Literature, History, and Historiography

Ziad Magdy Elmarsafy (Editor), Walid El-Hamamsy (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue


This issue of Alif explores the relationship between literature and history. What do history and literature have to say to each other? What can literature say that history cannot, and vice versa? How does the literary dimension of history affect its status, and how does the historicity of literature shape its being? The terms “literature” and “history” in our title are construed in the broadest possible sense and to cover the widest possible range of genres and modalities of literary and historical writing. Eighteen articles in English, Arabic, and French cover a wide range of themes and geographies, ranging from Daghestan to the USA, from Japan to Egypt, and multiple locations in-between, dealing with matters as diverse as the Convulsionaries, counterfactual Israels, poetry as historiography, the representation of history in dreams, the influence of Islamic traditions on Coptic writing, Orientalist approaches to writing the history of Arab music, and much else.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationAlif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
PublisherThe American University in Cairo Press
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2021


  • Literature
  • Historiography


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