University of Minnesota
Department of English
612-625-3363


Department of English

Nabil Matar

Nabil I Matar

612/626-8320
English Dept 330C Lind Hall 207 Church St SE

Department Affiliations

Narrative

Nabil Matar studied English Literature at the American University of Beirut where he received his B.A. and M.A. In 1976, he completed his Ph.D. at Cambridge University on the poetry of Thomas Traherne. He taught at Jordan University and the American University of Beirut, and received postdoctoral grants from the British Council (Clare Hall, Cambridge University) and from Fulbright (Harvard Divinity School).

In 1986, Dr. Matar moved to the United States and started teaching in the Humanities Department at Florida Institute of Technology. In 1997, he became the Department Head and served until 2007 when he moved to the English Department at the University of Minnesota. He is Presidential Professor in the President’s Interdisciplinary Initiative on Arts and Humanities and teaches in the departments of English and History, and in the Religious Studies Program.

Dr. Matar’s research in the past two decades has focused on relations between early modern Britain, Western Europe, and the Islamic Mediterranean. He is author of numerous articles, chapters in books and encyclopedias, and the trilogy: Islam in Britain, 1558-1685 (Cambridge UP, 1998), Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia UP, 1999), and Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689 (UP of Florida, 2005). He wrote the introduction to Piracy, Slavery and Redemption (Columbia UP, 2001) and began a second trilogy on Arabs and Europeans in the early modern world: In the Lands of the Christians. (Routledge, 2003), Europe through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727 (Columbia UP, 2009). He is currently working on the third installment, "Arabs and Europeans, 1517-1798." With Professor Gerald MacLean, he published Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 (Oxford UP, 2011). With Professor Judy Hayden, he edited a collection of essays on travel to the Holy Land in the early modern period (in press, Brill, 2012). His forthcoming publication is a study and an annotated edition of "Henry Stubbe and the Prophet Muhammad: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism" (Columbia UP, 2012/13), He is completing work on "Names and Numbers: British Captives in North Africa, 1578-1727." In recognition of his "pioneering scholarship on the relationship between Islamic civilisation and early modern Europe," Dr. Matar was given the Building Bridges award at the University of Cambridge (28 March 2012).


Specialties

  • Seventeenth-Century English Religious literature
  • Arabic and European travel in the Mediterranean
  • Captivity Literature
  • Euro-Islmaic contacts (early modern)
  • Arab-Islamic civilization

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: English, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, 1976.

Publications

  • Matar, Nabil I, Eds. Wail E Hassan and Susan Mauddi Darraj. ""Christ and the Abrahamic Legacy in 'Children of the Alley'"." Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz (2012): 144-155.
  • “Protestant Restorationism and the Ortelian Mapping of Palestine (with an afterword on Islam),“ in The Calling of the Nations, ed. Mark Vessey et al. (U of Toronto P, 2011), 59-82, 126-128.
  • “Arabic Books and a Moroccan Treasure: Colonel Percival Kirke and Mulay Ismail, 1682-1683.“ The Seventeenth Century, 26 (2011): 119-129.
  • “The Maghariba and the Sea: Maritime Decline in North Africa in the Early Modern Period,“ in Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Braudel’s Maritime Legacy, eds. Maria Fusaro, Colin Heywood and Mohamed-Salah Omri (London: Taurus, 2010),117-137.
  • “Britons and Muslims in the early modern period: from prejudice to a (theory of) toleration,“ in Patterns of Prejudice, Special Issue, 43 (2009): 213-233. Reprinted in Anti-Muslim Prejudice, Past and Present, ed. Maleiha Malik (London: Routledge, 2010):7-26.
  • “The Maghariba and the Sea: Maritime Decline in North Africa in the Early Modern Period,“ in Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Braudel’s Maritime Legacy, eds. Maria Fusaro, Colin Heywood and Mohamed-Salah Omri (London: Taurus, 2010),117-137.
  • “Christians in the Arabian Nights,“ in “˜The Arabian Nights in Historical Context: Between East and West, eds. Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum ((Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008): 131-153 ).

Awards

  • “Building Bridges Award,” Association of Muslim Social Scientists and Alwalid bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, 28 March 2012.
  • Scholar of the College, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2011

Courses Taught

  • The Metaphysical Poets
  • English Mysticism: From the Cloud of Unknowing to Thomas Traherne
  • Britain and the Islamic Mediterranean, 1588-1713
  • Britain and Empire, from Hakluyt to Pope
  • Western Civilization, from the Beginnings to 1500
  • Introduction to Islamic Civilization: the Arabic Tradition
  • Christ in Islamic Thought
  • Imaginary Travelers: from Odysseus to Robinson Crusoe
  • Captives: from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean
  • Christ in Islamic Thought
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