Nada Ayad

Associate Dean

Nada Ayad received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, her MA in Modern English Literature from Leeds University, and her BA in American Literature with minors in French and German from the University of Southern California. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Literature at Cooper Union from 2016-2018, and Assistant Professor of World Literature at FIT from 2018-2019. She returned to Cooper as Assistant Dean of HSS in 2019 and has been Associate Dean of HSS since 2020.  

She teaches in the Core Curriculum (HSS1: The Freshman Seminar; HSS4: The Arab Spring), as well as electives on literature, race, and gender.  

In her role as associate dean, Nada works to support HSS faculty and staff, as well as the Cooper library. With her colleagues in the Office of Student Affairs, she helps organize the Intersectional Justice Discussion Group and Lecture Series. In 2020, she began co-hosting the Race and Climate Reading Group with the Cooper Climate Coalition.  

Her scholarly work focuses on modern and contemporary Arabic literature, women of color feminisms, theories and literatures of decolonization, and translation studies. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Postcolonial WritingTranslation Review, Research in African Literatures and in the edited volume Text, Context & Politics Intersections in Translation. Her article The Ambivalence of Revolutionary Cleaning in Mona Prince’s My Name is Revolution” is forthcoming in Journal of Global Postcolonial Studies. Currently she is working on her book project, tentatively titled Domesticating Revolutions in Egyptian Women’s Political Texts.  

Nada’s other passion is translation. She has translated from the French “It’s about Dignity,” a personal account of a university student’s involvement in the Arab Spring in Morocco, which appeared in the edited volume Demanding DignityYoung Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions. She also collaborated with the creative team at the Sawt project on a documentary film by translating from the Egyptian Arabic dialect interviews of Egyptian women’s reactions to the 2011 Revolution. At the moment, she is working on a translation project involving the works of two Egyptian revolutionaries who launched the 1919 Revolution and the Egyptian Feminist Movement.   

Courses taught at Cooper Union:



HSS4: The Arab Spring

Race and Gender in Literature: Motherhood

Race and Gender in Literature: Arab Women and the War Story

Revolutions of the Global South

List of publications:

Peer-reviewed articles:

“South-South Triangulations: Marriage, Fabric, and Decolonization in Latifa al-Zayyat’s The Open Door and Leila Abouleila’s Lyrics AlleyResearch in African Literature, forthcoming. 

“The Ambivalence of Revolutionary Cleaning in Mona Prince’s Revolution is my NameJournal of Global Postcolonial Studies, forthcoming.

“Reproducing, Mothering, and Caretaking: Forms of Resistance in Ahdaf Soueif’s In the Eye of the SunJournal of Postcolonial Writing, vol. 55, no.2, 2019, pp. 228-239.

“Between Huda Sha’rawi’s Memoirs and Harem Years,” in Translation and the Intersection of Texts, Contexts and Politics: Historical and Socio-Cultural Perspectives, ed. Mohammed Albakry. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2017. 113—132.

“The Politics of Foreignizing and Domesticating English in Ahdaf Soueif’s In the Eye of the Sun” Translation Review, vol. 95, no.1, 2016, pp. 55 – 66.


From the Arabic: Translation of Egyptian women's interviews for the Sawt project, a documentary film depicting Egyptian women’s experience in the 2011 Revolution. Forthcoming.

From the French: “It's about Dignity,” by Omar Radi in Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions, eds. Maytha Alhassen and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Ashland, Ore: White Cloud, 2012. 181-88.

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