Anouar El Younssi

Assistant Professor of Arabic & Middle Eastern 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, Summers 2019 and 2021. 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]


  • "Berrada's The Game of Forgetting: The Pull between Aesthetics and Politics.” 20th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece, June 20-22, 2022. (In person)
  • "Identity Crisis and the Arab’s Encounter with Europe: A Comparison of Three Novels from MENA.” American Comparative Literature Association annual conference. June 15-18, 2022. (Online)
  • "The Call for a Liberal Islam: Between Reformers and Dissenters.” Twelfth International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society. University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain.  June 9-10, 2022. (In person)
  • "The Politics of Form in Abdallah Laroui’s novel ʾAwrāq.” Over the Horizon: Comparative Perspectives on Literature International Conference. London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research. June 4-5, 2022. (Online)
  • "The Amazigh Cultural Movement in the Maghreb Soldiers On Despite Immense Challenges.” 47th Annual Meeting of the African Literature Association. May 18-21, 2022. (Online
  • "Censorship in the Arab World: A Tool for Maintaining the Status Quo,” Obscenity! Blasphemy! Treason! An Interdisciplinary International Conference on Censorship, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Taiwan University, March 3-5, 2022. (Online)
  • "Mohamed Choukri: When Literature Offers Biting Social Critique.” The Southeast Coastal Conference on Languages and Literatures, Georgia Southern University, Sept. 24, 2021. (Online).
  • "The Politico-Religious Establishment and Its Assault on Literary Freedom in the Arab World.” The African Literature Association annual conference, May 27, 2021. (Online)
  • "The Migrant/Refugee Crisis of 2015 and the Rise of Anti-Muslim Right-Wing Politics in Europe.” 19th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain, June 30-July 2, 2021. (In-person presentation).
  • "Islam, Muslims, and the West: A Strained Relationship Amidst the Rise of Right-Wing Populist Politics.” Eleventh International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society, University of Córdoba, Spain, June 2-4, 2021. (ONLINE)
  • "Islam & the West: A Relationship of Incompatibility or Merely One of Misunderstanding?”  Middle East Dialogue meeting, Policy Studies Organization. March 19, 2021. (ONLINE)
  • “Voices of Dissent/Reform in Islam in North America: A Movement that Keeps Growing.” Thirteenth Annual ASMEA (Association for the Study of the Middle East & Africa) Conference: Understanding the Regions: Politics, Identity, and History of the Middle East and Africa. Virtual. Nov. 18-20, 2020.
  • “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