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Photograph of Erez Naaman

Erez Naaman Assoc Professor Department of World Languages and Cultures

PhD, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Harvard University
MA, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Harvard University
MA, Medieval Islamic History, Tel Aviv University
BA, Arabic Language and Literature, History of the Middle East, Tel Aviv University

Erez Naaman specializes in classical Arabic literature and culture. In addition, his research interests include the intellectual history of the premodern Islamic world. His scholarly work has focused primarily on the institution of the court as the key site of literary production, performance, and evaluation in medieval Islamic civilization; legitimate and illegitimate literary borrowing and the ways in which they were practiced and treated; taboos, euphemisms, and language censorship; the naturalization of the Aristotelian habitus concept in the Islamic world and its long trajectory from the ninth to the nineteenth century; and collaborative composition of classical Arabic poetry. His courses include Introduction to Classical Arabic Literature, Modern Arabic Literature, Intellectuals and Society in the Arab World, and The Arabian Nights.
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Fall 2024

  • ARAB-302 Advanced Arabic I

  • ARAB-426 Arabic Topics: Modern Arabic Literature

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Literature and the Islamic Court: Cultural Life under al-Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād. Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2016.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

An Outline of a Plagiarism Controversy from the Abbasid Era: Al-Sarī l-Raffāʾ vs. the Khālidī Brothers.” Journal of Arabic Literature 54, 1-2 (2023): 51-72.

“Authorship and Unity of the Classical Arabic Poem through the Lens of Collaborative Composition.” Arabica 67, 1 (2020): 1-59.

“Collaborative Composition of Classical Arabic Poetry.” Arabica 65, 1-2 (2018): 163-206.

“Maimonides and the Habitus Concept.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 137, 3 (2017): 537-542.  

“Nurture over Nature: Habitus from al-Fārābī through Ibn Khaldūn to ʿAbduh.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 137, 1 (2017): 1-24.

“Eating Figs and Pomegranates: Taboos and Language in the Thousand and One Nights.” Journal of Arabic Literature 44, 3 (2013): 335-370.

“Women Who Cough and Men Who Hunt: Taboo and Euphemism (kināya) in the Medieval Islamic World.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 133, 3 (2013): 467-493.

Sariqa in Practice: The Case of al-Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād.” Middle Eastern Literatures 14, 3 (2011): 271-285.

Book Reviews

Review of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed: A Philosophical Guide, by Alfred L. Ivry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), Journal of the American Oriental Society 139, 1 (2019), 243-247.

Review of Like Joseph in Beauty: Yemeni Vernacular Poetry and Arab-Jewish Symbiosis, by Mark S. Wagner (Leiden: Brill, 2009), Journal of the American Oriental Society 131, 4 (2011), 643-646.