SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Ayman El-Desouky

BA (Cairo); MA, PhD (Austin, Texas)
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Ayman El-Desouky
Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East

Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Comparative Literature

Centre for Gender Studies

Member, Centre for Gender Studies

London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)


Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Dr Ayman El-Desouky
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4355
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
On Sabbatical:
On leave 2015-16


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Alexandria Milton, Beyond the Periphery: Spatial Approaches to Human Experience in the Short Story
  • Cleo Jay, Moroccan Theatre in the Post-Lead Years: Performing Identity, Politics and Society
  • Dalal S Al-Baroud, Reflections on the Dialogue with the Divine: A Comparative Study of Muslim and Christian Sources
  • Hany Rashwan, Literariness and aesthetics in ancient Egyptian literature: towards an Arabic-based critical approach - Jinās as a case study.
  • Katarzyna Kubin, “Reclaiming Homelands”: How the Affect of Shame in Postcolonial Literature Exposes Dilemmas about Belonging and Identity
  • Maddalena Italia, The erotic untranslatable: the modern reception of Sanskrit love poetry in the West and in India
  • Maha Abdel Megeed, Muwaylihi's Isa ibn Hisham: Between 18th-Century Revival and 19th-Century Neoclassical Renaissance
  • Qiong Yu, Understanding Britain's perception of China and the Chinese in the nineteenth century from the perspective of Britain's intellectual, political and social change (tentative)
  • Rasha Chatta, Marginality and Individuation: A Theoretical Approach to Abla Farhoud and Arab Migrant Literature


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • Radio
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  • Briefings
  • Short Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Near and Middle East
Country Expertise
  • Egypt
  • Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Arabic


Authored Books

El-Desouky, Ayman (2016) Figuring the Sacred in the Modern Arabic Novel. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (Forthcoming)

El-Desouky, Ayman (2014) The Intellectual and the People in Egyptian Literature and Culture: Amāra and the 2011 Revolution. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave Pivot)

El-Desouky, Ayman (2010) Kahlil Gibran: An Illustrated Anthology. London: Spruce/Octopus Publishing Group Ltd..

El-Desouky, Ayman (2010) Kahlil Gibran: Een Geïllustreerde Bloemlezing. Haarlem, The Netherlands: Altamira.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2010) Kahlil Gibran: Et Illustrert Utvalg. Oslo, Norway: Schibsted Forlag.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2010) Khalil Gibran: Una Antología Ilustrada. Barcelona: Blume.

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

El-Desouky, Ayman and Rooney, Caroline, eds. (2011) Egyptian Literary Culture and Egyptian Modernity. London: Routledge. (Routledge Journal of Postcolonial Writing)

El-Desouky, Ayman and Brehony, Noel, eds. (2007) British-Egyptian Relations from Suez to the Present Day. London: Saqi Books. (SOAS Middle East Issues)

Book Chapters

El-Desouky, Ayman (2014) 'Disturbing Crossings: The Unhomely, the Unworldly and the Question of Method in Approaches to World Literature.' In: Harrison, Rachel, (ed.), Disturbing Conventions: Decentering Thai Literary Cultures. London: Rowman & Littlefield International, Ltd., pp. 239-245.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2013) 'Beyond Spatiality: Theorising the Local and Untranslatability as Comparative Critical Method.' In: Küpper, Joachim, (ed.), Approaches to World Literature, Volume 1, WeltLiteraturen/World Literatures Series. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp. 59-86.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2009) 'Gamal al-Ghitani (1945-).' In: Al-Mallah, Majd and Fitzpatrick, Coeli, (eds.), Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 346: Twentieth-Century Arab Writers. New York: Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc, pp. 58-68. (Dictionary of Literary Biography)

El-Desouky, Ayman (2009) 'Bahaa' Taher (1935-).' In: Al-Mallah, Majd and Fitzpatrick, Coeli, (eds.), Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 346: Twentieth-Century Arab Writers. New York: Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc, pp. 252-257.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2007) 'Notes on Political Memory and Cultural Memory.' In: El-Desouky, Ayman and Brehony, Noel, (eds.), British-Egyptian Relations from Suez to the Present Day. London: Saqi Books, pp. 163-178. (SOAS Middle East Issues)

Journal Articles

El-Desouky, Ayman (2014) 'The Amāra on the Square: Connective Agency and the Aesthetics of the Egyptian Revolution.' Cultural Practices/Resistant Acts: Cultural Production and Emerging Democracies in Revolutionary Nations, Special Issue of Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest. (Forthcoming)

El-Desouky, Ayman (2014) 'The Object-Interruptive: Reflections on the Social Resonance of the Archaeological Find.' Forming Material Egypt, Special Issue of Egyptology and Egyptological Documents, Archives and Libraries EDAL. (Forthcoming)

El-Desouky, Ayman (2014) 'Between Hermeneutic Provenance and Textuality: The Qur'an and the Question of Method in Approaches to World Literature.' Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 16 (3). pp. 11-38.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2013) 'Naẓm, iʿjāz, Discontinuous Kerygma: Approaching Qur'anic Voice on the Other Side of the Poetic.' Journal of Qur'anic Studies. pp. 1-21.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2011) 'Heterologies of Revolutionary Action: On Historical Consciousness and the Sacred in Mahfouz’s Children of the Alley.' Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47 (4). pp. 428-439.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2010) 'Expanding Eyes: Language, Literature, History, and Identity: Perceptions of Korea in the Middle East and Comparative Literary Perspectives.' Journal of Korean Culture, 14 (2). pp. 217-236.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2007) 'Ego eimi: Kerygma or Existential Metaphor? Frye, Bultmann and the Problem of Demythologizing.' Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée, 34 (2). pp. 131-171.

El-Desouky, Ayman (2004) 'Narrating and Tracing the Past: A Reading of al-Ghitani’s Mutun al-ahram.' Alif, A Journal of Comparative Poetics, 24. pp. 119-152.


El-Desouky, Ayman (2000) The Self-Begetting Modern: Figuring the Human in Whitman and Joyce. PhD thesis. University of Texas at Austin.


El-Desouky, Ayman, trans. (2005) The Laws of Absence by Ahmed El-Madini. Sardines and Oranges: Short Stories from North Africa . London: Banipal Books.

El-Desouky, Ayman, trans. (1993) From "Naguib Mahfouz's Critics" by Gaber Asfour. In: Beard, M. and Haydar, A. (eds.), Naguib Mahfouz: From Regional Fame to Global Recognition . Syracuse University Press. pp. 144-175.

This list was generated on Wed Oct 26 00:33:18 2016 BST.