University of Minnesota
Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
cscl@umn.edu
612-624-8099


Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

People

Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt

Prof Shaden M Tageldin

612/625-8445
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature 218 Nicholson Hall 216 Pillsbury Dr SE

Narrative

Shaden M. Tageldin is associate professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, where she joined the faculty in August 2004, and director of graduate studies for the Ph.D. programs in Comparative Literature and Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, as well as for the graduate minor in Moving Image Studies. Focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literatures in English, Arabic, and French, her research and teaching engage several fields within a transnational and a translingual compass: empire and postcolonial studies; critical translation theory; the historiography of literary and cultural “renaissances”; the politics and ideologies of language, literary form, and literary genre; and literatures of migration and diaspora. Tageldin earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004. Her first book, Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011), was awarded the Honorable Mention for the 2013 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA); the doctoral dissertation from which it evolved won the ACLA’s 2005 Charles Bernheimer Prize. Tageldin’s book analyzes the afterlives of two colonial occupations of Egypt—the French (1798) and the British (1882)—to show how Egyptian intellectuals, first as warily intrigued receivers of European “self-translations” into Arab-Islamicity and then as admiring producers of Arabic translations from European literature, psychologically attached themselves to empire even as they imagined themselves to be overcoming colonial domination. Her most recent publications include “The Place of Africa, in Theory: Pan-Africanism, Postcolonialism, Beyond,” in Journal of Historical Sociology (2014); “Untranslatability,” in the ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline 2014–2015 (2014); “The Incestuous (Post)Colonial: Soueif's Map of Love and the Second Birth of the Egyptian Novel in English,” in the Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English (2013); “Proxidistant Reading: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of the Nahdah in U.S. Comparative Literary Studies,” Journal of Arabic Literature 43.2-3 (2012); “Mahfouz's Posts,” in the Modern Language Association (MLA) volume Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz; “The Returns of Theory,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 43.4 (November 2011); “Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba‘i, and the Translations of ‘Religion’ in British Egypt,” PMLA 126.1 (January 2011), which received the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Essay Prize for 2011; and “One Comparative Literature? ‘Birth’ of a Discipline in French-Arabic Translation, 1810-1834,” Comparative Literature Studies 47.4 (2010). She also has published essays on the African novel in Arabic; the politics of language, gender, and (post)coloniality in the Algerian women's fiction of Assia Djebar and Ahlam Mustaghanimi; the poetics of postcolonial migration in Sakinna Boukhedenna and Agha Shahid Ali; the nineteenth-century Egyptian translator and intellectual “reformer” Rifa‘a al-Tahtawi; and language, colonialism, and dismemberment in Naguib Mahfouz. Among other awards, Tageldin has held a U.S. Fulbright Scholar research award in Egypt; a postdoctoral fellowship from the Berlin-based research program “Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe,” co-sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences; a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and two faculty fellowships in the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Arabic Literature and Philological Encounters. A past chair of the executive committee of the MLA Discussion Group (now Division) on Arabic Literature and Culture, she is currently a divisional delegate to the MLA Delegate Assembly and a member of the MLA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, which she co-chairs in 2013–2015.


Specialties

  • 19th- and 20th-century literatures in English, Arabic, French
  • Trans-African and trans-Asian studies
  • Empire and postcolonial studies
  • Critical translation theory
  • Politics of language, literary form, genre
  • Histories and ideologies of comparative literature
  • Aesthetics and biologics of race, nation, culture
  • Literatures of migration and diaspora

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Comparative Literature, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California, 2004.
  • A.B. with honors: English and American Literature and Language, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1992.

