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Nasrin Qader

Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nasrin Qader is Associate professor of French and Comparative Literary Studies, holding a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Trained as a comparatist, Qader consistently brings together Francophone African literature, Arabic literature of the Maghreb, Islamic thought and mysticism, and contemporary literary and visual theory. In 2009-2010, she was awarded a New Directions Fellowship by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which allowed her to study the religious and literary traditions of India, a training that has enriched her research and teaching. In the summer of 2012, she participated in the Institute for World Literature organized by Harvard University and Bilgi University, Istanbul, exploring the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of this method of literary inquiry from which she draws in her writing and teaching.

Nasrin Qader has written on the work of North and West African writers in both Arabic and French such as Mohammad Barradah, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Abdelfattah Kilito and Tahar ben Jelloun of Morocco; on Yasmina Khadra and Mohammed Dib of Algeria; on Moussa Ouled Ebnou of Mauritania; on Boubacar Boris Diop of Senegal; and on the cinematic work of the Moroccan director and Chicago resident, Hakim Belabbes. Her first book, Narratives of Catastrophe: Boris Diop, ben Jelloun, Khatibi (Fordham University Press, 2009) studies the relationship between récit (narration, story) and catastrophe. She is currently in the final stages of completing her second book titled Chance at Play: Worlding by Sidestepping, Surreptition, and Suspense where she studies the relationship between literary worlding and games of chance. This project is centered on the work of three writers: Mohammed Dib of Algeria, Camara Laye of Guinea, and Khady Sylla of Senegal. She is currently in the process of formulating the contours of her next project consisting of a series of articles and a book on the aesthetics and politics of disappearance in visual and literary works.

Qader has presented her work in venues within the US and internationally. She has been invited to give lectures at Ecole des Hautes Etudes (EHESS), and Ecole Normale Supérieure-rue d’Ulm, in Paris, as well as in the US. She has served on the editorial board of Northwestern University Press and continues to serve on the editorial board of the African Arts and Humanities Series of Michigan State University Press.

Qader’s teaching interests include the detective novel; contemporary literary writing in French, Arabic, and Persian; contemporary literary and visual theory. More recently, she has turned her attention to game studies and the problem of determinism as relevant to the literary.

Nasrin Qader is an active member of the core faculty of the Program in Comparative Literary Studies and the Program of African Studies and affiliated faculty of the Middle East and North African Studies Program (MENA).

She is also a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.