Maurice Pomerantz

Senior Director NYUAD Institute, Professor of Literature and Arab Crossroads Studies Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA, MA, and PhD University of Chicago

Research Areas: Arabic literature

Maurice Pomerantz is Professor of Literature and Arab Crossroads at New York University Abu Dhabi. He also serves as the Senior Director of the NYUAD Institute where he oversees a wide range of public lectures, academic conferences, and spearheads strategic initiatives.

Pomerantz is a noted expert in the literature of the Abbasid period. He completed his PhD, in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2010 under the direction of Prof. Wadād al-Qāḍī. Throughout his career, Pomerantz has traveled, lectured, researched, and taught throughout the Middle East region.

He was a Fulbright Senior scholar in Lebanon and Jordan in 2012-3 and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2015-2016. Since 2014, Pomerantz has been an editor of  The Library of Arabic Literature published by NYU Press, a groundbreaking series of facing-page translations of the classic works of the Arabic Literary Heritage.

His first book is entitled Licit Magic: The Life and Letters of al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Licit Magic is the first study of letters of the tenth-century vizier and littérateur al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād and their political, social and cultural dimensions. Exploring both the aesthetic and pragmatic sides of the vizier’s letters, the book portrays the vital role that literary eloquence played in early Muslim statecraft. The book was recently translated into Arabic with the title, al-Ṣiḥr al-Ḥalāl and published by Dār al-Mashriq in Beirut.

His most recent book, co-authored with Bilal Orfali, The Maqāmāt of Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī: Authorship, Texts, and Contexts, Reichert Verlag: Wiesbaden, 2022 explores important dimensions of the life of the picaresque tales known as maqāmāt. This book was translated into Arabic as Maqāmāt Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī and is published by al-Dār al-ʿArabiyya lil-ʿUlūm.

Courses Taught