Kerstin Eksell

Kerstin Eksell

Professor emerita

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Works at Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies
Visiting address Roslagsvägen 101, Kräftriket 4
Postal address Mellanösternstudier 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a guest researcher within Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, at the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies since 2013.


Curriculum vitae: Fil dr. in Arabic 1980, Göteborg University. Thesis: The analytic genitive in the modern Arabic dialects. 
Professor of Arabic Stockholm University 1988-2001. 
Professor of Semitic Philology, Copenhagen University 2001-2013. 
Guest researcher at MENA, Stockholm University; professor emerita, 2013- 

Research I am interested in historical changes and transitions of borders in Arabic language and literature, and of intercultural exchanges between the Arab world and Europe. Within the field of transference of Greek knowledge into Arabic, I have studied the translation of discourse markers from Greek into Arabic as a phenomenon of linguistic as well as socio-cultural factors. In my study, the translator seems to have followed a consistent regime of strategies. A generic style may have developed for expressing a special scholarly identity.

Another field of research concerns classical Arabic literature. I have worked on poetical imagery in old Arabic poetry and on semiotics in ancient Arabic inscriptions.

The meaningful paradigm of light and colour in Arabo-Andalusian poetry, as well as (somewhat surprising) connections between ancient Greek and classical Arabic poetics are studied within the field of world literature.


Over the years, I have published translations of modern Arabic fiction and poetry. I was co-editor of Naqd – Tidsskrift for Mellemøstens litteratur (1999-2012),  In Naqd Nr. 13, 2014, I have contributed with a bibliography of translated Arabic literature.


Presentations of recent literature appear in the Litteraturbladet on the MENA homepage. 

Selected publications


2017 Eksell, Kerstin & Lindberg-Wada, Gunilla (eds.): Studies of Imagery in Early Mediterranean and East Asian Poetry. Peter Lang Verlag.

2017 (red.): Öst är Väst och Väst är Öst.En vänbok till Henry Diab. Portlak förlag.

2010. Eksell, Kerstin & Guth, Stephan (eds.): Borders and beyond: Crossings and transitions in Modern Arabic Literature. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden. Mizân vol. 21. 2010 Andalus – Energier i gränsrum. Studentlitteratur, Lund.

2002. Meaning in Ancient North Arabian Carvings. Almqvist, Stockholm. Stockholm Oriental studies, nr. 17.

1997. Descriptions of water in Jahiliyya poetry. Stockholm University/Akademitryck AB, Stockholm/Edsbruk. 


2019. "Mellemøsten." In: Verdenslitteraturer, eds. Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Tore Rye Andersen og Jakob Ladegaard.  Aaarhus University Press 2019, pp. 353-385.

2017. “Figurative Speech According to the Talkhis al-Miftah by al-Qazwini. With an Excursus on A. F. van Mehren’ s Die Rhetorik der Araber. In: Eksell, Kerstin & Lindberg-Wada, Gunilla (eds.): Studies of Imagery in Early Mediterranean and East Asian Poetry. Peter Lang Verlag, pp. 195-231.

2017. “Light and Colour in Arabo-Andalusian Poetry. In: Eksell, Kerstin & Lindberg-Wada, Gunilla (eds.): Studies of Imagery in Early Mediterranean and East Asian Poetry. Peter Lang Verlag, pp. 233-272.

2017. ”En saudisk roman mellan socialrealism, sufism och fantasy: Raja Alem, Duvans halsband.”I: En vänbok till Henry Diab. Portlak förlag, ss. 91-112. Pdf online.

2016. ”Efterord: Washington Irving.” I: Berättelser från Alhambra. Alhambra 2016, ss. 224-231. Pdf online.

2015. “Pragmatic Markers from Greek into Arabic: A Case Study on Translations by Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn.” I Studia graeco-arabica 5, 322-344. ISSN 2239-012X (Online).

2011. ”Översättningens paradox.” och ”Libanesiska äpplen: Författare översätter sin kultur.” Naqd 12,
2010. “The legend of al-Andalus: A trajectory across generic borders.” Eksell & Guth (eds. . In: Borders and Beyond: Crossings and transitions in Modern Arabic Literature. vol. 21 Mîzân, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, s. 103-126.
2009. “Historieskriveren Elias Khoury.” Passage, vol 62, s. 51-66.2009 
2006. “D/L-particles in Arabic dialects: A problem revisited.” Journal of Semitic Studies, vol 25, s. 35-49.
2006. “The origin and development of the cursive b-imperfect in Syrian Arabic.” K. Eksell & Th. Vinther (eds): Change in verbal systems. Peter Lang, Frankfurt.
“On simile in pre-Islamic poetry.” L Fedt & K Eksell (eds): Readings in Eastern Mediterranean Literature. Ergon, Würzburg, s. 129-164.2006 
2006. “Genre in Early Arabic poetry.” In: G Lindberg-Wada: Literary History: Towards a Global Perspective Vol. 2. Literary Genres: an Intercultural Approach. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, s. 156-198.
2005. “The verb wgm in Safaitic inscriptions.” Alltagsleben und materielle Kultur in der arabischen Sprache und Litteratur: Festschrift für Heinz Grotzfeld. Band LV, 1 udg, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, s. 163-172 

Translations from Arabic 1981 – 2008 of Naguib Mahfouz, Mahmoud Darwish, Elias Khoury.



Publications.pdf (pdf / 31714)

Last updated: July 19, 2019

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