Comparative and World Literature The College of Humanities

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Shirin A. Khanmohamadi

Associate Professor
Comparative and World Literature
San Francisco State University
https://sfsu.academia.edu/ShirinKhanmohamadi

Biography

I am an Associate Professor of premodern literature in the Comparative and World Literature department at San Francisco State University, where I’ve been teaching since receiving my PhD from Columbia University in 2005. I have a BA with Honors from Brown (Literature and Society/ MCM) and an MA from UT-Austin (English, with a focus on Postcolonial Studies). My teaching and research is in comparative medieval European literature, premodern travel, geographical and ethnographic writings, literary and cultural contacts between the medieval European and Islamic worlds, and the intersections of contemporary theory and medieval studies. My location in a Comparative and World Literature department means that my teaching necessarily (and happily) stretches beyond my training in European and Mediterranean studies to embrace the literatures of premodern Asia, Africa and the Americas and a globalized Middle Ages. My research and writing is also marked by comparative methods and interdisciplinarity: my first book, In Light of Another´s Word: European Ethnography in the Middle Ages (UPenn, The Middle Ages Series, 2014), considered postcolonial critical anthropology's critiques of colonial ethnographic description in order to place into sharp relief the differences of premodern ethnographic representation, namely its dialogism and intersubjectivity, particularly where European description predated colonial control.

In showing a Latin Europe incorporative and integrative of the voices and perspectives of its others, I was also interested in the open-ended nature of European identity in its formative period. My current book project continues this interest while returning me to the complex 'matter of Saracens,' which first drew me to the study of the Middle Ages. 'Translating Saracens' deploys translatio/n theory and material culture studies to read the movement of symbolic objects associated with Muslim imperial authority in epics and other late medieval genres as the material expression of the widespread medieval trope of ‘translatio imperii et studii’ (the transfer of past imperial authority and cultural prestige to Europe). I thereby call for renewed attention, through the work of these critically neglected objects, to ‘the Arabic role' (Menocal 1987) in Europe's cultural and imperial self-fashioning.

I have published and forthcoming work in the journals postmedieval, Digital Philology, New Medieval Literatures, Exemplaria, and Arthuriana (many of which may be found on my academia page, https://sfsu.academia.edu/ShirinKhanmohamadi).

Teaching and Research Interests

Comparative Medieval Literary Study; Pre- and Early Modern Travel and Ethnography; Medieval Europe and the Islamic world; The Global Middle Ages; Medieval Translatio/n

Teaching at SFSU (graduate and undergraduate)

    CWL 230, World Literature

    CWL 400, Approaches to Comparative and World Literature

    CWL 420, Travel and the Literary Imagination

    CWL 423, Going Medieval: Medieval Literature and Contemporary Adaptation

    CWL 424, Multicultural Middle Ages

    CWL 450, Literary Crossings

    ENG 501, Age of Chaucer

    ENG 690, Senior Seminar: Chaucer

    CWL 800, Intro to Graduate Study in Comparative Literature (Theory)

    CWL 815, Topics in Critical Theory: Anthropology and Lit Criticism

    CWL 815, Topics in Critical Theory: Theory and the Premodern Text

    CWL 820, Medieval & Early Modern Encounters: Travel and Ethnography

    CWL 825, Advanced Study in Comparative Literature

    CWL 896, Directed Reading: Orals

    CWL 898, Masters Thesis

Publications

    Books

      http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/img/covers/15178.jpg

      In Light of Another´s Word: European Ethnography in the Middle Ages, Philadelphia, PA: The University of Pennsylvania Press (The Middle Ages Series), 2014..

      Articles, out and forthcoming

        “Charles in al-Andalus,” Digital Philology, Special Issue on “Global Medievalism,” eds. Candace Barrington and Louise d’Arcens, Forthcoming.

        “’Home’ and ‘Abroad’ in Medieval Travel and Trade Narratives,” The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, vol. B (The Middle Ages), ed. Christine Chism, General editor, Ken Seigneurie. Forthcoming.

        "Durendal, translated: Islamic object genealogies in the chansons de geste," postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural criticism 8.3 (2017): 321-333.

        "Worldly Unease in Late Medieval Travel Reports," in Cosmopolitanism and the Middle Ages, eds. John Ganim and Shayne Legassie, New York: Palgrave New Middle Ages Series, 2013, pp. 105-120.

        “Salvage Anthropology and Displaced Mourning in the Lais of Marie de France,” Arthuriana 21.3 (Fall, 2011): 49-69.

        "Casting a 'Sideways Glance' at the Crusades: the Voice of the Other in Joinville´s Vie de Saint Louis," Exemplaria: a Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 22.3 (2010): 177-99.

        "The Look of Medieval Ethnography: William of Rubruck´s Mission to Mongolia," New Medieval Literatures 10 (2008): 87-114.

      Selected Invited University Lectures and Presentations

        Keynote Address, CUNY Graduate Center, 14th Annual Pearl Kibre Medieval Society conference, Crossing Boundaries: towards an Intedisciplinary Medieval Studies, May 2019.

        Invited Presentation, “Were the Saracens ‘Antique’?”, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS), Stanford University, June, 2018.

        Keynote Address, “From al-Andalus to Khorasan: Translating Empires of the Saracens in the Chansons de Geste,” UC Consortium in The Middle Ages in the Wider World UC-Davis Conference and Workshop, Davis, CA, April 28, 2018.

        Invited Lecture, “Inter-Imperiality and Translation in the Chansons de Geste,” Lecture Series in “Inclusion and Exclusion in the Middle Ages,” Medieval Colloquium, Princeton University, April, 2018.

        Invited Presentation, Medieval and Early Modern Colloquium, UC-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, Fall 2016.

        Invited Lecture, Northwestern University Medieval Colloquium, Chicago, IL, 2016.

        Invited Lecture, "Medieval Europe and its Others," University of California-Berkeley Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS), Berkeley, CA, July 21, 2015.

        Invited Lecture, University of Madison-Wisconsin Center for the Humanities’ Mellon Workshop Series, “Imagines Mundi: the Global Middle Ages,” Madison, Wisconsin, 2015.

        Invited Lecture, University of Pittsburgh Faculty Research Group on “Medieval and Renaissance Globalisms,” Pittsburgh, PA, 2015.

        Please link to my CV above for more details.

        Last Update: 11-16-2018

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