Dr Chana Morgenstern, Newnham



Biographical Information

I am a scholar, writer and translator of Middle Eastern literatures. I am an Associate Professor in Postcolonial and Middle Eastern Literature at Cambridge University and a Fellow at Newnham College. I currently co-convene the Revolutionary Papers and the Archives of the Disappeared Research Projects. 


Research Interests

Middle Eastern literatures; Arabic Literature; Palestinian literature; Hebrew and Jewish Literatures; Comparative literature; Anticolonial literatures and cultures; Global South Marxisms; Commitment literature; Literature and social movements; Aesthetics and politics; Intellectual histories of the Middle East; Histories and cultures of the Arab Left; Translation; Periodicals study; Feminist and queer theory; Anticolonial and postcolonial theory; Archival theory. 


Research Initiatives and Projects 

Co-director, Revolutionary Papers: An international research collaboration exploring the impact of 20th century anticolonial and postcolonial periodicals – including newspapers, cultural and literary journals, newsletters and ephemera – on literature, politics and society in the Global South. Features a teaching and research website, digital seminar, international conference and edited volume, with LSE and CHR, UWC, Cape Town.

Co-convener, Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin: An interdisciplinary research initiative for the study and documentation of communities, social movements, spaces, lifeworlds, literatures and cultures that have been destroyed through acts of political repression and mass violence. Featuring monthly seminars. 

Co-convener, Literatures of Annihilation, Exile and Resistance: International research initiative on the study of MENA literatures in the USA, MENA and abroad. Features a multi-year seminar and conference with Notre Dame University, Department of English.

Literatures of Annihilation Twitter

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Middle Eastern literatures; Arabic Literature; Palestinian literature; Hebrew and Jewish Literatures; Comparative literature; Anticolonial literatures and cultures; Periodicals study. 


Selected Publications


Cultural Co-Resistance in Palestine/Israel: Collaboration Under Colonialism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023). Forthcoming

The People’s Literature of Palestine/Israel: Translated Essays and Prose (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023). [Accompanying translation volume] Forthcoming

Edited Volume

The Arab Left Reader: Key Documents from Democratic Social, Cultural and Literary Movements in the Arab World, edited with an introduction by Chana Morgenstern and Mezna Qato. In Progress

Journal: Special Issue

2024 Revolutionary Papers: Anticolonial, Postcolonial and Dissident Periodicals: 1920-1990, edited with an introduction by Hana Morgenstern and Mahvish Ahmad, Radical History Review (expected 2024).


2021 “A Savage Corpse: Colonialism, Collage and the Land-as-Woman in Hebrew Modernism” Modernism/modernity (November 2021).

“The Storyteller: Arab Marxist Aesthetics in Ballas’s Narrative Tradition” ha-Kivun Mizrah [Eastward] (Fall 2020).

“An Archive of Literary Reconstruction after the Nakba” Middle East Research and Information Project: Middle East Report 291 (Summer 2019).

“What is Anti-Colonial Translation? The Form and Content of Bilingual Resistance in Maktoob” Journal of Levantine Studies 9, no. 2 (Winter 2019).

“The Amputated Anthology: Literary Production and Colonial Materiality” Jama’a: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle East Studies (expected 2022).

Chapters in Books

“Beating Hearts: Arab Marxism and Anti-Colonial Culture in the Israeli Communist Party (1940-1960)” in Histories and Legacies of the Arab Left, ed. Guirguis, Laure. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020).

“Socialist Realism and the Anticolonial Cultural Journal” in Handbook of Postcolonial Print Cultures (Bloomsbury, 2022). Forthcoming