Wessam Elmeligi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Director, Center for Arab American Studies
Wessam Elmeligi
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Center for Arab American Studies
Language, Culture, and the Arts

Teaching Areas:

Middle East Studies, Arab American Studies, Arabic

Research Areas:

Arab Cinema, Classical and Modern Arabic Art and Literature, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, Immigration Narratives, Literary Psychoanalysis, Narratology, SWANA Cultures, The Graphic Novel, Visual Media

Biography and Education

Director: Comparative Literature Certificate

Director: Arabic Translate Certificate

In over 20 years of teaching and building programs for Arabic and English languages and literature in Egypt and the US, my goal has been to foster a learning environment to bring out the creative potential in my students and empower them to think independently and challenge stereotypes.

My scholarship is defined by an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the narratives and visual media of Arab and SWANA cultures, focusing on gender and immigration. My critical anthology, The Poetry of Arab Women from Pre-Islamic Times to Andalusia (Routledge 2019) presents more than 200 poets, marking the first time many of the poems have been translated or analyzed. In addition to academics, I wrote and illustrated two graphic novels, Y &Y, and Jamila.


PhD, Literary Theory, Alexandria University, Egypt; MA, Literary Theory, Alexandria University, Egypt; BA, Language and Literature, Alexandria University, Egyp

Teaching and Research


Narratology, visual media, comparative literature, gender studies, literary psychoanalysis, immigration narratives, the graphic novel, classical and modern Arabic art and literature, Arab cinema, SWANA cultures

Teaching Interests

Arabic literature, Arabic language, Arabic-English and English-Arabic translation, comparative literature

Selected Publications


Cultural Identity in Arabic Novels of Immigration: A Poetics of Return. Rowman & Littlefield, 2021

The Poetry of Arab Women from Pre-Islamic Times to Andalusia. Routledge, 2019


“It Is Not Just Phonetics and Aristocrats – It Is Sexuality and Politics: The Adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in the Egyptian Theatre.” In Rewriting Narratives in Egyptian Theatre: Translation, Performance, Politics, ed. Sirkku Aaltonen & Areeg Ibrahim. Routledge 2016


"Islands, Rooms, and Queues: Three Tropes in Arabic Science Fiction." Journal of Science Fiction4(2), 2021. 36–49

“Unreliable Author: Narrative Duality in Sonallah Ibrahim’s ʾAmrīkānlī.” Authorship 8, no.1. Ghent: Ghent University/DOAJ, 2019. 1-17

“Narrative Fluidity: Intermedial Interpretation of the Persian Legend, Khosrow and Shirin: Abbas Kiarostami’s film Shirin, Ferdowsi’s miniatures, and Nizami Ganjavi’s 12th century Epic Khamsa.” Image & Narrative 19, no.2 (2018): 105-123

Awards and Recognition

Educator of the Year (nominee), Macalester College, 2013

Academic Excellence Faculty Award, Alexandria University, Damanhur Campus, 2007

Fund for the Advancement of Collaborative Teaching, Macalester College, 2018 (with Professor Ernesto Ortiz-Diaz) to develop course “Hyphenating Identities: Multiculturalisms in Al-Andalus and the Americas”

Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Macalester College, 2008-2009 Fulbright Award, Summer Institute on Contemporary Literature, University of Louisville, Kentucky, 1999

Scholarship Recipient, award sponsored by Alexandria University, Edinburgh University, and the British Council in Alexandria for “New Worlds: British Culture in the Twentieth Century,” Scottish Universities’ International Summer, 1995