Michael Cooperson

A photo of Michael Cooperson
E-mail: cooperso@humnet.ucla.edu Phone: 310-206-1383 Office: 376A Kaplan Hall


PhD, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University (1994)
MA, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University (1991)
Certificate, Center for Arabic Study Abroad, American University of Cairo (1988)
BA, Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard College (1987)


I am currently writing a book on the cultural history of the early Abbasid period and translating the Maqāmāt of al-Ḥarīrī for the Library of Arabic Literature.



  • An introduction to reading pre-modern Arabic literature, from Ai’shah al-Ba’uniyyah back to al-Khansa’ (Arabic 130)
  • A survey of Abbasid culture (literature, science, religion) in English (Arabic 150)
  • Arabic linguistics. Recent topics have included Arabic sociolinguistics, and learning Maltese (Arabic 180)
  • A practical course in translating Arabic documents, journalism, and song lyrics, plus subtitle writing (Arabic 181)
  • Seminar in Pre-modern Arabic Literature. Recent topics have included the periodization of Arabic literature and the definition of adab (Arabic 250)

Fields of Study

  • Cultural history of the early Abbasid period
  • Maltese language and culture
  • Translation
  • Time travel as a literary device