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Rebecca Joubin


Ph.D. Columbia University
M.A. Georgetown University
B.A. College of William and Mary


My research interests include gender and sexuality in the Middle East, Queer Middle East culture studies, modern Arabic and Persian literature, politics of Middle Eastern drama, contemporary Syrian art and media, and memory studies.

Before joining Davidson in 2009, I lived and conducted research in Syria for close to a decade, focusing on how topics of identity, family, and social relationships are portrayed in contemporary Syrian art and media. During that time I became especially fascinated by how gender is presented in television, film, and theatre, and how those art forms developed into opportunities for a more open discussion and reflection on issues that would otherwise not be socially and politically permissible. Some of that research was included in my first manuscript: The Politics of Love: Sexuality, Gender, and Marriage in Syrian Television Drama (Lexington Press, 2013). I am currently completing a manuscript entitled: Mediating the Uprising: Narratives of Gender and Marriage in Syrian Television Drama (advance contract with Rutgers University Press), which intersects with memory studies and trauma theory. Alongside this book project, I am writing on article on the sixth 'Abbasid Caliph Muhammad al-Amin, which intersects with memory studies. I am committed to raising awareness of the voices of Arab and Iranian artists and intellectuals through translation of Persian and Arabic literature, most recently, a translation of Afsaneh by Moniru Ravanipur (IBEX Press, 2013). I am currently engaged in a translation of Hassan Sami Yusuf's 'Atbat al-Alam and a book project on eighteenth-century French Orientalism.  

While at Davidson, I have been steadfastly committed to encouraging my students to engage in original research and professional development. Through the years, my students have attained funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Dean Rusk, Abernathy fellowships, and have published articles related to Middle Eastern media, art, and culture in newspapers and magazines such as al-Araby, Syria Untold, Syria Deeply, al-Jadid, and al-Noor. I have also involved students in my own research and have co-published articles with several of them.


ARB 101: Elementary Arabic I
ARB 102: Elementary Arabic II
ARB 240: Accelerated Persian for Arabic Speakers
ARB 250: Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East
ARB 251: Queer Middle East Culture Studies
ARB 295: Studies in Arab Culture
ARB 321: Contemporary Arabic Literature
ARB 325: Contemporary Syrian Television Drama
ARB 329: Politics and Gender in Middle Eastern Melodrama
ARB 341: Politics and Gender in Contemporary Syrian Literature
ARB 342: Postcolonial Syrian Cinema