Lara Harb

Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies
On leave 2019–20
Email Address:
Office Location: 
114B Jones Hall
On leave 2019–20

Lara Harb’s research focuses on classical Arabic literary theory and more generally on Arabic conceptions of the “literary.”  She is currently completing her first book entitled Poetics of Wonder: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literary Theory, in which she explores the changing theories of literary judgment from the ninth to the fourteenth century CE. Her next book project investigates the concept of mimesis in classical Arabic literature, for which she has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) award (2017-18). The concern with conceptions of the “literary” carries over to her teaching, which covers a range of topics relating to Classical Arabic Poetry and Prose, as she insists on an awareness of what is at stake when judging literature from a different time and place. She received her PhD from New York University’s Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.  Her PhD dissertation won the S.A. Bonebakker Prize for the best PhD thesis in Classical Arabic Literature in 2014.  She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Prior to Princeton, Harb also taught at Dartmouth College.

Publications List: 

Her publications include:

 “Persian in Arabic: Identity Politics and Macaronic Abbasid Poetry.” Journal of American Oriental Society (forthcoming, Summer 2018)

"Beyond the Known Limits: Ibn Dawūd al-Isfahānī’s Chapter on ‘Intermedial’ Poetry," in Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: a Festschrift for Everett K. Rowson, edited by Shawkat Toorawa and Joseph Lowry. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 

"Form, Content, and the Inimitability of the Qurʾān in ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī’s Works." Middle Eastern Literatures 18, no. 3 (2015): 301-21.


Encyclopedia Articles

“al-Jurjānī, ʿAbd al-Qāhir,” in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by Gudrun Krämer Kate Fleet, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill.  (Forthcoming)

“Ibn Sinān al-Khafājī,” in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. (Forthcoming)

“Ibn Ṭabāṭabā,” in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. (Forthcoming)

"Ibn Abī al-Iṣbaʿ," in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Part 2017-3.



Review of James E. Montgomery, Al-Jāḥiẓ: In Praise of Books (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 78/2 (June 2015). 

Review of Alexander Key, A Linguistic Frame of Mind: ar-Rāġib al-Iṣfahānī and What It Meant to Be Ambiguous (PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2012) , September 2013. (