I am a comparatist and critical theorist interested in the literary, theological and cultural intersections between Mediterranean, Islamic, Arab, British and North American traditions of thought and critique. Prior to my position at Seton Hall, I taught at the Ohio State University as an assistant professor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and comparative studies where I acted as a Denman Undergraduate Research Forum Judge, as Faculty Representative/ Examiner, College of Arts and Humanities, and as an advisor for the Undergraduate Fulbright Campus Committee. I served on the Graduate Studies Committee of the department of NELC for two years, supervised four MA projects, co-supervised two PhD theses, and served as director of the Study Abroad Program. Prior to that, I taught at Bard College and at Hofstra University as an assistant professor in Arabic and Comparative Literature. At Bard and Hofstra, I directed the Arabic, and the study abroad programs, and taught at Bard’s First Year Seminar Program and at the Bard College Prison Initiative.
In 2001, I was nominated the doctoral Lisa Proctor Fellow by Cambridge University for the department of Comparative Literature, Princeton University. After my fellowship, I was appointed a lecturer in the department of Near Eastern Studies, and department of Politics at Princeton where I taught courses in Arabic language, literature and political theory.
My other teaching experience includes courses on British India, and critical theory at the University Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, Modern Arabic Literature in English translation at Rutgers University, and graduate courses on Critical Islamic Thought and Modern Intellectuals of the Middle East at the School of Theology (Ilahiyat) at Dukuz Eylül University in Izmir/Turkey. My teaching interests cover modern and classical Arabic literatures, Arab-American literature, Middle Eastern/ North African intellectual and political history, Francophone/British/Anglophone modern literatures, postcolonial criticism and theory, and philosophy of religion.
I am author of The Play of Reasons: the Sacred and the Profane in Salman Rushdie’s Fiction, (Peter Lang, 2012) which argues that Salman Rushdie’s eclectic and hybridized work can be situated within an Islamic genealogy of theological and literary traditions. I have published articles on the works of Salman Rushdie, Taha Hussayn, Edward Said, Iqbal Ahmad and Mohammed Arkoun. My research focuses on the interface between critical theories and Islamic thought; the relationship between literature and theology, faith and reason, and questions of democratization through liberal arts within the contexts of the Arab and Islamic worlds.
I am on the editorial board of Ikhtilaf: the Journal of Critical Humanities and Social Studies, (Mohammad 1st University, Oujda, Morocco). In the past, I acted as a peer reviewer for The Palma Research Journal, Notre Dame University Press, Lebanon, for Culture, Theory and Critique, Routledge, England, and for Research in African Literatures Journal, the Ohio State University.
I am editor of The Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World Journal (SCTIW Review) starting December 2017.
A symposium held on March 27, 2019 by The George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace, University of Maryland regarding the impact of the Lebanese-American literature of 'Adab al-Mahjar' on current transformations taking place in the Arab World. A full day of presentations from 10 universities worldwide about Gibran, Rihani and Naimy, followed by a reception and gallery exhibit. Dr. Yacoubi will present new work on, "Prophetic Criticism" in Ameen Rihani's Thought: The Parallax for a Post-Orientalist Theology". His intervention is a re-reading of the first Arab-American novel published in 1911 in English, The Book of Khalid. Dr. Yacoubi suggests that the novel is a prophetic imaginative geography that carries a name for an alternative post-theological relationship between America and the Arab world. Here, the prophet, Khalid is reconstructed as an historical figure who must deliver the prophetic message of multiple criticism under particular historical circumstances of migration, displacement and constant shifting of cultural representations. From The Book of Khalid one can understand Rihani’s own project of liberation of the "oriental" and the "occidental" in terms of prophetic practices of "genuine" and constant virtues of freedom and human dignity.
- Ph.D., University of Nottingham, 2003, Modern Languages and Cultures: Critical Theory.
- Doctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2001-2, Comparative Literature.
- MA, University of Essex, 1996, Literature: Critical and Cultural Studies.
- BA, (Licence ès Lettres), Ibn Zohr University, 1993, English Literature.
- The Play of Reasons: the Sacred and the Profane in Salman Rushdie’s Fiction. Peter Lang Publishing, 2012.
- Sufism and Politics in Morocco: Activism and Dissent, SCTIW Review (Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World), October 3, 2017. Pp. 1-6.
- The Writing of Violence in the Middle East: Inflictions, SCTIW Review, March 24, 2015. Pp. 1-7.
- “Edward Said, Salman Rushdie and Eqbal Ahmad: Resisting the Ambivalence of Postcolonial Theory”, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 25, 2005. Pp. 193-218.
- “Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmad et Salman Rushdie: La résistance à l’ambivalence de la théorie postcoloniale”, Tumultes 2010/2 (n° 35) pp. 155-184 (translated from the English by Alexis Tadié).
- “How Much does it Cost for Reason to Tell the Truth?” Rushdie and His Confessional Critics, Culture, Theory and Critique 46:2, 2005. Pp. 115-129.
- “Thinking a Critical Theory of Islam” in Difference in the Philosophy of Religion, Philip Goodchild (ed), Ashgate, 2003 pp. 135-154.
- The Arab Spring, the End of Post colonialism, Hamid Dabashi, 2012, Digest of the Middle Eastern Studies. Volume: 1 - Issue: 1, April 2013.
- The Iraqi Novel: Key Writers, Key Texts, Fabio Caiani and Catherine Cobham, (Edinburgh University Press), SOAS Bulletin 77-2, 2014. Pp. 394-396.
- A Basic Course in Moroccan Arabic, Richard Harrell et al, Georgetown University Press (2003), MESA Bulletin 38/2, 2005. Pp. 298-300.
- Spoken Sudanese Arabic: Grammar, Dialogues, and Glossary by Elizabeth Bergman, Dunwoody Press (2002), MESA Bulletin 37/2, 2003. Pp. 290-291.
- Editor of The Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World Journal (SCTIW Review) starting December 2017.
- Seed Grant (digital humanities), Seton Hall University, 2017-2018.
- Award for Outstanding Commitment to Student Education, the Ohio State University, May 18, 2012.