College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Translator & Interpreter Corps > TIC Faculty > Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

Dr. Nesreen Akhtarkhavari is Associate Professor and the founding Director of Arabic Studies at DePaul University. Her educational background includes a Law Degree from the University of Jordan, a Master’s in Criminology from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in Multilingual-Multicultural Education from the same institution. She teaches advanced and content Arabic language courses, literature, culture, media, criminology & criminal justice, film, and translation.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari is a native speaker of Arabic and Persian and a Superior speaker of English. She is a literary and technical translator and serves as the editor of the Arabic Literature, Language, and Culture series for Michigan State University Press.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari is writer and short story author, her Arabic collection of short stories بين الحضور والغياب [Between Presence and Absence] was published in Arabic in 2015 and for that among other works, she received membership in the Jordanian Writers Society. Her Arabic articles and literary works are published in Al-Zamman, Al’Rai, Afkar, Awraq, and others.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari translated from Arabic to English seven literary works including, You as of Today My Homeland, the first post-modernist literary work in Arabic and a fascinating documentation of the 1967 War and the conditions of Arab society at the time from a Jordanian prospective by Tayseer al-Sboul; The Cat Who Taught Me How to Fly, a powerful prison novel that documents the author’s experience and provides insight into the complexity of politics, ideology, and culture in the Arab world, by Hasheem Gharibeh; and The Tree Stump, a historical novel that provides an alternative reading of the history of the Arab Revolt and the involvement of the Arab tribes in World War I, by Samiha Khrais. Dr. Akhtarkhavari also translated, Walk, a collection of very short stories, reflections on prison experience, by Saud Qubailat. He poetry translations are co-authored by the American poet, Anthony Lee and includes three poetry books, Desert Sorrows by Tayseer al-Sboul, and two books of Rumi Arabic poetry Love is My Savior, & The Wine of Reunion. The first two translations received recognition by World Literature Today as one of the most notable translations for 2016, and 2017 consecutively. Her other literary translation work was published in Banipal, Ezra, Metamorphoses, Maulana Rumi Journal, and Elixir, among others.

In addition to her literary translation, Dr. Akhtarkhavari provides legal, technical, and cultural translation and interpreting. She worked on various technical translations including editing the translated manuals and assessment tools for the International Appraisal Society for training workshops in Arabic Saudi Arabia and provided cultural background and translation of selected works from Abu-Ghraib prison testimonies used in a cultural exhibit at DePaul.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari interpreted for various conferences and public events locally and internationally. This included interpreting for distinguished special guests and delegations such as Prince Faisal al-Thani, during the dedication of the DePaul Entrepreneurial Center that carries his name, and interpreting for the Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament, Atef Tarawneh and his delegation during his visit to Chicago. She also served as simultaneous interpreter for local, national, and international conferences including interpreting at the Arabic American Conference in Chicago, and at the Baha’i International Convention in Haifa, Israel.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari is also a Federal Court Interpreter at the Chicago North District Courts where she provides simultaneous court interpreting for clients from various Arab regions with focus on the Levant, Egyptian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Sudanese, and Gulf dialects. She also occasionally interprets for the Chicago Public Defenders Office.