Bard Faculty

Elizabeth M. Holt

Associate Professor of Arabic; Director, Middle Eastern Studies

Academic Program Affiliation(s): Foreign Languages, Cultures, and Literatures, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Literature, Middle Eastern Studies

Area of Specialization: Modern Arabic Literature


B.A., Harvard University; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University. Professor Holt is the author of Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel (Fordham University Press, 2017); and articles, chapters, and reviews in Campaigning Culture and the Global Cold War, One Hundred and Fifty (American University of Beirut), Abhath, Arabic Literature for the Classroom, Comparative Literature, Middle Eastern Literatures, Arabic Literary Thresholds, Journal of Arabic Literature, Arab Studies Quarterly, and Dialectical Anthropology. She was a 2015–16 fellow of the Berlin research program, Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME), for research toward a second monograph on Arabic literature in the Cold War. Other honors: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow (2012); Fulbright scholar (2006–07); and Gerhardt Award of Distinction, American University in Cairo (2006–07). She is also the associate editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature. At Bard since 2008.


  • Research Interests: The Arabic novel; 19th- and early 20th-century Beirut and Cairo; history of the Arabic press; reading publics; Algerian literature; world literature and the CIA
  • Teaching Interests: Arabic literature; Arabic language; translation; world literature; world literature
  • Other Interests: History of the novel; Beur culture; Francophonie in the Arab world; feminisms and nationalisms


2017 — Publication
Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel


Phone: 845-758-7676
Location: Seymour
Office: 104