Email Address
Christian A. Johnson 213

Rama Alhabian received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University and was trained in English, Anglophone, postcolonial literatures and comparative literary studies. She was previously Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Arabic at Bowdoin College. Alhabian focuses on connections between Arabic and European literatures: temporal, spatial, intellectual, and linguistic. Her research allows her to travel across space and time and to explore mobility and intellectual exchange in the 19th century revival of the Arabic maqama, a narrative genre that originated in 10th century Baghdad and that centers around the exploits of a trickster figure. More broadly, her interests include genre studies, geopoetics and the intersection of geography and literary representations, translation theory, the travel of texts, individuals, and material things, in addition to posthumanism in literature.

Recent Courses Taught

Third Term Arabic
Modern Arabic Fiction and Film 

Research Interests

Modern and Medieval Arabic Literature; Postcolonial Studies and Literature; Geopoetics; Translation and Genre Studies. The Novel and the Sea, Islands in Literature, Science Fiction.


  • Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Arabic, Bowdoin College, 2020-22
  • Sage Fellow, Near Eastern Studies, Cornell University, 2013; 2017
  • Lynn Fellow, Comparative Literature, Purdue University, 2011
  • Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace, the Hebrew Language School, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, Summer 2014
  • Ministry of Higher Education Scholarship, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2006; 2011
  • Queen Effat Scholarship Award., Effat University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2000

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Teaching of Arabic
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Modern Language Association
  • Middle East Studies Association

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Cornell University
M.A., Cornell University
M.A., King Saud University
B.A., Effat University

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