Roger Allen Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

roger allen

Roger Allen, Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Comparative Literature, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding.

Allen served as Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations for 43 years. From 2005-11 he was Chair of the department, and in 2008 he became President-Elect of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and served as the association’s president in 2009-2010. He is the author of dozens of articles and translations, in addition to a textbook, a major study on the Arabic novel, and an anthology of critical writings. For the series The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, he edited the volume spanning 1150 to 1850, titled The Post-Classical Period.

Allen’s research interests have focused on a number of issues within the broader field of Arabic literature: the problems of evaluation of literary works within the complexities of a post-colonial situation, the need to rewrite the literary history of most regions of the Arab world to reflect new understandings concerning the relative significance of different cultural trends, and the status of the fictional genres in the Arab world in the new era of alternative means of publication and new media.

The first person to obtain a doctorate in modern Arabic literature at the University of Oxford, Allen joined the Penn faculty in 1968. He served as faculty director of Penn’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business from the program’s inauguration in 1994 through 2006.

The Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding was founded in Doha, Qatar in 2015. It is an international prize run by a board of trustees, a steering committee, and independent panels of judges. The award seeks to honor translators and acknowledge their role in strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation among peoples and nations of the world.

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