Rebecca Ruth Gould

Colleges, School and Institutes


Born and educated in the US, I have lived and conducted fieldwork and research in Iran (2012, 2014); Tajikistan (2007); Palestine (2011-12); Syria (2010); Egypt (2010, 2012); Azerbaijan (2006); Hyderabad, India (2008); Daghestan (2004, 2006); Georgia (2004-6, 2013); Chechnya and Ingushetia (2006).

I have taught at Columbia University (in the Literature Humanities Program), Yale-NUS College in Singapore (where I helped to develop Singapore’s first liberal arts curriculum), and the University of Bristol, where I was a Reader of Translation Studies and Comparative Literature prior to joining the University of Birmingham as a Professorial Research Fellow.

Research interests

My primary expertise is in the literatures and cultures of the Caucasus, for which I have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant, research grants from the The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the American Councils for International Education, and the International Research & Exchanges Board, and fellowships from the Van Leer Institute (Jerusalem), the Forum for Transregional Studies (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), and the Institute for Advanced Study (Central European University). In addition to my scholarship on Persian, Arabic, Russian, and Georgian literatures past and present, I maintain an active interest in the intersections of anthropology, comparative literature, and social theory. 

My current book project, tentatively entitled, The Obligation to Migrate: Forced Migration and Muslim Memory in the Caucasus, is presented in this lecture, given at New York University in 2017, and this presentation, commissioned by Commissioned by The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona.

Interviews with me are available at:

My public writings are available at:

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am happy to receive requests for PhD supervision for projects relating to Middle Eastern Literatures, comparative literature, Islamic law, comparative legal cultures, the literatures of the Caucasus and Central Asia, world literature, and Islamic Studies broadly. Interdisciplinary projects at the intersections of literary and legal theory, and the humanities and the social sciences, are of particular interest.

Current PhD students
2018- Yana Shabana, “The Role of Framed Translation,” (funded through the Higher Education Scholarship for Palestinians scheme)
2017- Asil Ateeri, Virginia Woolf in Arabic Translation (funded through the Higher Education Scholarship for Palestinians scheme)