Rawad Wehbe studies Arabic poetry, poetics, and literary theory. At the University of Pennsylvania, he is currently writing a dissertation on the mukhaḍramūn poets who lived between the pre-Islamic and Islamic era, focusing on the network of emotions surrounding the poetic experience of existing in the threshold of transition, known as khaḍramah. Drawing from theories of affect and histories of emotion, he departs from a historical study of the mukhaḍramūn to develop a theory of khaḍramah that seeks to understand how language in poetry hacks human emotions to create meaning across periodizations and literary traditions.
Rawad earned two MA degrees in Arabic from the University of Texas at Austin (2017) and the University of California, Los Angeles (2013). He was awarded a fellowship for the Center of Arabic Study Abroad (2014) in Amman, Jordan. Rawad received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Dissertation Abroad Request (2021), Janet Lee Stevens Award in Arabic and Islamic Studies (2020), and was named a Mellon Graduate Fellow (2019). He was also nominated for the Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award (2017).
His translations of Arabic poetry and literature appear in publications by the Paris Review (forthcoming), Two Lines Press, DoubleSpeak, Words Without Borders, and Inventory.