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About Rebecca Gould

Rebecca Ruth Gould is Professor, Islamic World and Comparative Literature, at the University of Birmingham. She specializes in the literatures of the Persian and Islamic world in a comparative context. Her first monograph, entitled Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016) is published by Yale University Press. Together with her dissertation on the classical Persian prison poem (currently being revised as a book under the title The Persian Genre of Incarceration: Prisons and the Literary Imagination), these two book projects delineate poetry's ways of engaging with, resisting, and channeling the state's power from the medieval period to modernity, and across multiple Islamic geographies.

In addition to her scholarship on Persian, Arabic, Russian, and Georgian literatures past and present, Rebecca maintains an active interest in the intersections of anthropology, comparative literature, and social theory. Her essays on these subjects have appeared recently in Telos, Social Text, Comparative Literature Studies, Philosophy & Literature, Studies in the Novel, The Journal of Islamic Studies, and The Journal of Literary Theory.

Rebecca is fascinated theoretically and practically by translation. Her translation of the ghazals of the Indo-Persian poet Hasan Dehlevi, After Tomorrow the Days Disappear, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press. The Prose of the Mountains: Tales of the Caucasus (Budapest: Central European University Press, CEUP Classics series, 2015), was awarded an honorarium by the Georgian Ministry of Culture.

Rebecca has received grants, awards, and fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Future Philology project at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the American Historical Association, the American Philosophical Society, the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, the Medieval Academy of America, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Van Leer Institute for Advanced Studies (Jerusalem), and the American Literary Translators Association. In 2015, she was awarded the MLA's Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship in the field of Foreign Languages for her article “Engendering Critique: Postnational Feminism in Postcolonial Syria,” Women Studies Quarterly 42(3/4): 209-229, as well as the Charles Schmitt Prize by the International Society for Intellectual History for her work on Mīrzā Fatḥ ʿAlī Ākhūndzāda.

Many of her articles and other writings are also available at

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Lectures (1)

Book & Book Chapters (7)

Articles (34)