Lecturer Humanities Center

I began my study of Arabic in 1996 when I matriculated at Peking University. I spent my junior year abroad in Syria; the beauty and hospitality of Bilād al-Shām really sparked my interest in Arabic language and culture. After obtaining my master’s degree in 2003, I went to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree in classical Arabic Literature. Due to my interest in learning languages which could deepen my understanding of Arabic and Arabic-Islamic culture as a whole, I studied sixteen other languages including Persian, Hebrew and Turkish.

My main research interest lies in the concept of adab and its manifestations in pre-modern Arabic prose. I am particularly interested in the phenomenon called prosimetrum Arabicprose. I am particularly interested in the phenomenon called prosimetrum (prose-cum-verse), and how such a literary device interacts with framing, repetition and digression in creating the temporal and focal complexity in Arabic prose works. My doctoral dissertation focuses on al-Hamadhānī’s (d. 398/1008) Maqāmāt, which is a collection of short picaresque narratives. I have analyzed its prosimetric style and storytelling techniques by drawing analogues from the classical Chinese, Sanskrit, and Greek literary traditions. I am currently revising the manuscript which will be submitted to the “Edinburgh Studies of Classical Arabic Literature.”

Other areas of my research interests include: One Thousand and One Nights, pre-Islamic qasīda poems, Sufi poetry, and last but not least, Quranic imagery. My rhymed Chinese translation of al-Hamadhānī’s Maqāmāt will be published by the Commercial Press in 2019. Besides publishing articles and reviews on traditional journals like the Journal of American Oriental Studies, I write columns for China.org.cn (in Arabic) and ThePaper.cn (in Chinese) on various topics of Arabic language, literature and culture. I took up the position of research assistant professor at SUSTech in May 2018. I offer two courses in fall 2018: “Writing and Communication Skills,” and “An Introduction to One Thousand and One Nights.” I am teaching Arabic 101 in Spring 2019, which will be the very first Arabic course offered in the universities in Shenzhen, China .

Personal Profile

Research


Teaching

Lecture Course: Writing and Communication Skills


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Selected publicationS

“Sajʿand the Chinese Rhymed Prose,” in Beida zhongdong yanjiu [Middle East Studies of PKU] (Beijing: shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2016), pp. 64-87.

“Delights in Paradise: A Comparative Survey of Heavenly Food and Drink in the Quran,” in Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam, eds. S. Günther and T. Lawson, Brill Publishers (2016), pp. 251-270.

Review of Emanations of Grace: Mystical Poems by ʿĀʾishah al-Baʿūnīyah (d. 923/1517), ed. and trans. by Th. Emil Homerin (Louisville, K.Y.: Fons Vitae, 2011), in Journal of American Oriental Society134:2 (2014), pp. 350-351.

“Spice, Spiced Wine, and Pure Wine,” in Journal of American Oriental Society, 128:2 (2008), pp. 311-316.

Manuscripts in preparation

Book: When Menippus Wrote in Arabic: The Emergence of the Maqāmah Genre in the Tenth Century(Edinburgh Studies in Classical Arabic Literature, Series Editor(s): Wen-chin Ouyang, Julia Bray)

Translation: Hamazhani makamei ji[The Rhymed Chinese Translation of al-Hamadhānī’s Maqāmāt] (Beijing: the Commercial Press, submitted in 2018).

PRESENTATIONS

“Al-Ṣaymarī the Misanthrope,” the 226thMeeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston (March 2016).

“The Maqāmātand the Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in the 4th/10th century,” invited talk, the Center for Classical Studies and the Department of History, Peking University (November 2015).

“Adaband adīb in the Abbasid Dynasty,” invited talk, the Department of History, Fudan University (October 2013).

“Al-Tanūkhī’s Sources: A Rereading of ‘The Daughter of the Qāḍīof Ramla’,” the 223rd Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Portland (March 2013).

“The Virtues of Al-Ṣaymarī,” the 46thAnnual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Denver (November 2012).

“The Maqāmātand Ancient Greek Literature,” invited talk, the Center for Classical Studies, Peking University (June 2012).

“To Begin with Tears: Framing Devices in qaṣīdaand maqāma,” the 222nd Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston (March 2012).

“From the Stimulito the Purple-Flowering Pear: A Rereading of al-Hamadhānī’s Maḍīra,” the 220th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, St. Louis (March 2010).

“The ‘Doggerels’ of the Maqāmāt,” the 43rdAnnual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Boston (November 2009).

“The Glass Floor and the Qurʾān 27: 44,” the 219thMeeting of the American Oriental Society, Albuquerque (March 2009).

“The Maqāma of Poesieand the Talking Parrot,” the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC (November 2008).

“Spice, Spiced Wine and Pure Wine,” the 218thMeeting of the American Oriental Society, Chicago (March 2008).

“Sajʿand the Chinese Rhymed Prose,” the 41st Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Montreal (November 2007).

“Abū Bishr and the Arabic Poetics,” the 22ndAnnual Middle East History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago (May 2007).

“Who Travels in the Maqāmātof al-Hamadhānī?” the 7th Annual Graduate Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania (February 2007).

“Dreams and Morals: A Study of Maʿrūf the Cobblerand the Governor of the Southern Tributary State,” the 20th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago (May 2005).

PROFESSIONAL Experience

q Teaching Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania for:

Introduction to the Islamic Intellectual Tradition (Spring 2006)

Arabic Literary Heritage (Fall 2005)

Introduction to the Middle East (Spring 2005)

Classical Islamic Law (Fall 2004)

q Teaching Assistant at Peking University for:

Intensive Readings in Arabic, level III (Fall 2001)

q Instructor at Soochow University for:

Writing As Communication (Fall 2013)

New Concept English II (July-August, 2013)

q Lecturer at Iowa State University for:

Arabic 101 (Oct. 2015)

Arabic 201 (Oct. 2015)

q Others

Guest lecturer on the illustrations of the Maqāmāt for “Art of Islam,” Iowa State University (Nov. 9, 2015)

Invited columnist on Islam for thepaper.cn (June 2015-).

Translator and invited columnist on Arabic culture for arabic.china.org.cn (August 2014-)

Subject consultant for Bourchier Ltd in making the Chinese translation of A History of the Arabian Peninsula(May 2014-April 2015).

Referee for The Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia(June 2013)

Interpreter for the delegation of the Writers’ Association of Syria during their ten days’ visit in Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hangzhou (June 2001).

Interpreter for the 1stIntensive Workshop of the Arab Officials of Economy and Commerce in Fragrant Hill hotel, Beijing (May 2001).

Awards and honors

q Graduate Student Award for Travel to the AOS Annual Meeting (American Oriental Society, 2008, 2009, 2012)

q Dissertation Completion Fellowship (University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2010)

q SAS Travel Subvention Request Fund (University of Pennsylvania, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)

q William Penn Fellowship (University of Pennsylvania, 2003-2008)

q Youda Scholarship (Peking University, 2001-2002)

q The 2nd prize winner of the seniors’ group in the National Arabic-Chinese Translation Competition (Chinese Teachers of Arabic Association, Dec. 1999)

q Academic Excellence Prize (Peking University, 1996-1997)

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Floor 3 Buiding 10, Wisdom Garden, Southern University Of Science and Technology,1088 Xueyuan Avenue, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province

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Email

qianal@sustech.edu.cn

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