Melanie Autumn Magidow


2013 PhD, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures, The University of Texas at Austin

2007 M.A. Near East Studies, New York University

2005 Diploma, Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA), American University in Cairo. Intensive advanced Modern Standard and Egyptian Arabic, June 2004 – May 2005

2004 B.A. with Highest Honors, Middle East Studies with Minor in Arabic, Emory University


Academic Positions and Employment History

2014-Present Freelance Translator, Instructor, Consultant, and Editor

Jan. 2013-Present Moderator of Middle East / North African Lit group,

2017-Present Refugee Helpline Data Assistant, International Refugee Assistance Project

Spring 2015 Advanced Moroccan Arabic and Culture Instructor, online and in-person, University of Maryland

Fall 2013 Arabic Language Instructor, The University of Rhode Island

Summer 2012 Arabic Language Instructor, Middlebury College

Fall 2011    Concert Tour Organizer and Simultaneous Interpreter, Austin and Seattle

Summer 2008 Arabic Teacher, The University of Texas at Austin

2006-07 Arabic Bibliographer, Modern Language Association

Summer 2006 Arabic Language Instructor, City University of New York Graduate Center

Spring 2007 Arabic Language Instructor, Hunter College

2004-05 UNESCO Liaison for the Al-Sirah Al-Hilaliyyah Project, UNESCO Cairo Office

2002-03 Arabic Newspaper Collator, Library of Congress


Fellowships, Grants, and Honors

2016        Nominated for Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation – announcement

2016        National Endowment for the Arts Translation Grant (2 year project)

2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute – North Africa: Literature, the arts, and cinema since independence

2010-11 Fulbright Grant for dissertation research in Morocco

2009-10 Continuing Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Liberal Arts

2009 AIMS Research Grant

2009 Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research Grant

2008-09 Continuing Fellowship, UT Graduate School of Liberal Arts

2008-09 FLAS, Hebrew (declined for Continuing Fellowship)

2005-07 Henry M. MacCracken full tuition at New York University

2005-07 Beinecke Scholarship for graduate studies

2005 Winning short story in Arabic writing contest in Cairo

2004 Center for Arabic Study Abroad Fellowship (full year)

2004 National Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society (Gamma of Georgia chapter)

2003 Research Travel Grant, Institute for Comparative and International Studies


Experience in Arab World

2000-11 Semi-annual visits to Morocco, for language study and research in periods ranging from ten days to eight months

2004-05 One year living in Cairo, participating in the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad, and interning in the Cairo UNESCO Office

2004-05 Independent travel throughout Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan


Research and Teaching Interests

• Arabic literature and society, both historical and contemporary

• Cultural studies of Arabic literature and society

• Feminisms and gender advocacy projects in the Arab World

• Genre developments and their relations to social movements

• Folk genres and their dialogic relations to public discourses and performances



“Trending Classic: The Cultural Register of Moroccan Malhun Poetry” in The Journal of North African Studies (March 2016). Available online.

Book review of The Warrior Women of Islam: Female Empowerment in Arabic Popular Literature (2014) in the “Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies,” 77.3 October 2014.

Multicultural Solidarity: Performances of Malhun Poetry in Morocco, PhD Diss. The University of Texas at Austin, 2013. A Bakhtinian dialogic analysis of sung poetry and its uses in inventing culture and society. Available online.

“Fatima Haddad” entry in The Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press, 2011. By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).

Book review of Who Sings the Nation State? Language, Politics, Belonging by Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak (2007) in “E3W Review of Books,” University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2009. By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).

Book review of The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco by Susan Slyomovics (2005) in “E3W Review of Books,” University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2008. By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).

“Society and Identity in Oral and Written Moroccan Juha Tales” in Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa, April 2006. By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).

“Volga Ethnic Relations from Ibn Fadlan’s Perspective.” Agora 4.1 (2003). By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).


Translations, Arabic to English

Short Story “The Story of King Shahrayar and His Brother” by Somaya Ramadan in online literary journal K1N (8.4: 2016). Available online here.

Novel Mortal Designs, by Reem Bassiouney (Arabic أشياء رائعة Ashiya’ ra’i‘a, Beirut, 2010). American University in Cairo Press, December 2015.

Verse 1 of the Moroccan poem Al-Sham‘a for “The Musical Heritage of Moorish Spain” Concert at U.C. Santa Barbara, 21 February 2015.

Lullabies from Algeria , Egypt, and Morocco on Lisa Yannucci’s site.

Article “Haifa Prior to al-nakba: The City and Society” by Mahmoud Yazbak, solicited translation from Arabic to English for French journal Méditerranées, June 2009. By Melanie Clouser (maiden name).


Presentation on The State of the Field of Arabic Literary Studies at Jil Jadid 2012 Graduate Student Conference, 24 February 2012.

Presentation: “A Twelfth-Century Lyric in Diaspora in Cosmopolitan Alexandria,” American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting, 1-4 April 2010.

Presentation of dissertation research at the 9th annual, fully-funded American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) Dissertation Workshop, 26-28 March 2010.

Presentation: “The Prison Poetry of al-Mutanabbi,” Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference, 21-24 November 2009.

Presentation: “The Farewell Journey of a Twelfth-Century Sicilian Elegy,” Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference, 22-25 November 2008.

Presentation: “Something up Her Sleeve: Recognizing Anagnorisis in Arabic Narratives” in Metamorphoses: An International Colloquium on Narrative & Folklore at The University of Utah, 2-4 October 2008.

Presentation: “An Introduction to Moroccan Literature”  Fulbright-Hayes Summer Seminar Abroad in Morocco Orientation at UT Austin, 27 June 2008.

Presentation in Arabic: The Classical Arabic Heroine: The Epic of Princess Endeavor Dept. of MES at UT Austin, 19 March 2008.

Professional Associations

I have held memberships in several professional associations, including: The New England Translators Association (NETA), the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).

Language Skills

English: Native language

Modern Standard Arabic: Excellent reading, comprehension, communication (rated at “Superior” level on ACTFL proficiency scale)

Moroccan Colloquial Arabic: Excellent comprehension, communication

Egyptian Colloquial Arabic: Advanced comprehension, communication

Levantine Colloquial Arabic: Intermediate comprehension, communication

French: Advanced reading, intermediate communication

Hebrew: Intermediate reading, communication

Spanish: Advanced reading, intermediate low communication