Anouar El Younssi

Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

Dr. El Younssi was born and grew up in the town of Ksar El Kebir in northern Morocco. His American journey started with a year-long Fulbright program in AY 2007-2008 at St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York. He has taught a variety of college-level courses in Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature in different American universities and colleges since 2007. As a teacher, Dr. El Younssi values meaningful interactions in the classroom as well as the understanding and appreciation of cultural difference. His scholarly work explores the wave of literary innovation in Arabic literatures, with a focus on Morocco and the Maghreb region. His research seeks to consolidate critical scholarship on literary modernity and the avant-garde in their Arabic versions. In addition, Dr. El Younssi has research interests pertaining to discourses in and about Islam in the US, the West, and beyond. 


PhD| Pennsylvania State University| 2015

MA| St. Bonaventure University| 2010

BA| Abdelmalek Essa'di University, Tetouan, Morocco| 2002

Courses Taught

  • Elementary Arabic I and II
  • Intermediate Arabic I and II
  • Introduction to Middle Eastern Civilizations 
  • Contemporary Literature and Film from the Arab-Moslem World
  • The Arab World: Culture and Society 


  • Arab Culture and Civilization
  • Ethics, Justice, and Rights: Arab-Moslem and African Literatures and Film
  • The Arab World: Media, Literature, and Culture
  • Arabic Composition & Conversation
  • StarTalk Intensive Arabic 
  • Social Justice and Human Rights in Contemporary Literature and Film from the Arab-Moslem World
  • Tangier as a Crossroads of Civilizations: Historical, Cultural, and Literary Encounters between East and West 
  • Introduction to World Literature 
  • Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature 
  • Myths and Mythologies of the Non-Western World 


  • Principal Investigator, StarTalk (intensive Arabic language program) Federal Grant, Summer 2019. Oxford College of Emory University. The theme that guides this 4-week summer program is "Let's Explore Moroccan Food." 
  • Principal Investigator, StarTalk (intensive Arabic language program) Federal Grants, Summer 2018 and Summer 2017. [While working at Virginia Military Institute]


  • "Maajid Nawaz, Irshad Manji, and the Call for a Muslim Reformation," Politics, Religion & Ideology Journal 19.3 (2018): 305-325. 
  • Souffles-Anfās and the Moroccan Avant-Garde Post-Independence,” Journal of North African Studies 23 (2018): 34-52.
  •  “The Countercultural, Liberal Voice of Moroccan Mohamed Choukri and its Affinities with the American Beats.” Vitality and Dynamism: Interstitial Dialogues of Language, Politics, and Religion in Morocco’s Literary Tradition. Vol. 1. Ed. Kirtsin R. Bratt, et al. Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2015. 157-176.     
  • “An Exoticized World Literature: Ben Jelloun at the Two Shores of the Mediterranean.” Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 34 (2014): 225-50.  


  • “World Literature in Translation: A Blessing or a Curse?” The 4th International Conference on Language, Linguistics, Literature and Translation: Exploring Cultural Intersections, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, February 6-8, 2020. 
  • “STARTALK: An Innovative Language Program in the U.S.” A Talk at Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Atlanta, January 31, 2020.
  • Wadjda, a Film that Quietly Sets the Stage for a Cultural Revolution in Saudi Arabia.” The WASET International Conference on Visual Culture and Arts, Paris, France, December 30-31, 2019.
  • “Is Islam an Existential Threat to the West?” 2nd International Conference on “The End of Western Hegemonies?” The University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 5-7, 2019.
  • “When Literary Rebellion and Political Rebellion Converge: The Case of the Twin-Magazine Souffles-Anfas.” The African Literature Association annual conference, Columbus, Ohio, May 16, 2019. 
  • “Experimentalism in the Postcolonial Moroccan Novel: Fusing the Spheres of Aesthetics and Politics,” South East Coastal Conference on Languages and Literature, Georgia Southern University, April 11-12, 2019. 
  • “Taha Hussein and Naguib Mahfouz: A Critical Assessment of 20th-Century Arabic Novel.” 3rd Arts & Humanities Conference, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain, May 15-18, 2018.
  • “The Trump Executive Order on Immigration: A Wake-up Call for Muslims?” MLA (Modern Language Association) Annual Convention, New York City, Jan. 4-7, 2018.
  • “Reforming Islam Today: Between the Constraint of Censorship and the Pressure of Political Correctness.” ASMEA (Association for the Study of the Middle East & Africa) Conference, Washington, DC, Oct. 19-21, 2017.
  • Souffles-Anfās and the Moroccan Revolutionary Left Post-Independence.” The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference, University of Kentucky, April 6-8, 2017.
  • “The Postcolonial Moroccan Novel: Between Experimentalism and Realism.” West East Institute International Academic Conference, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 23-25, 2017.
  • “The New Moroccan Novel and al-Turāth (Heritage): The Pursuit of Authenticity outside the Euro-American Episteme?” The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 23-25 April, 2015
  •  “Tahar Ben Jelloun: A Troubled World Littérateur in Exile?”  ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) Conference, University of Washington, Seattle, 26-29 March, 2015
  • “Tangier: An Abiding Literary Space” Abiding Cities Remnant Sites Conference, CUNY, New York, 14 Nov., 2014.
  • “Revolutionary Breaths: Souffles/Anfas and the Moroccan Avant-Garde” The African Literature Association Annual Conference, College of Charleston, South Carolina, March 2013.

Research Interests

  • Modern Arabic literature and Culture
  • Islam & Islamic/Muslim Reform Movements 
  • Arab Film
  • Francophone Maghrebian Literature
  • World literature and Translation Studies
  • Theories of Aesthetics and Politics
  • The Arab Avant-Garde
  • The Beat Generation