Nizar F. Hermes

Associate Professor & Department Chair

141 New Cabell Hall

Office Hours: M 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, T 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM



I received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Comparative Literature, in association with the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Before joining the University of Virginia, I  taught at the University of Toronto, Princeton University, and the University of Oklahoma. While my research interests are interdisciplinary and comparative in scope, I am particularly interested in medieval and early modern Euro-Islamic contacts,  intercultural contacts in the premodern world, North African and Andalusian studies, world literatures and cultures.



The [European] Other in Medieval Arabic Literature and Culture, Ninth-Twelfth Century AD (The New Middle Ages). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012. 

The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives, co-edited volume with Gretchen Head. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

In Progress

Of Lost Cities and the Poetic Imagination in the Premodern and Precolonial Maghrib: 9th-19th Centuries AD (under contract McGill Universty Press)                    


"A Moor's "Un-Twainian" Insights on Cooper's "Un-Readable" Art," Journal of East-West Thought, 9 (2019): 21-41.

“It Eclipsed Cairo and Outshone Baghdad, Ibn Rashīq’s Elegy for Qayrawan.” Journal of Arabic Literature 48 (2017): 270-297.

“The Poet(ry) of Frankish Enchantment: The Ifranjiyyāt of Ibn Qaysarānī." Middle Eastern Literatures 20 (2017):267-287. 

“Woe is me for Qayrawan!” Ibn Sharaf's Lāmiyya, the Plight of Refugees and the Cityscape.” The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives. Eds. Nizar F. Hermes and Gretchen Head (Edinburgh University Press, 2018): 81-103.

“Nicephorus’ Al-Qaṣīda al-Arminiyya: First English Annotated Translation and Comments.” Christian-Muslim Relations: A Reader (600-1500). Eds. David Thomas and Alex Mallett. Leiden: Brill, 2018.

“Classical and Medieval Arabic Literary Delights: Towards Teaching the Humanistic Literature of the Arabs." Arabic Literature for the Classroom: Teaching Methods, Theories, Themes and Texts.Ed. Mushin al-Musawi. New York: Routledge, 2017: 83-96.

“Nostalgia for al-Andalus in Early Modern Moroccan Voyages en Espagne: al-Ghassānī’s Riḥlat al-wazīr fī iftikāk al-ʾasīr (1690-1691) as a Case Study. Journal of North African Studies, 21 (2016): 433-452.

“Why You Can't Believe the Arabian Historian Cide Hamete Benengeli: Islam and the Arabian Cultural Heritage in Don Quixote.” The Comparatist, 38 (2014): 206-226.

“The Moor’s First Sight: An Arab Poet in a Ninth-Century Viking Court.” Historic Engagements with Occidental Cultures, Religions, Powers: Perceptions from Europe and Asia. Eds. Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar (2014, Palgrave): 57-69.

“Consorting with the Base Arabian, The Tragedie of Mariam, Faire Queene of Jewry (1613), from Discursive Ambivalence  to Orientalist Benevolence.” Journal of East-West Thought, 4 (2014): 59-71.

“The Orient’s Medieval ‘Orient(alism)’: The Rihla of Sulayman al-Tajir as a Case Study.” Orientalism Revisited: Art, Land, and Voyage. Ed. Ian R. Netton (Routledge, 2013): 207-222.

“The Byzantines in Medieval Arabic Poetry: Abu Firas’ Al-Rumiyyat and the Poetic Responses of al-Qaffal and Ibn  Hazm to Nicephorus Phocas’ Al-Qasida al-Arminiyya (The Armenian Ode).” Byzantina Symmeikta: Journal of the Institute for Byzantine Studies. 19 (2009): 35-61.

“King Arthur in the Lands of the Saracens.” Nebula: Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship. 4(2007): 131-145.