Department of Arabic Language & Literature

University of Haifa

top heb
Prof. Reuven Snir
Full Profesor
Eshkol Towerת Floor: 15 Room: 1511
Reception Hours: By appointment via e-mail
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Internal No.: 2072

Modern Arabic literature and theater
Curriculum vitae

I am a professor of Arabic literature at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Haifa. Following the completion of my PhD at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I taught at Tel Aviv University, and since 1989 I have been teaching at the University of Haifa. I spent various periods of research at academic centers and institutes of advanced studies in Oxford, Berlin, Harvard, Leipzig, Philadelphia, and Marseilles and I served as visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin, Heidelberg University, and Gothenburg University.

I teach courses on modern Arabic literature, especially poetry, and supervising MA and PhD students concentrating on the interactions between contemporary and classical Arabic poetry. The way we view the relationship between modern and classical Arabic literature is essential to our understanding of the nature of contemporary Arabic literary system. Modern Arabic literature is connected with the ancient Arabic literary heritage in all aspects of development. Every signal innovation is based on or is introduced against that literary background; moreover, no Arab poet, writer or playwright has ever succeeded in gaining fame or becoming canonical without a deep knowledge of the literary heritage.

As a researcher, I focus on Arabic literature and theatre. I also translate Arabic poetry into Hebrew and English. In my studies, I deal as well with the interactions between canonical and non-canonical literature such science fiction, detective literature and popular literature both for children and adults. In my studies about Arab-Jewish culture, I deal with Arabic literary works written by Jews since the pre-Islamic period until today. The sad fact is that currently there is not even one Jewish writer of record who was born in Israel after 1948 and is still writing in Arabic. A Jew who is now fluent in Arabic must have either been born in an Arab country (and their numbers, of course, are rapidly decreasing) or have acquired the language as part of his training for service in the military or security services (and their numbers, needless to say, are always increasing).

The following is a list of my most recent books:

  • Reuven Snir. Adonis, Maftah Pe‘ulut ha-Ruah [Index of the Acts of the Wind] (Tel Aviv: Keshev, 2012).
  • Reuven Snir. Baghdad ― The City in Verse (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013).
  • Reuven Snir. Mahmud Darwish ― 50 Shenot Shira [Mahmud Darwish50 Years of Poetry] (Tel Aviv: Keshev, 2015).
  • Reuven Snir. Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities (Leiden: Brill, 2015).
  • Reuven Snir. Modern Arabic Literature: A Theoretical Framework (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017).
  • Reuven Snir. Arab-Jewish Literature: The Birth and Demise of the Arabic Short Story (With an Anthology of 16 Translated Short Stories by Arabized Jews) (Leiden: Brill, 2019).

The following is a selected list of my most recent articles:

1. Reuven Snir. “Baghdad, Yesterday: On History, Identity, and Poetry” [Hebrew], Pe‘amimStudies in Oriental Jewry 125-127 (2010-2011), pp. 97-156.

2. Reuven Snir. “‘The More the Vision Increases, the More the Expression Decreases’: Muslim Mysticism Between Experience, Language and Translation” [Hebrew], Jama‘a 19 (2011), pp. 83-133.

3. Reuven Snir. “Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Fragmented Consciousness, ‘Inessential Solidarity’, and the ‘Coming Community’ (Part 1),” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 11.2 (July 2012), pp. 169–189.

4. Reuven Snir. “Between Arabness and Zionism: Iraqi-Jewish Writers in Arabic in the 20th Century,” al-KarmilStudies in Arabic Language and Literature 32-33 (2011-2012), pp. 28-73 (English part).

5. Reuven Snir. “Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Fragmented Consciousness, ‘Inessential Solidarity’, and the ‘Coming Community’ (Part 2),” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (July 2015), pp. 299-314.

6. Reuven Snir. “World Literature, Republics of Letters, and the Arabic Literary System: The ‘Modernists’ in the Defendants’ Bench – A Review Article,” Mamlūk Studies Review XXII (2019), pp. 137-192.

7. Reuven Snir. “‘Washing Away the Shame’: A Forgotten Arab-Jewish Author as a Pioneer against Honor Killing,” ShofarAn Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 38.1 (2020), pp. 109-145.