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
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. http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/orgs/e3w/Slyomovics. 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.
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.
I have held memberships in several professional associations, including: the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).
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