I am a comparative medievalist and digital humanist.
I am Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at New York University Abu Dhabi located on Saadiyat Island in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Previously, I was Associate Professor in the Department of English at the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon. I served as Chairperson of AUB’s Department of English from 2010-14.
In medieval studies, I have been interested for many years in placing medieval literature in a global context. My current research focuses on the mobility of texts between the Arabograph world of the southern and eastern Mediterranean and medieval Europe. I work in a number of medieval European and Mediterranean languages: middle English, old / middle French, Latin, old Spanish, medieval Italian and Arabic. I have published on questions of mouvance, compilation, rewriting and patronage in late medieval courts.
In digital medieval studies, I am interested in the creation of open, inclusive corpora for computational textual research in medieval studies. Such research allows us to make micro-, meso- and macro-level observations about the interrelatedness of bodies of texts as well as to discover patterns of discursive similarity, thereby expanding traditional notions of intertextuality. I work with geo-visualization, network visualization and alignment as ways of framing old and new questions in literary history.
In digital humanities, I am interested in what might be called location-based or site-specific inquiry working with geospatial data to model phenomena of human culture, a field that has become known as the spatial humanities. The digital map interface interests me as a site of data assemblage of cultural materials, both historical and contemporary. More broadly, I am interested in challenges of humanities data stemming from multilingual environments and social, participatory creation.
I firmly believe that, if empowered by the methods in the critique, creation and management of digital knowledge, the Arab region can work to close the knowledge gap. Creating knowledge from within, and disseminating it openly and freely, allows us to critique received discourses about language, society and culture, supplanting them with alternative, informed ones.
Keywords for my research
medieval studies; French studies; Arabic studies; digital humanities; spatial humanities; open data; access; social knowledge creation; multilingualism; comparative literature
Header image: @DJWrisley, Vase, Conjunto Arqueológico Madinat Al-Zahra