Foto del docente

Chiara Fontana

Adjunct professor

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Curriculum vitae

Adjunct Professor of Arabic Philology at the University of Bologna, her studies focus principally on Arabic rhetoric, prosody, and linguistics as applied to the study of cross-temporal literature and the Arabic literary canon.

Graduated (M.Phil) in Oriental Languages and Literatures at the University of Palermo (2014), in 2018 she completed a PhD in Islamic Civilization History and Philology - Arabic Literature and Linguistics - at the Italian Institute of Oriental Studies (ISO), Sapienza University of Rome (2018)

Academic Qualifications

2014-2018. Ph.D. in Arabic Linguistics and Literature

Sapienza University of Rome, Italian Institute of Oriental Studies (I.S.O)

2017. Research Fellow, International Research and Mobility Programme in Tunisia

Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Manouba University, Tunis, Tunisia

2016. Visiting Student - Courses on Arabic Metrical Forms and Comparative Languages and Literatures

University of Cairo, Giza, Egypt Faculty of Languages and Literatures

2016. Visiting Research Fellow

Khalid Shoman Foundation / University of Amman, Jordan

2015. Courses on Arabic Languages and Linguistics and Arabic Rhetoric

Institut Bourguiba des Langues Vivantes, Tunis, Tunisia

2014. Courses on Arabic Language and Linguistics and Dialectology

Institute of Arabic Studies “Qalam wa Lawḥ” Rabat, Morocco

2014. Course on Persian and Turkish Language and Culture

University of Palermo, School of Humanities and Cultural Heritage

2012-2014. M. Phil - Master’s Degree in Modern Eastern Languages and Literatures

University of Palermo, School of Humanities and Cultural Heritage

2012 BA (Hons.) - Bachelor’s Degree in Eastern Modern Languages and Literatures

University of Palermo, School of Humanities and Cultural Heritage

2009-2014

Courses on Arabic Language, Linguistics Literature and Dialectology

Arabic Language Academy in Italy, Markaz al-Farabi

Career Statement

Early-career researcher and teacher in the field of Arabic linguistics and literature delivered courses and seminars on undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. levels. Based in the Arab-speaking world since 2014 - in particular, Maghreb countries - published several publications in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Attended as speaker several international academic conferences and workshops across the Arab World, Europe and US. She also research board member in international research projects in US and UK.

Teaching Activities:

Appointed Adjunct Professor of Arabic Philology at Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (Italy), between 2011 and 2014, she delivered courses at the Niccolò Cusano University of Rome and the Arabic Language Academy in Italy - Markaz al-Farabi. Throughout 2016-2018, she has provided seminars and survey classes as Ph.D. candidate and Research Fellow respectively at the Sapienza University of Roma and Manouba University in Tunis.

Research Activities:

She has been based in the Arab-speaking world from 2014 up to 2020 - in particular, Maghreb countries. She has published several publications in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Attended as speaker several academic conferences and workshops across the Arab World, Europe and US. She also serves as board member in the following international research projects:

2021 – 2022. Research Board Member, Imaginative Geographies in Arabic Literary Tradition, MEI - Columbia University, NY.

2020-2021. Research Board Member, Computational Study of Culture: Cultural Analytics for Modern Arab and Islamic Studies, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar

2020-2021. Research Board Member, Trans/Formations of Arabic Literary Theory, MEI - Columbia University, NY.

2019-2022. Research Board Member, Leverhulme-funded research project A Sorcerer's Handbook - University of Exeter (UK)

2018-2022. Research Board Member, ERC project GlobaLit: Caucasus Literatures Compared - University of Birmingham (UK)

Conferences, Workshop and Sessions Organized

11th- 15th June, Paris and 18th- 21st November 2021, New York. Trans/Formations of Arabic Literary Theory, Two-Sessions international conference on Arabic philology and literature, MEI/ICLS Columbia University and Sheikh Zayed Book Award Conference, Columbia University Campus in New York and Columbia Global Centre in Paris. Conference general chairs: Prof. Muhsin al-Musawi and Dr. Ali Bin Tamim – co-organized with Prof. Lydia H. Liu, Prof. Tarek El Ariss, Prof. Nizar Hermes, Prof. Elizabeth Holt, Prof. Rebecca Johnson.

8th – 11th January 2021, EU/US Scholarly Collaboration Groundworks: Trans/Formations of Arabic Literary Theory MESAAS/Columbia Conference 2021 Side-Event, Seminar promoted by MEI/ICLS Columbia University (New York) and Sheikh Zayed Book Award (Abu Dhabi) and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Madrid). Co-organized with Prof. Muhsin al-Musawi and Prof. Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla.

