World Who's Who Routledge - Taylor and Francis Group

ALLEN Roger Michael Ashley DPhil
British/American professor of Arabic
Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania

Education: DPhil, Modern Arabic Literature, University of Oxford 1968

Career: Roger Allen was the first student to obtain a doctorate in modern Arabic literature at Oxford, under the supervision of Dr M. M. Badawi. The topic of the dissertation was a study (and English translation) of Muhammad al-Mwaylihi’s renowned narrative, Hadith ‘Isa Ibn Hisham. Roger Allen has retained a life-long interest in the writings of the Al-Muwaylihi family, and in 1998 he was asked by Professors Sabry Hafez and Gaber Asfour to prepare an edition of the complete works of Muhammad al-Muwaylihi (published in 2002), and later of the complete works of Ibrahim al-Muwaylihi, for publication in a series of ‘complete works’ published by Al-Maglis al-A‘la li-al-Thaqafah (Supreme Council for Culture) in Cairo. In 1968 Roger Allen emigrated to the USA and took a position in Arabic literature at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (a position he still holds as Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations). At the university he has taught many generations of students and has also been involved in the improvement of methods of teaching the Arabic language in American universities and colleges. He has written a textbook and conducted many workshops in the USA, Europe and the Arab world on language teaching. In the late 1960s Roger Allen began to concentrate his research on modern Arabic fiction. In 1978 he delivered a series of lectures on the Arabic novel at the University of Manchester in England that were subsequently published as a book in 1982. This book has been widely used throughout the world as an introduction to the novel genre in the Arab world, and it is also used at several Arab-world universities. In 1988 Professor Allen became consultant to Cambridge University Press for its series of Volumes, The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, and editor of the volume in that series, The Post-Classical Period (under preparation). Professor Allen has served as an editor of several journals, including the Journal of Arabic Literature, Literature East & West, and Al-Arabiyya, and was Arabic editor of the series of encyclopedia volumes, World Literature In The 20th Century. He is currently a co-executive editor of Middle Eastern Literatures incorporating Edebiyât (see url below). He is also series editor of the Dictionary of Literary Biography Arabic Literature Project and a member of two major projects in translation: East-West Nexus/Prota, directed by Dr Salma Jayyusi, and “Memoires de la Mediterranée”, a European project through which he participated in the translation of the works of Mayy Telmissany and Al-Kuni. Roger Allen is a frequent visitor to Cairo and the conferences of Al-Maglis al-A‘la li-al-Thaqafa, and he has also become involved in the activities of the University of Tunis at Manouba (PhD supervision) and a number of universities in Morocco, including Muhammad V in Rabat (lecturing in the graduate seminar of Muhammad Bannis). His current research interests are focused on a number of issues within the broader field of Arabic literature: the problems of evaluation of literary works within the complexities of a post-colonial situation, the urgent need to rewrite the literary history of most regions of the Arab world to reflect new understandings concerning the relative significance of different cultural trends, and the status of the short story (and fiction in general) in the Arab world in the new era of alternative means of publication and indeed new ‘media’. He is Director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, a joint-degree program for undergraduates between The College and the Wharton School.

Publications include: translation of a collection of short stories by Naguib Mahfouz – God’s World 1973, translation into English of Mahfouz’s Al-Summan Wa-Al-Kharif 1985, Al-Maraya (2nd edition) 1999, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (Al-Safina, and Al-Bahth ‘An Walid Mas’Ud), Yusuf Idris (the collection of stories, In The Eye of the Beholder, and also a volume of studies, Critical Perspectives On Yusuf Idris), ‘Abd al-rahman Munif (Al-Nihayat), and Mayy Telmissany (Dunyazad, and (unpublished) Al-Karnak; studies of works by Mahfouz; Let’s Learn Arabic (text book) 1986–88, Modern Arabic Literature English anthology of critical writings in Arabic on modern Arabic literature) 1987, The Arabic Novel (2nd edition) 1995, (2nd Arabic edition) 1998, The Arabic Literary Heritage 1998 (abbreviated paperback form as Introduction to Arabic Literature) 2000; numerous individual articles on modern Arabic fiction, novels, novellas, and short-stories, that have appeared in journals, festschrifts, and conference volumes (and in both English and Arabic)

Contact details: Address: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, 840 Williams Hall/6305, 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Tel: +1 215-898-6337; Email: [email protected] ; Website: ; Website: .

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