William Tamplin is a doctoral candidate (2020) in Comparative Literature at Harvard University and an ACOR-CAORC Pre-Doctoral Fellow for the fall of 2019. While at ACOR, he will research and interview for his dissertation on apocalypticism in the modern Jordanian novel.
Will’s dissertation is on apocalypticism in the modern Arabic novel. An analytic category associated with street preachers and low culture, apocalypticism has been employed by Arab novelists, a highly educated and mostly secular bunch, in response to the political and social upheaval that the Arab world has witnessed in the last century. In addition, Will’s dissertation treats the reception of Western texts by Arab writers and shows how Arab novelists writing under the shadow of apocalyptic catastrophe — constant war, rapid urbanization, the destruction of natural and social orders, and massive emigration — have consistently adapted works of French and English literature to channel their eschatological anxieties.
As a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at ACOR, Will is planning to dive deep into the Jordanian novel, a rich and understudied genre, and produce a chapter of his dissertation on the Jordanian shade of apocalypticism in the work of Taysir Subul, Ghalib Halasa, Ibrahim Nasrallah, and Ayman al-‘Utum. While he is in Jordan, Will also plans to meet with Jordanian novelists, their readers, and scholars of literature.
Will received an M.A. (in passing) in Comparative Literature from Harvard in 2017 and a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Arabic from Georgetown University in 2012. His first book, Poet of Jordan: The Political of Poetry of Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya (Brill, 2018), is a close reading of the work and life of Jordan’s foremost nationalist poet whose satirical poetry on regional politics won him international fame. The book contains a biography of Hajaya, forty-five of his poems translated into English, four interviews, and an introduction by Clive Holes. Will began this research when he was a 2013–14 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Jordan. Will’s research has also been published in the Quaderni di Studi Arabi, Middle Eastern Literatures, and the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. His translations of short stories and poetry from the Arabic have appeared in Banipal, Middle Eastern Literatures, Arabic Literature (In English), Nomadics, The Conversation, and Muftah. He is currently at work on a translation of Surakh fi Layl Tawil (Cry in a Long Night), the first novel by Palestinian novelist Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.
Poet of Jordan: https://brill.com/view/title/38667?lang=en
Appearance on Laylat Qasid (Lelit Gasid / ليلة قصيد) reciting “Oh Condoleezza Rice!” by Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya (2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNj4IR546II