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Kevin Blankinship

Assistant Professor
Asian and Near Eastern Languages

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmericanMaghreb?s=09
3058 JFSB
Provo, UT 84602

Biography

Office Hours
M 10:00-11:00AM, or by email appointment
3058 JFSB

Biography

Welcome! I am a Middle East medievalist, and I joined the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages in 2018, as an assistant professor of Arabic. My teaching includes Arabic language and literature, Islamic civilization, and the Qur’an. In terms of research, I am obsessed with poetry, especially that of Islamic Iberia and North Africa. My PhD thesis (University of Chicago, 2018) is called “Thresholds of Doubt,” and it is about the ethics of authorship as seen through the paratexts — titles, prefaces, glosses, and other ancillary writings — of the blind poet and alleged heretic al-Ma’arri (d. AD 1058).

Forthcoming publications include a co-authored study of al-Ma’arri’s authorship beside that of Byzantine polymath John Tzetzes, a book chapter on al-Ma’arri’s veganism, and an article on medieval Arabic criminal slang. My work has benefited from generous grants by the Fulbright-Hays Program, the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Utah. In addition to scholarship and teaching, I am deeply committed to public humanities engagement. I review books for general-interest audiences, write commentary about Middle Eastern culture and society, and work as a freelance Arabic translator. You can read my work at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jadaliyya, and Bridges Magazine (BYU).

I grew up in northern Virginia and served an LDS mission in Recife, Brazil. I hold a BA from BYU in comparative literature, an MA in the same discipline from UNC Chapel Hill, and a PhD in classical Arabic literature from the University of Chicago. I am married to one of my first Arabic teachers at BYU, and together with her and our two sons, I enjoy hiking, swimming, traveling, and reading out loud.

Degrees

BA, Brigham Young University, Comparative Literature
MA, UNC Chapel Hill, Comparative Literature
PhD, U. of Chicago, Arabic Language and Literature

Teaching Interests

Arabic language and literature
Islamic culture and thought
Qur’anic Studies

Research Interests

Classical Arabic poetry and poetics
Islamic Spain and North Africa
Textual cultures (authorship, commentaries, translation)
Literary pragmatics

Research Interests

Classical Arabic poetry and poetics
Islamic Spain and North Africa
Textual cultures (authorship, commentaries, translation)

Teaching Interests

Arabic language and literature
Islamic culture and thought
Qur'anic Studies

Education

  • PhD, Arabic Language and Literature , Qur'anic Studies, University of Chicago (2018)
  • MA, Arabic Culture and Society , Arabic Language Pedagogy, Middlebury College (2015)
  • MA, Comparative Literature , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009)
  • BA, Comparative Literature , Brigham Young University (2007)

Licenses and Certifications

  • University of Texas at Austin, American University in Cairo, Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) (2010 - Present)

Memberships

  • National Book Critics Circle (2019 - Present)
  • Society of Classical Poets (2019 - Present)
  • Middle East Medievalists (2018 - Present)
  • Rock Canyon Poets (2018 - Present)
  • American Institute for Maghrib Studies (2016 - Present)
  • Southern Denmark University Center for Medieval Literature (2016 - Present)
  • American Comparative Literature Association (2015 - Present)
  • American Oriental Society (AOS) (2015 - Present)
  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA) (2015 - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Enarratio: Journal of the Medieval Association of the Midwest (2019 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Middle East Studies Association, International Journal for Middle East Studies (2019 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) (2019 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (2018 - Present)
  • Guest Speaker, AMIDEAST, Rabat, Morocco (2018 - 2018)
  • Guest Speaker, Utah Humanities Book Festival (2017 - 2017)

Courses Taught

Publications

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Presentations

Kevin Mark Blankinship
Kevin Mark Blankinship