Message from the Chair


ECLT Chair's Department, Tahia Abdel NasserWelcome to the Department of English and Comparative Literature! It is the only department of English and Comparative Literature in the Arab world and one of the oldest departments at the American University in Cairo.

Our department draws from the rich literary traditions of the Arab world, Africa, and the global South. The department offers a BA and MA in English and Comparative Literature, a minor, and a Graduate Diploma in Comparative Literary Studies.  It has a distinguished faculty, comparatists and specialists in a broad range of areas, who have drawn upon our cross-cultural environment, contributed to new directions in the field, and rethought the study of comparative literature in the Arab world. Our courses range from the classics to modern European and American literature, to literary theory and world literature.  Our program also offers courses in African literature, Russian literature, contemporary literature, relevant topics, and comparisons of literary traditions.

Our department has invited eminent international writers and scholars over the years. It is home to a comparative literature journal, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, that has earned the department an international reputation in the field and produced cutting-edge scholarship in Arabic, English, and French. The department hosts events for the broader Cairo community through our annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture, the Creative Writer series, and guest lectures. Activities and awards for students include an Award in Creative Writing in Arabic and English, an Award for the best MA thesis, and an international graduate student conference. The department offers students an intellectually vibrant community and opportunities for national and international collaboration through conferences and workshops at home and abroad.

Students gain a solid background in comparative literature, a knowledge of current methodologies, and the analytical and writing skills needed to flourish in any field. Our department has proudly been home to writers, scholars, poets, editors, and filmmakers.

I invite you to join our department.


Tahia Abdel Nasser

Associate Professor and Chair

English and Comparative Literature