Margaret Litvin

Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature, Convener of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages

  • Title Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature,
    Convener of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages
  • Office STH 634
  • Education BA, Yale University
    MA, University of Chicago
    PhD, University of Chicago

Spring 2019 Office Hours: Tues 11-12:15 and by appointment.

Margaret Litvin is a historian of modern Arabic (primarily Egyptian) literature and theatre. Her first book, Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost (Princeton, 2011), examined some reworkings of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the postcolonial Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. A companion anthology of translations co-edited with Marvin Carlson, Four Arab Hamlet Plays (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 2016) makes a few of these texts available for teachers and theatre directors. Her current book project, Another East: Arab Writers, Moscow Dreams, focuses on reconstructing the literary legacies of Arab-Russian and Arab-Soviet cultural ties. She also writes about Arab/ic theatre performances for European and American audiences.

At Boston University, Litvin teaches Arabic and world literature as well as seminars on literary translation, “Global Shakespeares,” Arab-Russian literary encounters, and “1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination.” She was founding director of the Middle East & North Africa Studies Program later included in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

Her research has been recognized with an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to Berlin (2017-8), an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship to Sweden (2015-6), a CASA III fellowship to Cairo (2011), a Peter Paul Career Development Professorship at BU (2009-11), and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. Her writing and artist interviews have appeared in Theatre Research International, Journal of Arabic Literature, Critical Survey, Tank, PMLA, several Shakespeare journals, and the online venues Marginalia Review of Books, Words Without Borders, and n+1. Her translation of Sonallah Ibrahim’s 2011 novel al-Jalid (Ice) is forthcoming from Seagull Publishing.


Margaret Litvin’s CV

Read an interview with Professor Litvin, “Teaching with Arabic Literature in Translation: The Bilingual Course, Backwards” a discussion about CAS LY 350.

Read Professor Litvin’s essay about teaching Literary Translation at Boston University

Read an interview with Professor Litvin on the blog for Transregional Research, Berlin. “I want to see more rising scholars with large and diverse language sets and really transnational interests – 5in10 with Margaret Litvin”

Watch Professor Litvin’s lecture “Shall We Be or Not Be: Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Anxieties of Arab Nationalism.”

Watch Professor Litvin’s 2011 lecture “I Am Hamlet” presented at Cairo University

Visit Professor Litvin’s Personal Website

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