Amir Moosavi

Amir Moosavi


amir.moosavi [at]

Office Location

Hill Hall, 515

Office Hours

By Appointment

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 in 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. My courses at RU-N have revolved around Arabic and Persian fiction and film, world literature, translation studies, and war culture. I'm particularly interested in the way that cultural production deals with violent pasts, wars, notions of transitional justice, and representations of urban space. I am currently completing 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 other research projects. One of these has recently resulted in a volume which I co-edited titled Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses: Sensory Readings of Persian Literature and Culture. It is the first collection of articles that brings the expanding field of sensory studies to Persian language cultural production, with an emphasis on Persian literature. The second project deals with transregional representations of the final decade of the Cold War in Persian and Arabic literatures. It seeks to understand how literary and cinematic cultures were affected by the major 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 consolidation of power, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, etc.)  and how later film, fiction, and art looks back at that period to in an attempt to make sense of it today. From 2018-2020, I edited a series of blog posts dealing with this topic that can be found here. In June 2022, I co-organized a second conference around a similar topic called "The Literary 1980s in the Middle East and North Africa: Towards A Transregional History of the Present" and am currently in the process of putting together both peer-reviewed and open-access publications based on it. 


Courses Taught

Reading Arabic Literature

Reading Persian Literature 

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' 


Persian literature

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

Environmental humanities 

Arabic and Persian language pedagogy


Select Awards

Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program for the Arabic Language Initiative & Expansion of Middle East Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, 2024-2026

National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, 2021-2022

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

“Sonic Triggers and Fiery Pools: The Senses at War in Hossein Abkenar’s Scorpion" in Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses (Leiden UP, 2021)

"Desacralizing a Sacred Defense: The Iran-Iraq War in the fiction of Hossein Mortezaeian Abkenar," 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