Publications

  • Tageldin, Shaden M. Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "The Place of Africa, in Theory: Pan-Africanism, Postcolonialism, Beyond." Journal of Historical Sociology 27.3 (Fall 2014): Online 1 April 2014. Print version in press. Special issue on Contesting Imperial Epistemologies. Ed. Gurminder K. Bhambra, Robbie Shilliam, and Daniel Orrells. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Untranslatability." ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline 2014–2015 (2014): Online 3 March 2014. Ed. Ursula K. Heise et al. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "The Incestuous (Post)Colonial: Soueif's _Map of Love_ and the Second Birth of the Egyptian Novel in English." The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English: The Politics of Anglo Arab and Arab American Literature and Culture. Ed. Nouri Gana. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013. 82-105. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Proxidistant Reading: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of the Nahdah in U.S. Comparative Literary Studies." Journal of Arabic Literature vol. 43, no. 2-3 (2012): 227-68. Special issue on Arabic Literature, Criticism, and Intellectual Thought from the Nahdah to the Present. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Mahfouz's Posts." Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz. Ed. Wail S. Hassan and Susan Muaddi Darraj. New York: Modern Language Association, 2012. 85-104. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "The Returns of Theory." International Journal of Middle East Studies vol. 43, no. 4 (November 2011): 728-30. In "Roundtable: Theory and Arabic Literature in the United States." Ed. Samah Selim. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba'i, and the Translations of 'Religion' in British Egypt." PMLA vol. 126, no. 1 (January 2011): 123-39. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "One Comparative Literature? 'Birth' of a Discipline in French-Egyptian Translation, 1810-1834." Comparative Literature Studies vol. 47, no. 4 (2010): 417-45. Special Issue on Arabic Literature Now: Between Area Studies and the New Comparatism. Ed. Amal Amireh and Wail S. Hassan. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "The African Novel in Arabic." Cambridge Companion to the African Novel. Ed. F. Abiola Irele. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 85-102. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Which _Qalam_ for Algeria? Colonialism, Liberation, and Language in Djebar's _L'Amour, la fantasia_ and Mustaghanimi's _Dhakirat al-Jasad_." Comparative Literature Studies vol. 46, no.3 (2009): 467-97. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Review of Muhammed Al-Da'mi, _Arabian Mirrors and Western Soothsayers: Nineteenth-Century Literary Approaches to Arab-Islamic History_." International Journal of Middle East Studies vol. 38, no. 1 (February 2006): 131-32. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "Reversing the Sentence of Impossible Nostalgia: The Poetics of Postcolonial Migration in Sakinna Boukhedenna and Agha Shahid Ali." Comparative Literature Studies vol. 40, no. 2 (2003): 232-64. Special Issue on Intra-National Comparisons. Ed. Debra Ann Castillo, Francoise Lionnet, Paul Michael Lutzeler. Link
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "The Sword and the Pen: Egyptian Musings on European Penetration, Persuasion, and Power." Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers vol. 87 (Spring 2002): 196-218. Special Issue on Controlling Processes. Ed. Laura Nader.
  • Tageldin, Shaden M. "'Dignity is the most precious...deformity there is!': Language, Dismemberment, and the Body Colonized in Naguib Mahfouz's _Zuqaq al-Midaqq_." Critical Sense vol. 7, no. 1 (Winter 1999): 11-53.

Research Activities

  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship: University of Minnesota, July 2013 - January 2015
  • Imagine Fund Faculty Award: University of Minnesota, 2012 - 2015
  • Imagine Fund Faculty Award: University of Minnesota, 2011 - 2014
  • Imagine Fund Faculty Award: University of Minnesota, 2010 - 2013
  • Imagine Fund Faculty Award: University of Minnesota, 2009 - 2012
  • Europe in the Middle East--The Middle East in Europe Postdoctoral Fellowship: Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, January 2007 - July 2007
  • Research Fellowship Supplement: College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, January 2007 - May 2007
  • Single-Semester Leave: College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, August 2006 - January 2007
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship: Graduate School, University of Minnesota, July 2007 - January 2008
  • 2006 NEH Summer Stipend: National Endowment for the Humanities/Graduate School, University of Minnesota, June 2006 - August 2006
  • Resident Fellowship: Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, January 2006 - May 2006
  • McKnight Summer Fellowship for the Arts and Humanities: Graduate School, University of Minnesota, June 2005 - August 2005
  • Faculty Summer Research Fellowship: Graduate School, University of Minnesota, June 2005 - August 2005
  • Chancellor's Dissertation-Year Fellowship: Graduate Division, University of California, Berkeley, 2003 - 2004
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship: U.S. Department of Education, 2002 - 2003

