Sophia Azeb

Sophia Azeb
Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow in English
  • Department of English
Walker 411

My research engages how Blackness and Black identity is variously translated, mobilized, and circulated by African American, African, and Afro-Arab cultural figures in North Africa and Europe in the twentieth century. I am particularly interested in how variable and contested articulations and translations of Blackness and Black identity from across the Atlantic, Sahara, and Mediterranean are imagined, lived, and debated in Anglophone, Francophone, and Arabophone cultural spheres – primarily literature, music, and African cultural festivals - before and during the Cold War and Non-Aligned era.

In my current book project, Another Country: Constellations of Blackness in Afro-Arab Cultural Expression, I read canonical texts on Blackness, pan-African, and pan-Arab identity by such figures as Claude McKay, Youssef el-Sebai, Frantz Fanon, and Shirley and David Graham Du Bois alongside heretofore untranslated or mistranslated cultural archives that reveal the extent to which conceptions of Arabness and Blackness have long been entangled in the cultural and political constellations of the African diaspora.

In relation with and in addition to this ongoing work, my teaching and research interests include the study of African Diasporic cultures and politics; transnational and translational Blackness; memory studies; representations of war in graphic novels and film; literature, visual arts, and poetics of disaster, particularly in relation to Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora; nationalism and statelessness; the intersections of race and sport; and Third Worldism.


2018-2019 Courses:
Graduate: Winter 2019, The Afro-Arab World


Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2016 . Teaching at Chicago since 2018.