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afikra Conversations: Translator Roger Allen
January 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join this interview with translator and scholar of Arabic literature Roger Allen as part of the afikra Conversations series.
Bio: Roger Allen obtained his doctoral degree in modern Arabic literature from Oxford University in 1968, the first student to obtain a doctoral degree in that field at Oxford, under the supervision of Dr. M.M. Badawi. The topic of the dissertation was a study (and English translation) of Muhammad al-Muwaylihi’s renowned narrative, Hadith `Isa ibn Hisham (`Isa Ibn Hisham’s Tale); it was later published in book form as A Period of Time. In the late 1960s Roger Allen began to concentrate his research on modern Arabic fiction. He began by translating a collection of short stories by Naguib Mahfouz, God’s World, that being the collection mentioned in the published citation of the Nobel Literature Prize Committee in 1988. His research interests have focused on a number of issues within the broader field of Arabic literature: the problems of evaluation of literary works within the complexities of a post-colonial situation; the urgent need to rewrite the literary history of most regions of the Arab world to reflect new understandings concerning the relative significance of different cultural trends; and the status of the fictional genres in the Arab world in the new era of alternative means of publication and indeed new “media”.