Amir Moosavi

Amir Moosavi


amir.moosavi [at]

Office Location

Hill Hall, 518

Office Hours

By Appointment

For the 2020-2021 academic year I am on sabbatical and research leave with support from the American Council of Learned Societies.  


I came to Rutgers--Newark in the fall of 2018, following a year-long EUME postdoc funded by the Volkswagenstiftung and Mellon Foundation in Berlin (2016-17) and a Visiting Assistant Professorship of Modern Iranian Studies at Brown University (2017-18). My research and teaching interests cover modern Arabic and Persian literatures and the cultural history of the Middle East, with an emphasis on Iran, Iraq, the Levant, and Afghanistan. My courses at RU-N have revolved around Arabic and Persian fiction and film, translation studies and war culture. I'm particularly interested in the way that cultural production deals with violent pasts, wars and notions of transitional justice, and representations of urban space and culture in fiction and film. At present, my primary research project is a book manuscript entitled, Dust That Never Settled: Afterlives of the Iran-Iraq War in Arabic and Persian Literatures. The book argues for the expansion of comparative literary studies across the Arabic and Persian linguistic spheres based on the common experience of the Iran-Iraq war and the various responses of writers to it since 1980.​

In addition to my book manuscript, I am also working on two other research projects. The first is an edited volume titled Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses: Sensory Readings of Persian Literature and Culture, co-edited with M.M. Khorrami. It aims to be the first attempt to bring the expanding field of sensory studies to Persian language cultural production. The second project comes from a workshop I organized in 2017 titled "Reading the Middle East's '1979 Moment'." It seeks to understand how literary and cinematic cultures were affected by the histrionic events that took place in the late 1970s and 1980s in a geographic space that spans from North Africa to South Asia (i.e., the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein's rise to power, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, etc.)  and how later film and fiction looks back at that period to in an attempt to make sense of it today. Since 2018, I have edited a series of blog posts dealing with this topic that can be found here.  

Courses Taught

Foundations of Literary Study 

War and Representation in the Modern Middle East 

Translation: Theory, Debate Practice 

Studies in Literary Relations: "Around 1979: Reading Politics, Revolution and War in the Middle East" 

Contemporary American Literature: Reading America's 'Forever Wars' 


Modern Persian literature

Modern Arabic literature

War literature

Translation studies

Comparative approaches to the literatures of South and Southwest Asia and North Africa

Representations of the city in film and literature

Arabic and Persian language pedagogy


Select Awards

American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2020-2021

Volkswagen/Mellon Foundations Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, 2016-2017

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research abroad Fellowship for Jordan, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, 2013

Startalk Scholarship for National Capital Language Resource Center on Teaching Arabic to College and High School students, Georgetown University, 2008 

Center for Arabic Study Abroad fellowship (CASA II), University of Damascus, Syria, 2010

Center for Arabic Study Abroad Fellowship (CASA I), American University in Cairo, 2005-2006


New York University, Ph.D. Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 2016

Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA II) at Damascus University (2010)

Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) at the American University in Cairo (2005-06)

New York University, M.A. Near Eastern Studies

University of Wisconsin at Madison, B.A. History


Select Publications

"Desacralizing a Sacred Defense: The Iran-Iraq War in the fiction of Hossein Mortezaeian Abkenar"  forthcoming in Iran Namag Volume 5, Number 3, Fall 2020

“Dark Corners and the Limits of Ahmad Dehqan’s War Front Fiction” Middle East Critique, Volume 27, no. 1 (February 2017). Reprinted in Debating the Iran-Iraq War in Contemporary Iran (co-edited with Narges Bajoghli), Routledge (April 2018)

“How to Write Death: Disenchanting Martyrdom in two Novels of the Iran-Iraq War” Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, No. 35 (2015)

“Reading the ‘1979 Moment’ in the Middle East – An Interview with Amir Moosavi” (May 2017)

“Editor’s Introduction: Battling Truths: The Legacy of the Iran-Iraq War in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” co-authored with Narges Bajoghli, Middle East Critique, Volume 27, no. 1 (February 2017). Reprinted in Debating the Iran-Iraq War in Contemporary Iran (co-edited with Narges Bajoghli)

“War’s Other Voices: Home Front Narratives in Persian and Arabic Fiction” in Moments of Silence: Authenticity in the Cultural Expressions of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988, (Eds.) Khakpour, Khorrami and Vatanabadi, NYU Press (2016)

Associated Programs

Middle East Studies Minor