Arabic Literature; Digital Cultures: Life/Writing: Arabic Modernity: Media History: Conceptual History
Teresa Pepe's research interests span across Arabic literature, media, popular culture, sociolinguistics, and the relation between aesthetics and politics. Her current research focuses on Arab Futurism and its connection to social, political, and environmental changes in the region.
She is the author of the book Blogging From Egypt: Digital Literature (2005-2016 (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). The book explores blogs as new form of literature emerging in Egypt during the rise of political protest of the Arab Spring. Such blogs are explored as forms of digital literature, combining literary analysis and interviews with the authors.
She is the co-editor of the volume Arabic Literature in the Posthuman Age (with S. Guth, Harassowitz Verlag 2019), that examines the use of dystopia, necropolitics, monsters and satire in Arabic literature today.
She is the co-founder of the research network Arab Media Transitions (with Barbara Winckler, University of Muenster) which analyses the impact of media on Arabic literature and culture from a historical perspective.
In 2021, she received a MECAM Fellowship (Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb) to join the the Research Project "Imagining the Future: Dealing with Disparities" in the thematic cluster "Aesthetics and Politics".
She has published several articles in Oriente Moderno, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies and LEA- Lingue e Letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente. She occasionally writes for the Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr.
Teaching and Tutoring
Teresa Pepe teaches various courses on undergraduate and graduate level, including:
- MØNA1300 - Litteraturhistorie og språkforhold i Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika (BA level course on the history of modern literatures in the Middle East)
- MØNA 2506 - Mass Media in the Middle East (Ba Level)
- MES4010 - Readings in Middle East Studies
- MES4210 og MES4220 - Topics in Arabic Studies I & II. The focus of these courses may vary every year. For example, in Spring 2018 the courses focused on: Arabic Cultural Production and the Arab Spring and Finding, Reading and Interpreting Arabic Sources for Your Master’s Thesis
Higher education and employment history
Teresa Pepe obtained her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and Literature from the University of Oslo in 2014 with a thesis entitled “Fictionalized Identities in the Egyptian Blogosphere” (2014). She completed her M.A in Comparative Literature and Culture (with a focus on Arabic and English Literature) at the University “L’Orientale” in Napoli in 2008.
In 2009-2010 she worked as a Research fellow at the American University in Cairo, where she conducted research on contemporary Arabic literature and the impact of digital technologies on cultural production.
Between 2015-2017 she worked as a Post-Doc fellow at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo, with a research project entitled "The adīb and adab —Demise, or metamorphosis, the project: of a key figure and of a key concept of the Arab modernist project?" . The project has explored how concepts of "intellectuals", "author" and " literature" have evolved during the 20th century in Arabic/Egyptian society.
In 2015 she was a guest researcher at the American University in Beirut and at Orient Institute in Beirut to conduct research on the Arabic cultural press in the early 20th century.
In 2015-2016 she was affiliated to the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo as a guest researcher. In 2015 she was a guest lecturer at the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo.
Blogging From Egypt: Digital Literature (2005-2016). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019.
“Critics, Moralists and Intellectuals. The Transformation of the (udabāʿ) in the Arab nahḍah: a Historical-Conceptual Approach, in “Nahda Narratives”, Special Issue of Oriente Moderno, vol. 98, 3, 2018.
"Crowdfunding". Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies, 17, 2017, pp. 479- 481. http://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/forskning/publikasjoner/tidsskrifter/jais/volume/vol17/v17_08h_crowdfunding.pdf
“Mixed Arabic as a Subversive Literary Style (2005-2011)”. In: Philologists in the World: a Festschrift in Honour of Gunvor Mejdell, eds. Nora Eggen and Rana Issa, Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2017, pp. 363-394.
"When Writers Activate Readers. How the autofictional blog transforms Arabic Literature” in Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, 15, 2015, pp. 73-91, https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/jais/volume/docs/vol15/v15_04_pepe_073-091.pdf
“Cultivating the Self and Building Communities in Egyptian Autofictional Blogs”, in La littérature à l'heure du Printemps arabe: analyse et perspectives, Proceedings of EURAMAL 10, ed. by Sobhi Boustani and Rashid al-Enany, 2017.
