David Larsen

David Larsen

Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D., U. C. Berkeley, Comparative Literature

Areas of Interest: Classical Arabic poetry and prose; West Asian antiquity; Arabic-English translation

Course(s) Taught: Cultural Foundations I & II, Social Foundations I & II, Writing I & II


Visiting Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Ohio State University, 2015-2016

Fulbright Research Fellowship in Egypt, 2010-2011

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Yale University, 2008-2010

Abduljawad Prize for Best Paper on an Islamic Subject, 2004

Teaching Statement:

In my teaching, I get to draw on an array of methods and disciplines and apply them to a globeful of cultural production. Texts, however, are my specialty, and facilitating encounters with literatures of the past and present forms the better part of my practice. A lifelong student myself, my inquiries focus on the Ancient world and the Medieval, and so it is that LS students meet me in the first year of their immersion in the Core Program. Freshman education is therefore another specialty of mine, and I take very seriously the mission of naturalizing ex-high-schoolers in their new intellectual surroundings. To teach the means of self-teaching, and indicate future paths of research and action, are tasks as vital as the pre-modern ways of life and artistry it is my job to teach.

I also teach Writing. As a metric of student comprehension, writing is a lot less important than as an instrument for discovering the truth and disclosing it to a captivated readership. My aim in the classroom is to provide a laboratory for recombining experience and evidence and willing it into new discourse. All teaching is at some level teaching writing, but my favorite word for what I do is "demystification."


"Signs, Omens, and Semiological Regimes in Early Islamic Texts." A Californian Hymn to Homer, ed. by Timothy W. Pepper (Harvard UP, 2010), 1-47.

"Precedence and Innovation in the Bilingual Nabataean Inscription at 'En 'Avdat." Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik no. 50 (2009), 5-21.

As translator: Names of the Lion by Abu 'Abd Allah al-Husayn ibn Khalawayh (Seattle: Wave Books, 2017).

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Updated on 10/06/2016