Abdulhamit Arvas is Assistant Professor of English with affiliations in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Comparative Literature, the Middle East Center, and Global Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching focus on early modern literature and culture, comparative histories of sexuality and race, queer studies, trans history, cross-cultural encounters, and Islam in the Renaissance. He is currently working on a book project, Boys Abducted: The Homoerotics of Empire and Race in Early Modernity (forthcoming, Duke UP), which concerns early modern sexuality and race in a transcultural context. Specifically, reading English and Ottoman literatures together, his project explores the abduction and circulation of male adolescents in the transnational Mediterranean space during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
His publications have appeared in journals including English Literary Renaissance, Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, Shakespeare Survey, postmedieval, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and in edited collections such as The Postcolonial World, The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature, England’s Asian Renaissance, and Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern. Most recently, he has co-edited the tenth anniversary issue of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, titled Critical Confessions Now (2020),which has been re-issued as a book (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).
He was awarded fellowships and grants from Fulbright, The Folger Shakespeare Library, SSHRC Early Modern Conversions at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. He is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).
Prof. Arvas received his BA from Hacettepe University (Turkey), MA from Eastern Michigan University, and PhD in English, with additional specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies, from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Penn English, he was Assistant Professor of Theater at the University of California Santa Barbara and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Vassar College.
*Prof. Arvas is on leave during AY 2023-2024. He is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (Exeter College) in Spring 2024.