Ziad Elmarsafy



Ziad Elmarsafy was born in Egypt, raised in Kuwait and schooled in the USA.

He took a degree in Physics at Cornell before seeing the light and completing degrees in French literature at Johns Hopkins (MA) and Emory University (PhD). Since then he has taught at the University of California, Wellesley College and New York University.



The literatures of the Middle East and North Africa (Arabic, French, English), postcolonial literature writ large, literature and religion.

Current projects

Current projects include:

  • (with Anna Bernard and Stuart Murray) What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say. An edited collection devoted to the current state and future direction of the field of postcolonial literary and cultural theory. Forthcoming, Routledge 2014. 
  • Sufism in Western Literature, Culture and Thought. A study of the interaction between Sufi themes and ideas and Western literature, culture and thought.  Forthcoming, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.


Selected publications


Articles and contributions to edited volumes

  • “Dionysos à Meknès : les dieux, les corps et la ville chez Miloudi Chaghmoum.”  Itinéraires. Littératures, textes, cultures 3 (2012): 125-135.
  • “Ibrahim Al-Koni’s Hybrid Aesthetic.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue canadienne de littérature comparée 39.2 (June 2012): 190-201. 
  • “Alaa Al-Aswany and the Desire for Revolution.”  In Karima Laachir and Saeed Talajooy, eds, Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures: Literature, Cinema and Music.  New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 2012.  15-31.
  • “User-Friendly Islams: Translating Rumi in France and the United States.”  In Ella Shohat and Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany, eds, Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora.  Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012.  264-281.
  • “Sonallah Ibrahim on the Event(s) of Beirut.” In Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr, eds, The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. 86-97.

Contact details

Dr Ziad Elmarsafy
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
Y010 5DD

Tel: 44 1904 323342