Anna Levett is a doctoral candidate in comparative literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. Specializing in twentieth century French/Francophone and Arabic literature, her work primarily focuses on Mediterranean studies and global modernism, with secondary emphasis on film studies. Her dissertation, Mediterranean Dream-Places: The Past and Future of Surrealism in Late 20th century Arab Literature, concerns the reception of French surrealism in the Arab world. From 2015-2016, she was a fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) in Cairo, Egypt. She has published in Quarterly Review of Film and Video.
Mediterranean Dream-Places: The Past and Future of Surrealism in Late 20th century Arab Literature
This project concerns the contention of Arab authors that surrealist poetics belong to Arabic literary tradition. Drawing on the Francophone Arab authors Abdelwahab Meddeb (Tunisia), and Habib Tengour (Algeria), as well as the Arabic writers Adūnīs (Syria), Idwār al-Kharrāṭ (Egypt), and Maḥmūd Darwīsh (Palestine), Anna Levett seeks to analyze and animate the latent Arabo-Islamic lineage of surrealism. Mediterranean Dream-Places reckons with this late twentieth century claim by situating Paul Éluard, Georges Bataille, and other French surrealists in the longue durée of Sufism.