About Mohammad Salama


(415) 338-1338


Associate Professor, Department Chair


Foreign Languages & LitCollege of Liberal and Creative Arts


Humanities (HUM)



At SF State Since:



I received my PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005, with a focus on Arabic literature. I was born in Alexandria, Egypt where I spent my childhood and adolescent years. After High School, I moved to Cairo to study English and Arabic at al-Alsun, Rifa'a al-Tahtawi's first school of translation in the Arab world, where I received my BA and MA in modern English Literature and Translation. My interests include modern and classical Arabic literature, Quranic Studies, comparative literary trends in colonial and post-colonial Europe and the Arab world, as well as French and Egyptian cinema. I have published in a number of scholarly venues, including der Islam, SCTIW Review, JAL, ASJ, ALIF, Stanford Arcade, and AHR. 

My hobbies include playing Judo,  Squash,  Hiking, Cooking, the Art and Practice of Simultaneous Interpretation, and Chess.



Modern Arabic Language and Literaure

Islam in the Middle East

Qur'anic Studies

Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial Cinema

European Colonialism

Theories of Modernity

Comparative Literature




2018. Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt: From the Monarchy to the Republic (Cambridge UP, 2018)

2018. The Qur'an and Modern Arabic Literary Criticism (Bloomsbury, 2018) 

2011. Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History (I.B. Tauris, 2011)

2011. German Colonialism. Coedited (Columbia UP, 2011)




2018. “The Untranslatability of the Qur’ānic City.” Chapter contribution to The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives. Edinburgh UP, 2016. [In Print]

2018. “Reclaiming Qur’anic Exegesis: Naṣr Ḥāmid Abū Zayd’s Theory of Ta’wīl between Traditionalism and Postsecularism.” Boundary 2 (2018).

2017. “Fundamentalism.” Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline. Routledge, 2017

2016. “Naguib Mahfouz, The Postcolonial (Re)Turn” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.


2016. “Postcolonial Arabic Literature” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.


2016. “Colonizing a Colonizer: Repression, Myth and Mimesis In Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis.” Journal of Modern Art History Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade 12 (2016): 253-271.

2016. “The Dialectic of Writing and Forgetting in Luay Hamza Abbas.” Al-Kalimah [The Word: A Monthly Cultural Review] 105 (January 2016).


أدب العالم بين المركزية و التهميش: قراءة في الأدب العربي ما بعد الاستعمار

2014. ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics. A Special Issue on World Literature: Perspectives and Debates 34 (2014): 42-66.

2014. “Jean-Luc Godard and the Dilemma of Postcolonial Cinema.” Journal of Modern Art History Department Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade 10 (2014): 9-30.

2014. Review Essay of Understanding the Qur’an Today, by Mahmoud Hussein. SCTIW Review, October 2014.


2012. “Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb.” Paper co-authored with Rachel Friedman. Arab Studies Journal 20, no. 1 (2012): 104-131.

2009. “Science in Islam.” Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.


2008. “Arabs and the Arab World.” Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.


2007. “Yanko’s Footprints: Edward Said and the Experience of Exile.” Pacific Coast Philology 42, no. 2 (2007): 238-253.

2006. “The Ruses of Denshawai: History, Event, Fiction.” Journal of Middle Eastern and North African Cultural and Intellectual Studies 4, no. 1 (2006): 1-29.

2006. “A ‘Salary’ of Death: On Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb’s Ḥaffār al-Qubūr.” Journal of Arabic Literature 37, no. 2 (2006): 190-205.

2002. “The Interruption of Myth: A Nancian Reading of Blanchot and al-Bayyātī.” Journal of Arabic Literature 33, no. 3 (2002): 248-254.

2001. “The Mise en Scène of Writing in al-Bayyātī’s al-Kitāba ‘Alā al-Țin.” Journal of Arabic Literature 32, no. 2 (2001): 142-166.

2000. “The Aesthetics of ‘Pygmalion’ in G.B. Shaw and Tawfīq al-Ḥakīm.” Journal of Arabic Literature 31, no. 3 (2000): 222-237.



2015. Review Essay of The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters, by Muhsin al-Musawi. SCTIW Review, October 2015. http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/862

2014. Review of The Arab Nahdah: The Making of the Intellectual and Humanist Movement, by Abdulrazzak Patel. The American Historical Review 119, no. 4 (2014): 1393-1394.

2014Kafka and the Anglophone Arabs, or, The Starting Point of Theorizing Arab Immigrant Narratives: A Review Essay of Waïl Hassan’s Immigrant Narratives. SCTIW Review, December 2014 http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/502

2012. Review of Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times, by Allen James Fromherz. der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East 89 (2012): 203-207.




DISCLAIMER: (This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to me and do not represent those of  Stanford University, San Francisco State University or other institutions or organizations that I may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacities, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions in my blog are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I won’t be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or for the availability of this information. I won’t be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information).


08.20.2018. Against Hate (IV): The US Supreme Court, Islam, and Justice in a Xenophobic Age


03.13.2017. Against Hate (III): Deconstructing Terror


02.27.2017. Against Hate (II): The Muslim Ban as Unconstitutional Totalitarianism


02.20.2017. Against Hate (I): The Muslim Ban and the Banality of Alternative Facts


04.12.2016. Make America Hate Again: Islam and the Politics of Presidential Campaigns


11.20.2015. Gamal al-Ghitani: In Memoriam (1945-2015)


10.19.2015. It is the Niqab Again: Stephen Harper and the Barbarism of Politics


04.13.2015. “Arabic and the Monopoly of Theory