Y’alla Editorial Board


Levi Thompson is Assistant Professor of Persian and Arabic Literature in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies where he teaches courses on Middle Eastern literature and culture. His research focuses on modernist literary developments outside of Europe. Levi’s first book, Re-orienting Modernism in Arabic and Persian Poetry, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Levi is the translator of, My Heart Became A Bomb by Ramy Al-Asheq, which was published by CMES/UT Press in 2021.


Matthew Chovanec received his PhD in Arabic and Turkish literature from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation project focused on the role of language ideology in the modern Egyptian and Turkish novel. His other research interests include internet discourse, CMC-based language pedagogy, left-wing aesthetics and eco-criticism. He is also the translator of The Mosquito Bite Author by Barış Bıçakçı, published by CMES/UT Press in 2020, and “Gavur Mahalessi”  by Mıgırdiç Margosyan. 


Merve Tabur is a scholar of comparative literature and environmental humanities whose research examines representations of environmental destruction in speculative fiction, film, and the visual arts from the Middle East and its Anglophone diasporas. Merve has received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Penn State University, where she has taught comparative literature, world literature, English composition, and Arabic language courses. She is a co-creator of the “Unraveling the Anthropocene: Race, Environment, and Pandemic” podcast series, run by the Liberal Arts Collective at Penn State. Merve has also translated academic books and articles on topics such as gender politics, cultural history, and literary theory. 


Blake Atwood is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the American University of Beirut. He is the author of Reform Cinema in Iran: Film and Political Change in the Islamic Republic (Columbia University Press. 2016) and, most recently, Underground: The Secret Life of Videocassettes in Iran (MIT Press, 2021). His translation of Roja Chamankar’s collection of Persian poetry, Dying in a Mother Tongue, was published by CMES/UT Press in 2019 and was longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in poetry.


Adriana X. Jacobs is a scholar, poet, and translator of modern Hebrew literature. Her translations have appeared in Gulf Coast, Anomaly, World Literature Today, North American Review, The Ilanot Review, among others, and in the collections Women’s Hebrew Poetry on American Shores: Poems by Anne Kleiman and Annabelle Farmelant (Wayne State UP, 2016) and Vaan Nguyen’s The Truffle Eye (2021, Zephyr Press). She is the author of Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Poetry (2018, University of Michigan Press) and Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature at the University of Oxford.

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