I have been teaching at Hollins University for the past twenty years. Before coming to Hollins, I taught at Eastern Michigan University, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams College, Rhode Island School of Design, Binghamton University, and the American University in Cairo. As a writer, my work navigates the geography of immigration, exploring issues of culture, identity, language, and home. My classes focus on multicultural and international literature, as well as creative writing in all genres, especially creative nonfiction. I invite students to engage with literature from a more global perspective. We discuss issues related to cultural conflicts, the concept of home, and national identity. Through writing assignments, I encourage students to take risks, to discover what they can do when they extend their limits. As an immigrant and Arab American, I approach literature from both an intimate and scholarly perspective in an attempt to extend the literary words beyond the page. Our students at Hollins are wonderfully diverse, and I love sharing my passion for literature and writing with them.
Areas of Expertise
- Multicultural Literature
- Immigrant Literature
- Arab and Arab-American Literature
- Creative Writing
- International Women’s Voices
- Advanced Creative Writing
- Creative Nonfiction
- Multicultural Women Writers
- Advanced Expository Writing
- Immigrant Literature
- Arab Women Writers
- Arab American Literature
- Writing Out of the Multicultural Experience
- Green Olive Arts Residency, Tetouan, Morocco, Summer 2022.
- MacDowell Colony Residency, Peterborough, New Hampshire, Fall 2017.
- Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency, Amherst, Virginia, Fall 2017.
- Pushcart Nomination for “A Good Marriage” published in Fifth Wednesday, Fall 2017.
- Mednick Memorial Fellowship Grant, Fall 2017
- Herta Freitag Faculty Legacy Award for Professional Accomplishments, Hollins University, April 2008.
- Silver Award for Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American
- Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction, edited by Pauline Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, 2005.
- Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, 2001.
- Ph.D., Binghamton University
- M.A., University of Michigan
- B.A., Clark University
Publications & Articles
- Writing the Multicultural Experience (textbook), Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.
- Looking Both Ways (essays), Cune Press, 2017
- The Time Between Places (short stories), University of Arkansas Press, 2010.
- Letters from Cairo (non-fiction), Syracuse University Press, 2007.
- Egyptian Compass (poetry), Custom Words, 2006.
- Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction, second edition, edited by Pauline Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa, University of Arkansas Press, 2009.
- “Scenes in a Journey Towards Poetry,” Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America edited by Abayomi Animashaun, Black Lawrence Press, 2015.
- “A Good Marriage,” Fifth Wednesday, Fall 2017.
- “Going Under,” The Examined Life: A Literary Journal of the Carver College of Medicine, Fall 2017.
- “In the Direction of Home,” At Home: Essays on Place and Displacement edited by Marjorie Agosin, Solis Press of the United Kingdom, 2015.