AGYA Member

Enass Khansa

Arabic & Islamic Studies

Areas of Expertise:
Islamic Rulership, Islamic-European Intercultural Exchange, Al-Andalus, Medieval Culture, Readership, Encyclopedic Literature, Islamic Intellectual History, Sovereignty and Legitimacy

About me

I joined AUB´s Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages as an Assistant Professor in January 2018. I earned my Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University (2015), held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Art and Architecture, Harvard University (2016-2017), and The Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University´s Real Colegio Complutense (2015-2016).

I am interested in readership, broadly conceived, as a lens to interact with Arabo-Islamic medieval culture. My work is guided by a twined focus: looking into how communities in the medieval world construct notions of legitimacy as frameworks for their worldview; and, equally, into the politics through which we, as readers today, perceive and examine these histories.

In my teaching, I invite an examination of the interplay between the material and the literary; knowledge production and political rhetoric; kingship and the arts; local and broader cultures, and Islamic intercultural exchanges with European cultures.  

With AGYA members, I hope to forge collaborative projects across disciplines, around these questions, to explore new ways of understanding and shaping our cultures.

Current projects

  • Member of the AGYA Working Groups Arab and German Education and Common Heritage and Common Challenges

Academic Career



2018 - Present


Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut


2016 - 2017


Aga Khan Fellow, Harvard University


2015 - 2016


Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Real Colegio Complutense


May 2015


Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University


2013 - 2014


Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown University Muslim-Christian Understanding


Selected Publications

  • ‘The Miniaturization of the World in Pre-modern adab Anthologies,’ Approaches to the Study of Pre-modern Arab Anthologies, The American University of Beirut, May 12, 2018. To be published in the HdO (Handbook of Oriental Studies) series with Brill.
  • ‘The Untold Story of Alfonso III of Galicia and the Andalusī Umayyad Caliphs,’ at Historians of Medieval Iberia: Enemies and Friends, A Marcus Wallenberg Symposium. Stockholm Univ., March 2016. To be published in War, Diplomacy, and Peacemaking in Medieval Iberia, forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ‘The Legal Program in Alf Layla wa-Layla,” to be presented at Casuistry, Contingency, and Ambiguity: New approaches to the study of ethics in the Islamic traditions, Cambridge Univ., July 2019. To be published in the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies (JAIS).
  • 'The Concept of Change in Faā’il al-Andalus Works,’ Latin America, al-Andalus and the Arab World Conference, Forthcoming from AUB Press.


American University of Beirut Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages

P.O.Box 11-0236 Riad El-Solh Beirut 1107 Lebanon


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