14th-15th February 2019. International Conference Identity, Ethnicity and Cultural Dialogue. University of Catania, Italy. Co-organized with Prof. Orazio Licciardello, Prof. Salvo Andò and Prof. Ian Refalo.

25th- 27th January 2019. Al-muntadā al-jāmiʽī al-dawlī: ḥuqūq al-insān wa ḥiwār al-thaqāfāt [International University Forum for Human Rights and Cultural Dialogue]. Forum promoted by the Moroccan Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Qadi Ayyad University of Marrakech, Qadi Ayyad University, Morocco. Co-organized with Prof. Mustafa Kabbaj, AFROMED.

26th June 2018. Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Side-Event to the 38th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Nord-SudXXI, Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO), UN, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. Co-organized with Prof. Ibrahim Magdud, Prof. Mustafa Kabbaj and Dr. Biro Diawara.

1st-3rd December 2016. “Workshop: International Migrants Day: New Perspective for Good Governance in Defense of Human Rights”, Nord-Sud XXI, John Knox Center, Geneva, Switzerland (more than forty participants).

Selected Talks and Presentations

10th – 13th October 2020. “Craftsmanship in Literature and Literary Craftsmanship in 9th-Century Baghdad. Rhetorical and Philological Inquiries into Ibn Abī ʻAwn's Kitāb at-Tashbīhāt”, Accepted contribution at the MESA (Middle East Studies Association) annual conference, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC.

21st November 2019. “Masters of Upending: ʿBeautyʾ, ʿUglinessʾ and Sarcasm Within Contemporary Arabic Poetry.” Invited talk at the Arabic Studies Seminar, Columbia University, New York.

19th November 2019. “Rethinking the Arabic Literary Canon: Naguib Mahfouz through Literary-Critical Experimentalism.” Invited talk at the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, New York.

17th-19th October 2019. “Ta’mmulāt fī sināʽat al-adab fī Baghdād khilāl al-qarn al-tāsiʽ” [Notes on Literary Craftsmanship in 9th Century Baghdad]. AGYA International Summer School, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. (in Arabic)

5th-6th September 2019. “A Farewell to the Beauty: Political, Aesthetical and Social Aspects of Ibn al-Muʽtazz’s (861 - 908) Legacy as a Pre-modern Public Intellectual”. International Conference Constructing the ‘Public Intellectual’ in the Pre-modern World, University of Manchester.

17th-21st May 2019. “Beyond a snow pile: Najīb Surūr’s Challenging Reading of the Egyptian Literary Canon in Riḥla fī Thulāthiyyat Najīb Maḥfūẓ”, International Workshop Conceptions and Configurations of the Arabic Literary Canon, Columbia University Global Center in Paris, France.

15th February 2019. “I Inhabit a language: The Italian Literature of Lakhous, Zarmandili e Vorpsi”, International Conference Identity, Ethnicity and Cultural Dialogue. University of Catania, Italy (in Italian).

25th January 2019. “Inclusive Communities: Academic Researches Projects and Urban Development”. International Forum for Cultural Exchange and Urban Sustainability. Moroccan Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Qadi Ayyad University of Marrakech, Morocco (in Arabic).

21st-22nd May 2018. “Exploring a New Methodological Approach to the Rhetorical and Metrical Analysis of Contemporary Arabic poetry: Najīb Surūr’s Love Words”, International Workshop Post-Eurocentric Poetics: New Approaches from Arabic, Persian and Turkic Literary Theory - GlobalLit, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

4th May 2018. “Ghosts from the Desert: Rituality and Symbols in Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī’s Nazīf al-ḥajr”, Conference A Discussion with Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī: Tunisian Forum on the Arabic Novel, City of Culture, Tunis, Tunisia (in Arabic).

16th March 2018. “The Army of Letters: Resistance and Humanitarian Discourse in Gabriel García Márquez and Muẓaffar an-Nawwāb”. Reconciliation: Evaluating Humanities in Managing Humanitarian Crises, Side-Event to the 37th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, UN, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

Memberships:

Since 2017 she is member of a number of academic associations (e.g., MESA, BRISMES, AGYA). In 2018 she became Associate Member to the Arabic Studies Seminar Board - Columbia University, New York.

Other Activities:

Project manager and International Academic Relations Advisor (Nord-Sud XXI ngo - Geneva, ODIMED - Rome), she has developed networks of academics and international stakeholders in humanitarian issues so as to create training courses, seminars, conferences and international study programmes addressed to universities within the Arab-speaking world (Maghreb) and Europe.

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