Nizar F. Hermes

Associate Professor & Department Chair

141 New Cabell Hall

Office Hours: Monday, 12PM – 3PM In-person or via Zoom. Additional meeting times available by appointment.

ⵏⵉⵥⴰⵔ ⴼ ⵀⵉⵔⵎⴰⵙ    نزار ف هِرْمَاسْ  

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 University Press).                    

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“A Tale of Two Sultans; Franco-Moroccan ReInventions of Mulāy Ismāʿīl and his Marriage Proposal to La Princesse de Conti,” with Mary E. Allen, New Literay History, 52.4 (2021).

“Ibn Khamīs and the Poetics of Hysterical Nostalgia in the Tlimsāniyyāt (Poems on Tlemcen),” Routledge Companion to Arabic Poetry. Ed. Huda. Fakhreddine and Suzanne Stetkevych (forthcoming, 2022).

“Nicephorus’ Al-Qaṣīda al-Arminiyyah: First English Annotated Translation and Comments,” The Bloomsbury Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations, 600-1500. Ed. David Thomas. Bloomsbury Academic, 2022.

“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 Lāmiyyah, 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.

“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-Arminiyyah (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.


الزّحف على معاقل النّسيان أو خواطر مغتربة جدّا /A Blitz on the Territories of Amnesia, or Very Exiled Thoughts (a collection of poetry, in progress)

"نفس جورج فلويد الأخير/ George Floyd's Last Breath," Intelligentsia for Culture and Free Thought, July 2020.

"رسالة شاعر أمريكي أسود إلى العرب / A Letter of a Black American Poet to the Arabs," Intelligentsia for Culture and Free Thought, July 2020.

"دوفو يا شاعر الدّمار العتيق / Du Fu, O Great Poet of Ancient Plights," Diwanalarab: Online Pulpit of Culture, Thought, and Literature, June 2020.

"قهوتي / My Coffee," Diwanalarab: Online Pulpit of Culture, Thought, and Literature, June 2020.

"الشاعر المخذول / The Abandoned Poet," Diwanalarab: Online Pulpit of Culture, Thought, and Literature, June 2020.

" Risāla Ilā Ibn al-Marzubān/ A Letter to Ibn al-Marzabān [Author of The Book of the Superiority of Dogs Over Many of Those Who Wear Clothes," Awtār: Magazine of Culture and Literature, April 2011.

" Sindabad and Un-Found/ed Dream," Transverse: A Comparative Studies Journal. 4 (2005):46-48.

"Al-Fārisu al-Nāʾim/The Sleeping Knight," Azzaman Newspaper, London, UK  2002.

"Al-Dāllu wa-l-Madlūl/The Signifier and the Signified," Azzaman Newspaper, London, UK, 2002.

"Amīratu al-Ṣaḥrāʾ al-ʿArabiyya/The Princess of the Arabian Desert," Azzaman Newspaper, London, UK, 2001.

"Al-Nisyānu al-Dhikrā/Remembering While Forgetting," Azzaman Newspaper, London, UK, 2001.

"Al-Aṣḥāb/On Friends," Azzaman Newspaper, London, UK, 2001.

" The Hut of my Ancestors," Inner Weather. 6 (2001): 43-45.

" The First Sight, the Last Sigh," Inner Weather. 5 (2001): 24-29.