"Improper Narratives: Egyptian personal blogs and the Arabic notion of adab", in LEA- Lingue e Letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente, vol. 1, 2012, pp. 547-562, http://www.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-lea/article/viewFile/12478/11795
“Autofiction on Screen: Self-representation of an Egyptian ‘Spinster’ in a Literary Blog” in Journal of New Media Studies in MENA, Issue 1, Winter 2012.
“Autofiction on screen” in Women and New Media in the Mediterranean Region, edited by Fatima Sadiqi, Imprimerie des Universités (Fez), 2012.
“From the Blogosphere to the Bookshop: Publishing Literary Blogs in Egypt”, in Between Everyday Life and Political Revolution: The Social Web in the Middle East, Oriente Moderno, Nuova Serie, Anno XCI, 1, 2011, https://www.jstor.org/stable/23253707?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Invited Talks at Academic Institutions:
2017 “Bytes of Freedom”, University of Arizona, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Tucson, 17th April.
2016 “The Metamorphosis of the Intellectual in Egyptian Society; a conceptual approach”, PhD Seminar, Netherlands Flemish Research Institute (NVIC), Cairo, 8th March.
2014 “Writing the Self in the Egyptian Blogosphere”, Seminar on Life-writing, Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Gothenburg, 2nd December.
2013 “Literary Aspects of the Egyptian blogosphere”, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies at University of Bergen, 1st June.
Conference Presentations (selected):
2018 “The return of Dhāt: From the Novel to the TV screen". EURAMAL Conference (European Association for Modern Arabic Literature) on “The Rebirth of the Arabic Historical Novel”, University of Naples, L'Orientale, 28 May-2 June.
2018 "Researching Adab in Egypt (2015-2016): Fieldwork, Literature and Politics". Research Days dedicated to Giulio Regeni, University of Catania, 9-10 May.
2017 “Notepads, Diaries and Novels. The Ancestral Genres of the Blog in Arabic Culture”, International Conference “Media Transitions and Cultural Debates in Arab Societies: Transhistorical Perspectives on the Impact of Communication Technologies”, Beit Al-Hikma, The Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts, Tunis, Tunisia, 24 - 26 November 2017.
2017 “That Future Is Now and It Stinks: Critical Dystopia in the novels Istikhdām al-Ḥayāh (Using Life, 2015) by Aḥmad Nājī and ʿUṭārid (Mercury, 2015) by Muḥammad Rabīʿ”, Roundtable on “Adab and Revolution”, American Association of Comparative Literature Annual Meeting (ACLA), Utrecht, 6 – 9 July.
2017 “The Metamorphosis of the adīb in twentieth Century Egypt”, International Conference on “Adab as an Interdisciplinary Pursuit”, Columbia University, New York, 13-15 April.
2017 “Mixed Arabic as a Stylistic Device in Yūssuf Rakhā’s novel Bāwlū” (2016), Fifth International Symposium of International Association for the Study of Middle/Mixed Arabic (AIMA), University of Strasbourg, 20-23 March.
2016 “Adīb e Adab: key concepts of Arab Modernity (In Italian), Workshop Modernità Arabe (Arab Modernity), Turin University, 12-14 May.
2014 “Blogging the Body”, WOCMES (World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies) 2014, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, 19-22 August.
2014 “Embodied Identities in the Egyptian Blogosphere”, EURAMAL Conference (European Association for Modern Arabic Literature) on “New Genres and New Geographies”, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 7-10 May.
2013 Autofiction in the Egyptian Blogosphere (in Italian), “Il romanzo nella modernita’ araba” (The novel in Arabic Modernity), University of Macerata, 10-13 December.
Pepe, Teresa (2020). Le retour de Dhāt : du roman au feuilleton télévisé. In Jacquemond, Richard & Lagrange, Frederic (Ed.), Culture pop en Egypte : Entre mainstream commercial et contestation . Riveneuve Editions. ISSN 2360135872. p. 87–130.
