Nizar F. Hermes

Assistant Professor

Short Bio

I  received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Comparative Literature, in association with the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Before joining the University of Virginia, I had taught at the University of Toronto, Princeton University, and the University of Oklahoma. While my research interests are interdisciplinary and comparative in scope, I am particularly interested in medieval and early modern Islamic-European contacts, medieval and early modern Arabic-Islamic travel and diplomacy, North African and Andalusian studies, and classical Arabic-Islamic prose and poetry. 

141 New Cabell Hall

Office Hours

M 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM T 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Class Schedule:

ARAB4459/5559 “Readings in Classical Arabic-Islamic Prose.”

ARTR3245/5245 “Arabic Literary Delights: Humor, Food, and Erotology.”

ARAB4450/5559 "The Other in Premodern Arabic Sources."

MEST4991 "‘Occidentalism’: Europe in Middle Eastern Eyes, 9th-19th Centuries."

ARAB4993/8993 "Treasures of Classical Arabic Poetry."





The [European] Other in Medieval Arabic Literature and Culture, Ninth-Twelfth Century AD (The New Middle Ages). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan: 2012. 

Nominated for the 2015 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Arabic Culture in Other Languages




The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives, co-edited volume with Gretchen Head (Edinburgh University Press).

In Progress

Of Cities and the Poetic Imagination in the Premodern and Precolonial Maghrib: 9th-19th Centuries AD (under contract McGill-Queens Universty Press)                    




"The Poet(ry) of Frankish Enchantment: Forgotten Ibn al-Qaysarānī and his Forgotten Ifranjiyyāt (Poems on the Franks)."Tradition, Reception, and Performance in Arabic Literature. Eds. Margaret Larkin and Jocelyn Sharlet. Mîzân –. Studien zur Literatur in der islamischen Welt. Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.


"Classical and Post-Classical Arabic Literary Delights: Towards Teaching the Humanistic Literature of the Arabs." Arabic Literature for the Classroom: Teaching Methods, Theories, Themes and Texts.Ed. Mushin al-Musawi. New York: Routledge, 2017.


"Alas for Qayrawān! Ibn Sharaf Forgotten City-Elegies." The City in Arabic Literature: Classical and Modern Perspectives. Eds. Nizar F. Hermes and Gretchen Head. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.


 “Nicephorus’ Al-Qaṣīda al-Arminiyya: First English Annotated Translation and Comments.” Christian-Muslim Relations: A Reader (600-1500). Eds. David Thomas and Alex Mallett. Leiden: Brill, 2018.



“Nostalgia for al-Andalus in Early Modern Moroccan Voyages en Espagne: al-Ghassānī’s Riḥlat al-wazīr fī iftikāk al-ʾasīr (1690-1691) as a Case Study. Journal of North African Studies, 21 (2016): 433-452.

“Why You Can't Believe the Arabian Historian Cide Hamete Benengeli: Islam and the Arabian Cultural Heritage in Don Quixote.” The Comparatist, 38 (2014): 206-226.

“The Moor’s First Sight: An Arab Poet in a Ninth-Century Viking Court.” Historic Engagements with Occidental Cultures, Religions, Powers: Perceptions from Europe and Asia. Eds. Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar (2014, Palgrave): 57-69.

“Consorting with the Base Arabian, The Tragedie of Mariam, Faire Queene of Jewry (1613), from Discursive Ambivalence  to Orientalist Benevolence.” Journal of East-West Thought, 4 (2014): 59-71.

“The Orient’s Medieval ‘Orient(alism)’: The Rihla of Sulayman al-Tajir as a Case Study.” Orientalism Revisited: Art, Land, and Voyage. Ed. Ian R. Netton (Routledge, 2013): 207-222.

“The Byzantines in Medieval Arabic Poetry: Abu Firas’ Al-Rumiyyat and the Poetic Responses of al-Qaffal and Ibn  Hazm to Nicephorus Phocas’ Al-Qasida al-Arminiyya (The Armenian Ode).” Byzantina Symmeikta: Journal of the Institute for Byzantine Studies. 19 (2009): 35-61.

“King Arthur in the Lands of the Saracens.” Nebula: Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship. 4(2007): 131-145.



Hanadi Al-Samman

Griffith Chaussee

Richard Cohen

Tessa Farmer

Mehr Farooqi

Zvi Gilboa

Nizar F. Hermes

Robert Hueckstedt

Bilal Humeidan

Daniel Lefkowitz

Bilal Maanaki

Farzaneh Milani

Suad Mohamed

Mahshad Mohit

Shankar Nair

Geeta Patel

Ashok Rajput

Mohammed Sawaie

Samhita Sunya