Dr. Alexander Key

Chair of the Undergraduate Affairs Committee
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Comparative Literature
Director of the Stanford Humanities Core

Dr. Key has a Ph.D in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and an M.A. in Arabic and International Relations from University of St. Andrews.

He is a scholar of Classical Arabic literature with interests ranging across the intellectual history of the Arabic and Persian-speaking worlds from the seventh century onwards. He is the author of Language Between God and the Poets (UC Press, open access) explains Classical Arabic theories about poetry and philosophy to all who are interested in how language produces affect and reflects the world. He has also authored a number of articles on aspects of Classical Arabic literature and culture. These include a study of translations from Persian proverbs into Arabic poetry, a chapter co-authored with Peter Adamson on the debate between grammar and logic, a study of Quranic inimitability in ar-Raghib, and an argument against calling Classical Arabic civilization “humanist.”

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