Gretchen Head

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Image of Gretchen Head.

Gretchen Head received her Ph.D. in Arabic Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2011. Her dissertation, Moroccan Autobiography: the Rhetorical Construction of the Self and the Development of Modern Arabic Narrative in al-Maghrib al-Aqṣā, establishes an alternative history of Arabic narrative through an analysis of the development of modern Moroccan prose in Arabic. Through a comparative study of the temporal logic of premodern and post-Enlightenment autobiography, it attempts to provide a more nuanced understanding of the premodern Arabic autobiographical text and to recover the continuities within the Arabic prose tradition that influenced the early modern novel. After two years of research in Morocco, Dr. Head joins Berkeley as a Mellon fellow in Comparative Literature, where her teaching will focus on bringing the Arabic narrative tradition into greater dialogue with the larger framework of World literature.