Reem Bassiouney

Authors' Home 
Readers' Club
Writers' Workshop
Literature Corner 
In the News
Debate Corner
Special Events
Book Discussion Page
Guest Book 
Arab World Books
Board of Trustees
In the Media
Contact Us
Search our Site


Date of birth: 6 March 1973

Current position:
Assistant professor of Arabic at Georgetown University.


University of Oxford: DPhil in Arabic Sociolinguistics in Trinity Term 2002. My thesis, on social functions of code switching in Egypt, was supervised by Prof. C. Holes.

University of Oxford: M.PHIL in General Linguistics in Trinity Term1998. My MPhil thesis was on Arabic linguistics.

University of Alexandria: Postgraduate diploma in linguistics (1994-1995). I came first with the grade �very good� and obtained 82% (�very good�) in a research paper on linguistics (semantics).
Distinction University of Alexandria: BA in English language and literature (1990-1994). I came first on the list and was appointed at the department for teaching undergraduates.

GCE at the Egyptian Girls College, Alexandria, Egypt (an English school)(1987-1990). Overall Grade �A�

1- Academic Books

� Functions of code-switching in Egypt. Published by Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, the Netherlands. December 2005.

� Arabic Sociolinguistics. Under contract with Edinburgh University Press. I am currently working on it.

� Arabic language and the mass media. Currently in preparation.

2- Creative writing
� �The smell of the sea� novel, published by Boustany�s publishing house in Egypt and Lebanon, came out May 2005. It has been highly acclaimed by critics and most of the first edition is sold out.

� �The Pistachio seller� novel, published by Madbuly publishing house in Egypt, came out November 2006. Voted the best novel of the year in al-sharq al-awsat newspaper, by the Egyptian prolific writer Yusif al-Qaed who wrote the novel �a war on Egypt�.

� �Eastern Delights�, novel, currently in preparation will come out fall 2007.

� Since 1995, I have been contributing regularly to Akhbar al-Adab (Literature news). Some of the short stories published there include, At seven AM, French Fries, A national hero, my grandmother�s advice, Futility�etc.

3-Articles published

� �Diglossic Switching and implications for teaching�. in: N. Kassabgy & Z. Ibrahim (eds) Contrastive Rhetoric: Issues, Insights, and Pedagogy Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2004

� �Theories of code switching in the light of empirical data from Egypt� in: Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics 15 (2003).

� The lemma �Women, language and society in the Islamic world� in: Encyclopaedia of Women in Islamic Cultures (EWIC). Brill: Leiden, 2003

� �The relationship between code choice and speaker�s roles in political speeches� in: al-Lughah 3 (2002)

� �Diglossic switching and the phenomenon of blending: evidence from Egypt� in: Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 1999.

4-Articles accepted

� �Problems of classification� in Journal of Arabic Linguistics

� �Involvement in religious discourse� in Proceedings of the 1st joint Arabic Linguistics conference of the American University in Cairo and Oxford University

� The lemma �Register� Encyclopaedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Brill: Leiden, (forthcoming 2007)

� The lemma �Levelling� for the Encyclopaedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Brill: Leiden, (forthcoming 2007)

5-Currently in preparation

� �The language of housewives and cockroaches: Egyptian Arabic in advertisements� [submitted for publication]

� I am the co-editor of Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics 17.

6- Presentations at conferences:

� I attended the 13th International Symposium on Theoretical and applied linguistics held in Greece (April), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1999. I presented a paper there, which was accepted for
publication and has been published in the Proceedings of the Symposium. The title of my paper was �Diglossic switching and the phenomenon of blending, evidence from Egypt�.

� 2nd Annual AMSS Conference : �Social Responsibility: challenges for the future�, University of Westminster, November 2000. Paper : �A stylistic analysis of the story of the sons of Adam in the Qur�an�. (in preparation for publication).

� 15th Arabic Linguistics Symposium, University of Utah, March 2001.Paper: �Theories of code switching in the light of empirical data from Egypt�. Paper to be published in the Proceedings.

� Second International Conference on Contrastive Rhetoric, Linguistics,Culture and Teaching 23-25 2001, The American University in Cairo, March 2001: I presented a paper to be published in the proceedings of the conference under the title �Theories of Diglossic switching in the light of empirical data from the Egyptian community: Implications for teaching spoken Egyptian Arabic�.

� Language, the Media and International Communication: St. Catherine�s College, Oxford, April 2001. (organized by the Faculty of English Language and Literature at Oxford University) I participated and presented a paper with the title �Examining Code choice in advertisements in Egypt�, which will be considered for publication in the proceedings.

� 16th Arabic Linguistics Symposium, University of Cambridge. March 2002, I presented a paper under the title �The importance of the audience�s expectations in mosque sermons in Egypt.�

� 17th Arabic Linguistics Symposium, University of Alexandria May 2003. I presented a paper � Code switching, Problems of methodology�. I organised this conference myself.

� I was the co-organiser of a joint conference on Arabic linguistics with the American University in Cairo and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, which took place in Oxford, July 2004. I presented a paper about Audience�s expectations and language choice in Mosque sermons.

� My paper Involvement in political speeches, Mosque sermons and patriotic songs was presented at the MESA conference which took place in Boston, November 2006.

7- Invitations

� In June 2006 I was invited by the American University in Cairo to give alecture about my book �Functions of Code Switching in Egypt�.

� I am invited by the University of Utah to give a lecture about women and Islam in Egypt.

