On August 21, 2018, Ziad Dallal eloquently defended his ground-breaking dissertation. Written in record time, Ziad’s dissertation is titled “Arab Literary Politics from al-Shidyāq to Anṭūn: Civilization, Modernity, and the Worlding of the Nahḍah.” An intellectual and literary history of nineteenth-century Arab cultural production, a period commonly known as the Nahḍah, the dissertation surveys the editorial and literary works of four Arab authors. Close reading the archive of the period, Ziad demonstrates how literary production negotiated emerging global geopolitical figurations across a period of fifty years. He traces a literary politics that spoke to the imperial geopolitics of the mid-nineteenth century and came to imagine an anti-colonial and anti-imperial world order by the beginning of the twentieth century. This terrain of literary politics, he argues, allows us to study Arab thought outside the penumbra of national histories, thus making for an in-depth exploration of the heterogeneous schools of thought and political orientations of capitalist modernity in the Middle East. The committee, composed of Emily Apter, Hala Halim (advisor), Rebecca Karl, Hoda Elsadda and Stephen Sheehi, was most impressed by the originality of Ziad’s work and looks forward to seeing it in print. Ziad is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic at Bard College, where he will be teaching courses on Arab culture and literature.