Arabic Language, Egypt, Literature, Culture, Drama, Theater


Gordon Witty is Assistant Professor of Arabic Language in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he has taught since 2003.  Prior to that, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies.  He wrote his dissertation on the poetic drama of Egyptian poet and playwright Naguib Surur.  He began studying Arabic as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, where he fell in love with the Arabic language and culture.  He lived and studied in Egypt for two years and is a former Fulbright Scholar in Egypt for research on contemporary Egyptian theater.  He also hosted a television program about the Arabic language and culture for the School District of Philadelphia.

Selected Publications

  • The Jester, by Muhammad al-Maghut. (Translation) In Modern and Contemporary Political Theater from the Levant:  A Critical Anthology. Nada Saab and Robert Myers, eds.  Brill, Leiden, 2018.
  • “Mahmūd Diyāb” (article) Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition. Leiden, Brill (2012).
  • Act One of The Jester by Muhammad al-Maghut. Al'Arabiyya: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, Volume 40-41 (2007 - 2008).
  • "Fragments of Memory: A Story of a Syrian Family, by Hanna Mina," Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 2, December 1994 [book review].
  • "I Will Betray My Country: Essays by Muhammad al-Maghut," [Translation.] Al'Arabiyya: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic. V. 25, 1992.

Courses Taught

  • Arabic Language Elements
  • Arabic Language Intermediate
  • Arabic Language Advanced
  • World Society Through Literature and Film: The Arab World