Khalid Lyamlahy

Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies and the College, French Undergraduate Adviser
Wieboldt 232
PhD, University of Oxford-St Anne's College

I work on Francophone North African literature in relation to political, social, and cultural debates in the region and beyond. My broad research interests include contemporary fiction and poetry in French, literary and postcolonial theory, and translation. My scholarly publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Research in African Literature, The Journal of North African Studies, French Studies, Nottingham French Studies, the Irish Journal of French Studies, and Revue Roland Barthes.

I am currently working on a book project that examines subversive and nostalgic modes of writing in the works of three eminent Francophone Moroccan writers from the Souffles generation — named for Souffles/Anfas, an influential journal of culture and politics founded in Morocco in 1966: Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine (1941-1995), Abdelkébir Khatibi (1938-2009), and Abdellatif Laâbi (b. 1942). I am also working on two other research projects. The first analyzes Khaïr-Eddine’s poetic work from a transnational perspective. The second problematizes the notions of selfhood and otherness in post-2011 Francophone North African literature and aims to bring a critical perspective to aesthetic, political, and linguistic practices in the aftermath of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

I was born in Rabat, Morocco, and worked as a civil engineer and a project manager in Paris and London. I hold a PhD in French and Francophone Studies from the University of Oxford (St Anne’s College), a Master’s degree in engineering from École des Mines d’Alès in southern France, a BA in French and Modern Languages and an MA in Comparative Literature, both from Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle. In the period 2016-2018, I served as the Book Reviews Editor for the Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, and as the editor of the ‘Francophone African Literature’ section of The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies. In addition to my academic work, I am a regular contributor to several literary magazines and platforms including En Attendant Nadeau,, Zone Critique, La Vie des idées, World Literature Today, and Africa at LSE. My first novel, Un Roman Étranger, was published in January 2017 in Paris by Présence Africaine Editions.

I recently coedited the collective volume Abdelkébir Khatibi: Postcolonialism, Transnationalism, and Culture in the Maghreb and Beyond (Liverpool University Press, 2020), the first book in English entirely devoted to the works and thought of Moroccan intellectual Abdelkébir Khatibi. I also wrote the preface to the complete poetic work of Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laâbi, republished in a special Moroccan edition by Editions du Sirocco in Casablanca, and the introduction to the English translation by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s masterpiece Agadir (Lavender Ink / Diálogos, 2020).  

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed book chapters

“With Barthes and Derrida in the ‘the Margins of a Funereal Song’: The Poetics of Maternal Mourning in the Work of Abdelkébir Khatibi”, in Carole Bourne-Taylor and Sara Louise Cooper (ed.), Variations on the Ethics of Mourning in Modern Literature in French (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2021), p. 153-182

“A ‘Boundless Creative Ferocity’: the Souffles Generation, Moroccan Poetry, and Visual Art in Dialogue”, in Jane Hiddleston and Wen-chin Ouyang (ed.), Multilingual Literature as World Literature (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), p. 51-68

 “Un désir d'écriture : Flaubert, Barthes et la pratique de la notation dans le Voyage en Italie, in Eric Le Calvez (ed.), Flaubert voyageur (Paris : Classiques Garnier, 2019), p. 101-118

 “From Dictatorship to Self-Constitution: Historical Fiction and Aesthetics of Tyranny in Bensalem Himmich’s Le Calife de l’épouvante, in Charlotte Baker and Hannah Grayson (ed.), Fictions of African Dictatorship: Cultural Representations of Postcolonial Power (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018), p. 37-56

Peer-reviewed articles

“Le poète et sa ‘vieille marotte calamiteuse’: Figures et variations du grotesque dans la poésie de Khaïr-Eddine”, in Irish Journal of French Studies, Vol. 20, 2020, “Revisiting the Grotesque in Literatures from the French-speaking world”, edited by Sarah Arens and Joseph Ford, p. 14-47

“‘Plaignez le pauvre critique !’ : Fouad Laroui et l’exercice de la critique littéraire”, in Expressions maghrébines, Vol. 18, nº 2, hiver 2019, “Constructeur de passages. Voix et discours en mouvement dans l’oeuvre de Fouad Laroui”, edited by Alfonso de Toro, p. 191-208

• “Toward an Aesthetics of Self-Sovereignty: The Symbolic of Anti-Authoritarian Discourse in Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s Agadir, in Research in African Literatures, Vol. 49, No. 3, “Performances of Sovereignty in African Dictator-Fiction” (Fall 2018), pp. 131-152

• “Le premier Barthes en revue: sur les traces des années Existences, in Jacqueline Guittard and Magali Nachtergael (dir.), Revue Roland Barthes, 2017-3, “Barthes en revues (1942-1980)”


• Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab, “De la philosophie arabe contemporaine comme champ d’étude, in TRAFO: Blog for Transregional Research, December 8, 2021

• Charles Forsdick, “Concepts voyageurs: approaches postcoloniales de l’exotisme”, in Fabula-LhT, n°26, “Situer la théorie: pensées de la littérature et savoirs situés (féminismes, postcolonialismes)”, ed. Marie-Jeanne Zenetti, Flavia Bujor, Marion Coste, Claire Paulian, Heta Rundgren & Aurore Turbiau, October 2021

• Abdelkébir Khatibi, “What happened to the dream of a united Maghreb ?”, in Le Monde diplomatique, March 6, 2019

Fiction & Creative writing

• “L’exigence du dehors : escales d’un itinéraire autobiographique”, in Zone Critique, n°2, “Aventure” (Paris : 2021), p. 295-303

• “Lettres à un ami traducteur”, in Apulée: Revue de littérature et de réflexion, n°4 “Traduire le monde” (Paris : Editions Zulma, 2019), p. 130-132

• “Un petit coin de paradis”, short story, in Collectif, Tourbillon (Genève : Editions Encre Fraîche, 2018)

• Un Roman étranger, novel (Paris: Présence Africaine, 2017)

Professional Affiliations

• Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES, University of Chicago)

• Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC, University of Chicago)

• American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

• Modern Language Association (MLA)

• Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (UK)

Recent Courses in RLL

  • FREN 21505/31505 Lire les littératures francophones : éléments d’analyse littéraire (Winter 2023)
  • FREN 24700, GNSE 24700 Introduction à la littérature féminine au Maroc (Winter 2025)
  • FREN 24777 North African France: Decolonization, Immigration and Postcolonial Identity (September 2023)
  • FREN 24900 Nouvelles du Maghreb (Autumn 2022)
  • FREN 25505/35505 Grandes voix féminines des Lettres africaines (Autumn 2021)
  • FREN 25610 Figures de l'immigré dans la littérature maghrébine d'expression française (Spring 2021)
  • FREN 26012 Introduction au théâtre maghrébin (Spring 2022)
  • FREN 26333/36333 Introduction à la poésie maghrébine d'expression française (Autumn 2019, Spring 2025)
  • FREN 27400 Autobiographies Maghrébines: de l'Écriture de Soi à l'Écriture de l'Histoire (Winter 2019)
  • FREN 28410/38410 Ecrire le "Printemps arabe" au Magreb: témoignages et perspectives littéraires (Autumn 2020)
  • FREN 41815 Writing the Algerian War of Independence (Autumn 2021)
  • FREN/PORT/SPAN 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives (Autumn 2020)
  • FREN/GNSE 43000 Feminine Autobiographical Voices from the Maghreb (Autumn 2022)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Committee on Theater and Performance Studies