Sarah Irving

Post doctoral fellowship
Department of Cultural Sciences Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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I joined the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2018, after two years in lecturing roles at King's College London and Edge Hill University in Britain. I was awarded my PhD, entitled Intellectual networks, language and knowledge under colonialism: the work of Stephan Stephan, Elias Haddad and Tawfiq Canaan in Palestine, 1909-1948 from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to returning to academia I spent 15 years as a writer and journalist, authoring and editing several books and many articles on the Middle East and other subjects. In addition to my research in history, I have published several academic articles on aspects of Arabic literature and a number of works of Arabic-English literary translation.

More information on my research and publications can be found here:


I have previously taught courses on Arabic language and literature, Middle Eastern history, and British colonial history at King's College London, Edge Hill University and the University of Edinburgh. I do not currently teach at Linnaeus University.


My current research, funded by the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial & Postcolonial Studies at LNU, focuses on the role of Levantine workers in European-led archaeological excavations in Late Ottoman Palestine. I explore both the roles of educated Arab workers who served as supervisors, interpreters and advisors on these excavations, but also on the women and men who provided manual labour, and the potential for use of the archives of such excavations as a source for Palestinian social history. I am also completing a number of forthcoming publications on the intelectual history of Late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine, particularly on issues of language transmission, translation, and cultural encounter.