� I was invited by the Oxford centre for Islamic Studies to give a seminar about the language of religious sermons in Egypt. November 2004

� I was invited by Cairo University to give a lecture about the relationship between language choice and discourse functions in Egypt.January 2004

� I was invited by the Diplomatic Services Language Centre to Give a paper about Arabic linguistics (2 hours) On May 2001 (Foreign Office London).

8-Teaching contributions to the University of Utah

I taught an advanced course in Arabic literature which covered a vast number of modern political and cultural issues related to literature. The students� feedback and assessments were very impressive. They thoroughly enjoyed the course.

A course in Arabic linguistics which deals with language variation and change in Arabic as well as language policies.

For two semesters now I have been teaching first year Arabic. The assessment of the students is above the average of the faculty for my course and again there were very positive comments about the course.

9-Service to the university

!- I am the TA co-ordinator for Arabic and we have developed a new method of teaching and designed a better syllabus that raises the quality of our students.

2- I am also a member in the graduate committee, the financial aid committee and the executive committee.

3-I have organised a lecture in the Middle East Centre lecture series. The speaker is an assistant professor at the University of Kansas and is a distinguished linguist.

4- I have also submitted a proposal to organise a conference on Arabic media language and literature in the 20th century. The conference will host a number of prolific writers, journalists and professors from all over the world including but not limited to Egypt, the UK, and the USA. The proposal has been accepted by the Middle East Centre and the conference will take place in December 2006.

5- I have also organised a study abroad program to Alexandria. The program is very popular and has attracted 30 students in its first year. This is the first time that the University of Utah organises a program to an Arab country for its Arabic sector. I have designed the syllabi and chose the teaching material for the program. Please see the feedback of the students which shows how much they benefited from the program.

6- I am a member in the PHD committee of three students of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies.

10-. Service to the profession.

� I was the organizer of the Arabic Linguistics Symposium at Alexandria (May 2003).

� I was the co-organiser of a joint conference on Arabic linguistics with the American University in Cairo and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, which took place in Oxford, July 2004. I presented a paper about Audience�s expectations and language choice in Mosque sermons.

� I am also the organiser of the second joint conference between the AUC and Oxford University which will take place March 2006. The conference si about Arabic language and linguistics.

11- Service to the community

� I have given an Interview about my academic and creative work to the �Sawt al-arab� Radio station (the voice of Arabs) in June 2006.

� I am interested in Media work, and worked for a while with the Egyptian Radio. This also influenced my research since I am interested in the diglossic situation in Egypt and the influence of language form and usage on communication.

� I have published numerous short stories in �Akhbar al-Adab�, the most prestigious Arabic literary magazine.

� I am also interested in social work and the issue of gender. I did some research on language and gender (for my Mphil, 1998). (see above, women in the Islamic world)

� I was the women�s representative at Somerville College (1998-1999).

� I was elected a committee member at the Arab Culture Society in Oxford, and organised several speaker�s events.


� The Creative Project Award by the University of Utah 2006.
� The Faculty Fellow Award from the University of Utah, December 2006

� 2006 I obtained the Middle East Centre grant to hold a study in Egypt during the summer about the Media in the Arab World.

� I obtained several other grants for field work, from the Middle East Centre, St. Anthony�s College, Oxford, and from the graduate studies committee of Oxford University.

� Research grant from Somerville College, Oxford, for linguistic field work in Egypt.

� (University of St. Michael�s, Vermont, USA) I was awarded one of 20 grants, given on academic merit, to attend the 1996 summer programme of the Fulbright Commission in theoretical and applied linguistics.

13-Teaching experience

� 11 years experience of teaching Arabic

� I was an Arabic Lecturer in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Language Group (since 2003).

� I was also the Arabic lecturer at the Oxford centre for Islamic Studies and I am solely responsible for designing, teaching and managing the Arabic course there as well as marking, setting exams and giving

� Teaching at the FCO: I taught Arabic at the Diplomatic Services Language Centre on a freelance basis since 2001.

� 2001-2002, I taught linguistics at Cambridge University.

� I held a post as the Temporary Arabic language instructor of the Oriental Institute and St. Antony�s College in the University of Oxford (1999-2000)

� From 1996 to 1999 I taught both undergraduates and graduates at the Oriental Institute at Oxford, giving classes in Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. I also gave formal tutorials on Standard Arabic.

� at the TAFL centre of Alexandria University, I taught Arabic to students from Oxford, SOAS, and Exeter (1995-1996). I gave classes in Standard and Colloquial Arabic as well as in translation.

� I have 11 years teaching experience of Arabic, standard, colloquial and translation. I have also co-ordinated with my colleagues in setting an Arabic course at the TAFL centre, Alexandria.

14-Other work experience

� 2001-2002, I taught linguistics to undergraduates at Cambridge University for three terms.

� I worked for one year as an announcer on Egyptian Radio in Alexandria (1996).

� I was appointed as lecturer in linguistics in the English department of Alexandria University (1995).

� I have 2 years of experience in teaching linguistics at Alexandria University (1995-96)

� I compiled the course materials for teaching �English for specific purposes� at the Faculties of Arts, Commerce and Engineering, Alexandria University, and taught there myself in 1995.

� I also contributed on a freelance basis to the Egyptian literary magazine �Akhbar al-Adab�.

Authors AtoZ     Home    Bookstore    Top

� Arab World Books