Pamela Klasova, PhDPamela Klasova, PhD is an Arabist and scholar of Early Islam. Early Islam is the fascinating period during which Islamic civilization was first taking shape and Arabic literature played an important role in the process. In her dissertation, I explored the role of public speech in building the Arabo-Islamic empire. In her current book project, I widen the comparative scope of my study and place Arabic oratory side-by-side with other late antique rhetorical traditions (for example Greek and Syriac) in order to ask: What role did speech and rhetoric play at this pivotal moment in world history? This book is part of my larger intellectual endeavor to understand early Islam as part of late antiquity and to underscore the contact and cross-pollination of cultures, exposing Islam as multicultural, cosmopolitan, and diverse. Among her other research and teaching interests are classical and modern Arabic poetry, Islamic magic and divination, and myth in Arabic literature.

For inquiries please contact: pklasova@bowdoin.edu.

Publications

“Memories of Poetic Rebels: Three Mukhadramun in Kitab al-Aghani (4th/10th cent),” Al-‘Uṣūr al-Wuṣṭā: The Journal of Middle East Medievalists 26 (2018) (forthcoming)

“Muhammad b. Ali b. Abdallah,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition(forthcoming)

“Muhammad b. Marwan b. Hakam,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition(forthcoming)

“Muhammad b. Qasim Thaqafi,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition(forthcoming)

Presentations

2017

“Al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi and the Power of Oratory: Legitimizing a Schoolmaster as God’s Chosen Ruler of Iraq”

Holberg Seminar on Islamic History, Princeton, June 19-22

2017

“Magical and Inspired Speech in Early Islam”

Middle Eastern Studies Association, Washington D.C., November 18-21

2016

“Dramatizing Narrative Through Eloquent Speech: The Khutab of al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf in History and Adab works.”

Middle Eastern Studies Association, Boston, November 17-20

2016

“Remembering the Umayyads in the Abbasid era”

School of Abbasid Studies Conference, Leiden, July 11-15

2016

“Eloquence and Authority: The Concept of Bayan in Early Islamic culture”

Middle East History and Theory, Chicago, May 6-7

2016

“The Role of Language in Building the Islamic Empire: Umayyad Language Policies and Their Impact on the Non-Arab Populations”

Holistic Approaches to the Study of Early Islam and the Late Antique World, Bloomington, April 15-17

2015

“Poets on the Periphery: Tajmir and Ta ͑arrub in Umayyad Poetry”

Middle Eastern Studies Association, Denver, November 21-24

2015

“Voices from the Time of ‘In-Between’: A Clash of Two Worlds in the Poetry and Akhbar of Three Mukhadram Poets.”

12th annual Duke-University of North Carolina Graduate Islamic Studies Workshop, Chapel Hill, March 21-23