Mohammed Muharram is a Yemeni researcher with expertise in postcolonial studies and the emerging field of the Blue Humanities with specific reference to Arabic literature and culture. Issues of water scarcity, economic inequality, and climate change in the Arab world and how these issues are represented in literature and culture is of prime interest to him.
After receiving his PhD in 2012 in Anglophone Postcolonial Studies from the English and Foreign Languages University (Hyderabad, India), Muharram worked as an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Thamar University (Yemen), where he also chaired the English Department at the Faculty of Education and directed the Thamar University English Language Center for Translation and TOEFL Preparation. He taught widely in many public and private universities in Yemen. He received a Harvard Certificate for an online seminar on World Literature and also obtained two TESOL Certificates from Arizona University.
Muharram’s postgraduate research has been funded by local and international scholarships and fellowships from Yemen, India, the US, Malaysia, and Germany. From Yemen, he was awarded the Yemeni government scholarship for higher studies to pursue his MA and PhD. From the government of India, Muharram received four awards: the Indian Council for Cultural Exchange (ICCR) to pursue an MA, the University Grants Commission (UGC) Junior Fellowship and the UGC Senior Fellowship (during his PhD), and the UGC Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2019, Muharram received the Scholar Rescue Fund fellowship of the Institute of International Education (IIE-SRF), which arranged for him a position of Visiting Assistant Professor of English Literature at Philadelphia University, Amman, Jordan. In 2020, he was awarded the UKM Postdoctoral Fellowship in Malaysia under IIE-SRF sponsorship, but the fellowship was not taken due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. In 2021, Muharram was awarded the prestigious Philipp Schwartz Initiative Fellowship sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen, where he is currently based.
In addition to research in the Blue Humanities, Muharram teaches courses at the University of Bremen, namely “Narratives of Ocean Cultures” and “Narratives of Sea Migration.” Interested in interdisciplinary and holistic approaches to research, Muharram is an associate member of Fiction Meets Science (Bremen-Oldenburg), the Science-Humanities Initiative (Cardiff University, UK), the Environmental Justice Humanities (Kiel), and Oceanic Humanities for the Global South. He is also a member of the New University in Exile Consortium, Academics in Solidarity, and Academics in Exile.
Muharram has published extensively in Arab postcolonial studies. His book, The Arab Writes Back: Orientalism, History, and the Canon (2021) and associated article that appeared in the Minnesota Review critiques the marginalization of Arabic fiction in seminal postcolonial textbooks and anthologies. Muharram has also published several scholarly articles on decolonizing the Arab and Muslim mind, the clash of civilizations, and Occidentalism. He is currently writing Situating Yemen in Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh University Press).
His current work on postcolonial environmental humanities includes articles and chapters on Arabic Blue Humanities that deal with issues of migration, exile, ecofeminism, Yemen-Australian oceanic encounters, and the role of Yemeni Hadhramis in connecting Indian Ocean cultures.
Muharram coined the term “Blue Postcolonialism” at an international postcolonial conference organized by GAPS (the Postcolonial Studies Association) at the University of Constance. He is co-editing The Bloomsbury Handbook to the Blue Humanities with three co-editors: Prof. Steve Mentz, the scholar from St. John’s University, New York City, who coined the term “blue humanities;” Prof. Serpil Oppermann (Cappadocia University, Turkey), who recently published Blue Humanities (Cambridge University Press); and Prof. Sandra Young (University of Cape Town, South Africa). On his Twitter page, Muharram regularly shares the most up-to-date scholarship in the field of the Blue Humanities, postcolonial studies, and Arabic literature and culture.
Below are links to selected publications, research in progress, and social media pages.
Webpage at University of Bremen