darwish, Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze, Jorge Luis Borges, Danilo Kis, the Chechen poet Magomed Mamakaev, George Eliot, Franz Kafka, and Edith Wharton. Thinkers who have influenced me include Giambattista Vico, Walter Benjamin, Ibn Rushd, Friedrich Nietzsche, & Emma Goldman.
Much of my research is based on fieldwork conducted in Iran (2012, 2014); Tajikistan (2007); Palestine (2011-12); Syria (2010); Egypt (2010, 2012); Azerbaijan (2006); Hyderabad, India (2008); Daghestan (2004, 2006); Georgia (2004-6, 2013); Chechnya and Ingushetia (2006).
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