Caroline Seymour-Jorn

Position title: UW System Fellow (2023-2024)

Pronouns: She/her

Professor of Comparative Literature and Global Studies, Department of Global Studies, UW–Milwaukee

This is a headshot of a woman with blonde hair standing outside next to flowers.

Arab Literary Selves in the Global Arena

My project for the IRH Fellowship is to complete Chapter 4 of my third monograph entitled “Arab Literary Selves in the Global Arena” during the fall semester of 2023. “Arab Literary Selves” explores the writing and literary strategies of three Jordanian or Palestinian-Jordanian writers: Zahra `Umar (b. 1938), Leila al- Atrash (b. 1951), and Samiha Khrais (b. 1956). Chapter 4 is dedicated to the often self-consciously feminist work of the Palestinian-Jordanian novelist Leila al-Atrash, who began publishing literary works in 1988. This monograph will be the first academic study devoted solely to these little-translated Jordanian women writers.

Caroline Seymour-Jorn is Professor of Comparative Literature and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology (Middle East emphasis) from the University of Chicago. Her research combines anthropological, literary and art critical approaches to examine Arabic literature and art. She is the author Cultural Criticism in Egyptian Women’s Writing: Anthropological and Literary Perspectives (2011) and Creating Spaces of Hope: Young Artists and the New Imagination in Egypt (2021). Her research in Egypt has been supported by two Fulbright grants. Along with co-authors Anna Mansson McGinty and Kristin Sziarto she is currently completing a monograph entitled Muslims in Milwaukee: Places, Identities and Activism, which is a collaboration with Sunni Muslim leaders that explores the basic dimensions of the Milwaukee Muslim community, and describes how Muslims negotiate the racialized landscape of Milwaukee. Her ongoing research in Jordan focuses on the literary strategies and social commentary of three prominent women writers, Zahra `Umar (b. 1938), Leila al- Atrash (b. 1951), and Samiha Khrais (b. 1956).