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Fatima Burney

Assistant Professor of English


Fatima Burney is a scholar of global romanticism and world poetry. Her current research examines the discourses of nature and natural expression that influenced the emergence of the romantic lyric model as one of the idealized genres of world literature. While the veneration of nature is regarded as a canonical feature of transatlantic romanticism and American transcendentalism, this trend had much more global resonance. In her upcoming book, Landscapes of a Lyric Empire, Burney traces the history of a lyricized ideal of world poetry back to the translations, imitations, and critiques of Asiatick poetry that energized the market of world literature. Since debates on national, exotic, and universal literary form were routinely in conversation with the fields of botany, philology, and the natural sciences, this material exposes the role that translation and hermeneutics played in nineteenth-century green writing. It also highlights the critical perspective that historical formalism offers to emerging topics in ecocriticsm and world literature.

Burney published an article on Emerson’s vernacularizing reception of Hafez in the Journal of World Literature and has an article on the amateur Orientalist Ebenzer Pocock’s English masnavī “The Khanjgaruh”, forthcoming in Comparative Critical Studies. Burney also coedited the special issue “‘West-East’ Lyric: A Comparative Approach to Lyric History” in which her article on Pocock appears.

Burney received her Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies project at SOAS from 2017-2020. She has taught courses on world literature and postcolonial theory at SOAS and UCLA.

Dr. Burney teaches Introduction to Poetry, Emily Dickinson, Love and Its Languages, South American Literature and Culture, Form and Formalism, Literature and Animal Studies and other courses on poetry, global romanticism, and eco-poetics.

Updated 2021