Professional Activities

  • Divisional Delegate: Modern Language Association (MLA) Delegate Assembly , 2012 - 2015
  • Chair (2013–2015): Modern Language Association (MLA) Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession; Member , 2012 - 2015
  • Peer Reviewer: Report on the State of the Discipline 2014-2015, American Comparative Literature Association , May 2014 - present
  • Member: Translation Studies Committee, International Comparative Literature Association , March 2014 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Princeton University Press , February 2013 - present
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board: Philological Encounters , Spring 2013 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Oxford University Press , September 2011 - present
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board: Journal of Arabic Literature , August 2011 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Journal of Arabic Literature , June 2011 - present
  • Consultant Reader: Modern Language Association (MLA) Book Publications Program , March 2010 - present
  • Chair (2008) and Secretary (2007), Executive Committee: Modern Language Association (MLA) Discussion Group on Arabic Literature and Culture , 2005 - 2009
  • Peer Reviewer: International Journal of Middle East Studies , December 2007 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Political Theory , December 2007 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Comparative Literature Studies , September 2006 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: Cultural Critique , March 2006 - present
  • Peer Reviewer: MELUS, Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States , September 2005 - present
  • Member: Modern Language Association
  • Member: American Comparative Literature Association
  • Member: Middle East Studies Association
  • Member: International Comparative Literature Association
  • Member: African Literature Association
  • Member: African Studies Association
  • Member: Postcolonial Studies Association
  • Member, Organizing Committee: "Spaces of War: France and the Francophone World" Conference, 26-28 October 2006, University of Minnesota , April 2005 - May 2006
  • Organizer: "Beyond a Binary: Refiguring the Human," Seminar at 2006 American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting , February 2006 - March 2006
  • Organizer: "Translation, Empire, (Post)Coloniality," Seminar at 2005 American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting , September 2004 - March 2005
  • Founding Member: Mediterranean Studies Initiative , December 2005 - present
  • Faculty Co-Organizer and Member: Politics of Populations Research Collaborative, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota , September 2005 - May 2006
  • Co-Organizer: Migrations and Culture Working Group , April 2005 - May 2006
  • Co-Convenor: Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Proposal: "Border Crossings: People, Language, Commodities," Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota , December 2005 - February 2006
  • Member: Faculty-Student Advisory Council, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota , 2007 - 2008
  • Delegate: College of Liberal Arts Assembly, University of Minnesota , 2005 - 2006
  • Member: Committee on Curriculum, Instruction, and Advising, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota , 2005 - 2006
  • Member: Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota , January 2006 - May 2006
  • Member: Committee of the Whole, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota , September 2004 - present
  • Member: Nominations and Awards Committee, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota , 2007 - 2008
  • Member: Curriculum Committee, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota , 2005-2006 - 2007-2008
  • Member: Graduate Fellowships Committee, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota , January 2005 - May 2005
  • Member: Graduate Admissions Committee, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota , September 2004 - January 2005

Awards

  • Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2013 - 2014
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, University of Minnesota, July 2013 - January 2015
  • Residential Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Spring 2013
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award, 2012 - 2015
  • Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Essay Prize for "Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba'i, and the Translations of 'Religion' in British Egypt", 2011
  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar Research Award, Fall 2011
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award, 2011 - 2014
  • Sabbatical Supplement, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2011
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award, 2010 - 2013
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award, 2009 - 2012
  • Europe in the Middle East-The Middle East in Europe Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fritz Thysson Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Spring-Summer 2007
  • Research Fellowship Supplement, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Spring 2007
  • Single-Semester Research Leave, University of Minnesota, Fall 2006
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2006 - 2008
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, Summer 2006
  • Residential Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Spring 2006
  • McKnight Arts and Humanities Summer Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Summer 2005
  • Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Summer 2005
  • Charles Bernheimer Prize, American Comparative Literature Association, for best dissertation in the field of comparative literature, 2005
  • Chancellor's Dissertation-Year Fellowship: Graduate Division, University of California, Berkeley, 2003 - 2004
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship: U.S. Department of Education, 2002 - 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2003 - present
  • LeBaron Russell Briggs Literary Traveling Fellowship, Department of English and American Literature and Language, Harvard University, 1992 - 1993

Courses Taught

  • CL/CSDS 8001: Basic Seminar in Comparative Literature and Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society I
  • CL/CSDS 8910: (Post)Colonial Translation
  • CL/CSDS 8910: Revisiting Said
  • CL/CSDS 8910: Critical Debates in Comparative Literature
  • CL/CSCL 5331: Discourse of the Novel
  • CL/CSCL/CSDS 5910: (Post)Colonial Translation and the Reinvention of Literature and History
  • CSCL 3621W: Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures and Theory, 1700 to the Present
  • CSCL 3179: Reading Literary Movements
  • HSem 3010H - Honors Seminar: Is There a Colony in This Class? Education and Empire in Literature, History, and Culture
  • HSem 2090H - Honors Seminar: Intimate Enemies
  • CSCL 1909W - Freshman Seminar: Is There a Colony in This Class? Education and Empire in Literature, History, and Culture
  • CSCL 1101: Literature
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