Pepe, Teresa (2020). La ricerca sul campo al tempo dei processi alla scrittura. Il caso di Ahmed Nàgi . In Casini, Lorenzo & Starkey, Paul (Ed.), Minnena. L'Egitto, l'Europa e la ricerca dopo l'assassinio di Giulio Regeni. Mesogea. ISSN 978-88-469-21871. p. 52–78.
Pepe, Teresa (2019). Aḥmad Nājī’s Istikhdām al-ḥayāh (Using Life) as “Critical Dystopia”. In Guth, Stephan & Pepe, Teresa (Ed.), Arabic Literature in a Posthuman World [= Proceedings of the 12th Conference of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature (EURAMAL), May 2016, Oslo]. Harrassowitz Verlag. ISSN 978-3-447-11261-1. p. 179–191. doi: 10.2307/j.ctvrnfqmh.15.
Pepe, Teresa & Guth, Stephan (2019). Foreword / Introduction. In Guth, Stephan & Pepe, Teresa (Ed.), Arabic Literature in a Posthuman World [= Proceedings of the 12th Conference of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature (EURAMAL), May 2016, Oslo]. Harrassowitz Verlag. ISSN 978-3-447-11261-1. p. IX–XVIII. Full text in Research Archive
Pepe, Teresa (2017). “Mixed Arabic as a Subversive Literary Style (2005-2011)”. In: Sociolinguistics, Translation and Society in the Middle East, eds. Nora Eggen and Rana Issa, Oslo: Novus Forlag, pp. 363-394. In Eggen, Nora Sunniva & Issa, Rana (Ed.), Philologists in the World: A Festschrift in Honour of Gunvor Mejdell. Novus Forlag. ISSN 978-82-7099-904-0. p. 363–394. doi: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433990.003.0004.
Pepe, Teresa (2016). Cultivating the Self and Building Communities in Egyptian Autofictional Blogs. In Boustani, Sobhi; El-Enany, Rasheed & Hamarneh, Walid (Ed.), La littérature à l'heure du Printemps arabe. Karthala. ISSN 9782811116491. p. 333–348.
Pepe, Teresa (2012). Autofiction on Screen: Self-representation of an Egyptian ‘Spinster’ in a Literary Blog. Journal of New Media Studies in MENA. ISSN 2162-6669.
Pepe, Teresa (2012). Improper Narratives: Egyptian Personal Blogs and the Arabic Notion of Adab. LEA - Lingue e letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente. ISSN 1824-484X. 1(1), p. 547–562.
Guth, Stephan & Pepe, Teresa (2019). Arabic Literature in a Posthuman World [= Proceedings of the 12th Conference of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature (EURAMAL), May 2016, Oslo]. Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-11261-1. 430 p.
Pepe, Teresa (2019). Blogging From Egypt: Digital Literature, 2005-2016. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781474433990. 256 p.
Rots, Aike Peter; Endresen, Cecilie; Gubrium, Erika; Tolgensbakk, Ida; Bell, Justyna & Tanyi, Attila [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2021). Et «fremmed» virus? – Covid-19, nasjonalisme og stengte grenser. Utrop.no.
Guth, Stephan; Pepe, Teresa & Kukkonen, Karin (2019). Book launch "Literary Visions of the Middle East" (compl./comm./ed. by S. Guth).
Pepe, Teresa (2019). NEWTON Interview on Jadaliyya, "Blogging From Egypt" (New Texts Out). [Journal]. Jadaliyya.
Pepe, Teresa (2012). Narratives of the Egyptian revolution in Egyptian Personal Blogs.
Guth, Stephan & Pepe, Teresa (2012). The Arab Spring and the Individual: Literary aspects from before and after the Revolution.
Pepe, Teresa (2011). Autofiction on Screen: Self-representation of Egyptian women in Literary Blogs.
Pepe, Teresa (2011). Self-writing in Egyptian Literary Blogs.
Pepe, Teresa (2010). Turning blogs into books in Egypt.