I am a scholar in the field of English studies, specializing in Modern English literature and literary/cultural theory, non-English and postcolonial literatures. Currently, I am engaged in a project of translating the Qur’an into English verse, in collaboration with the Islamic scholar Bruce Lawrence. Recently, I have served as Visiting Professor at the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait where I have been trying to enhance my linguistic and cultural breadth, and I have now resumed my duties at Rutgers.


  • University of Oxford, England:
    Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature (1/86)
  • University of Essex, England:
    B.A. Hons. with Distinction in English/European Literature (6/78)
  • International House, London:
    R.S.A. Prep. Cert. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (1/86)

Doctoral Dissertation:

  • “T.S. Eliot’s Prose Writings and Aspects of the Western Philosophical Tradition.” University of Oxford, 1986.


  • Award for contributions to intercultural understanding, from the Brain Trust Charity in London, February 2018.

  • The Rutgers University Clement A. Price Human Dignity Award for Contribution to diversity on campus and in the community, April 12, 2016.

  • The Rutgers University “Scholar-Teacher Award,” May 8, 2013.

  • Selected as Senior Fulbright Specialist Scholar, October 11, 2010, to help University of al-Akhawayn in Morocco with its English curriculum.
  • Fulbright Scholarship to Malaysia: teaching and researching in English Department of International University, Kuala Lumpur, November 2004-August 2005.
  • Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award, Rutgers University, Spring, 2003.
  • Rutgers University Board of Trustees Award for Scholarly Excellence, Spring, 1998.

Teaching Experience:

  • July 2007 – pres: Professor of English, Rutgers University, U.S.A.
  • Sept 2010 – pres: Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Sept 1998 – July 2007:  Rutgers University, Associate Professor.
  • Sept 1992 – Sept 1998: Rutgers University, Assistant Professor.
  • 1996-2002: Director of Writing Program.

Courses taught at Postgraduate Level:

  • Post-Colonial Literature
  • Literary Criticism and Theory                           
  • Modern World Literature and Theory
  • Virginia Woolf and Feminism
  • Studies in Dramatic Form
  • Freud and the Twentieth Century
  • Islamic History and Literature       
  • Islamic Literature   
  • Political Readings of Shakespeare                              
  • Introduction to Graduate Literary Study
  • Politics and Literature
  • Rhetoric: A Practicum for Teaching Assistants
  • Current Debates in English Literature                   
  • The Aesthetics of Kant (Independent Study)
  • Kant and Schopenhauer (Independent Study)      

Courses taught at Undergraduate Level:

  • World Literature I
  • World Literature II
  • Literary Criticism and Theory                                     
  • Modern British Fiction
  • Modern British Drama
  • Modern British Poetry
  • Yeats, Eliot and Pound
  • Literatures in English I
  • Literatures in English II
  • Literatures in English III
  • Introduction to Literary Study       
  • Middle Eastern and Indian Literature                                    
  • Comic Literature
  • Kant and Hegel


Authored Books:

  • Hegel and the Foundations of Literary Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2018. Here is what the reviewers said:

    (Reviewer 1): “This is a wonderful and magisterial study which covers a vast range of philosophical material, both ancient and modern, and does so with enormous erudition, precision, force and clarity…brilliantly expounded via wonderfully complex readings and argumentation. What the study thus achieves is nothing less than a complete re-visioning of modern literary theory…”

    (Reviewer 2): “Its argument that Hegel underpins much of our worldview—good and bad—is thoroughly convincing.  After reading Habib’s book, one wonders how we could have lived so long without it.”
  • Hegel and Empire: From Postcolonialism to Globalism (London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). 164 pages. Here is what one reviewer said:

    “Habib’s Hegel and Empire is unique in being both highly ambitious in its far-reaching scope and at the same time painstakingly precise in all its details. I sense that it will soon emerge as a classic in the field,” Aakash Singh Rathore.
  • Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 298 pages.
  • Shades of Islam: Poems for a New Century. Leicester, UK:  Kube Publishing, 2010.  108 pages. This is a book of my own poetry.
  • Modern Literary Criticism and Theory: A History. Blackwell, 2007. 252 pages.
  • A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present. Blackwell, 2005. 838  pages.
  • An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry in Translation. Modern Language Association. Edited and translated, with critical introduction. 2003.195 pages.
  • The Early T.S. Eliot and Western Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1999. 289 pages.
  • The Dissident Voice: Poems of N.M. Rashed: Translated from the Urdu. Oxford University Press, 1991. [A translation, for the first time into English, of the four volumes of poetry written by a major modern Urdu poet, with detailed critical introduction]. 123 pages.

Edited Books:

  • Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Vol. VI: the Nineteenth Century. This volume will contain thirty-two chapters written by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. 696 pages. Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • The Oxford Anthology of Literary Criticism and Theory. Oxford University Press, manuscript completed, forthcoming, 2013.
  • A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, (originally ed. J.A. Cuddon). Wiley-Blackwell. 783 pages. December, 2012.

Chapters in Books:

  • Selections from the Qur’an, trans. M.A.R. Habib and Bruce B. Lawrence, in The Norton Anthology of World Literature (Shorter Fourth Edition)(Vol 1), ed. Martin Puchner. W. W. Norton. pp. 791-836.

  • “Hegel’s Aesthetics and their Influence.” In Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Vol. VI: 1830-1914. Ed. M.A.R. Habib. Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 251 – 273.

Essays/Articles (Selected):

  • “Hegel and Islam,” Philosophy East and West, 68: 1 (2017): 59-77.
  • Entry on “Allegory” (3000 words). In Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert  A. Segal (eds.), Vocabulary for the Study of Religion.  Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: E. J. Brill Academic Publishers, 2013.   
  • Entry on “Intertextuality” (3000 words). In Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert  A. Segal (eds.), Vocabulary for the Study of Religion.  Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: E. J. Brill Academic Publishers, 2013.
  • “Hegel’s Aesthetics and their Influence.” In Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Vol. VI: 1830-1914. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2012, pp. 251 – 273.
  • “N.M. Rashed: the Development of a Major Urdu Poet.” Bunyaad: An Academic and Research Journal: Special Issue on N.M. Rashed, I (2010), 1-19. This was the lead essay in an important journal.
  • “Islam and the Myth of Literalism.” Boundary 2, Duke University Press, 37 (2010), 69-77.
  • “T.S. Eliot and Modernism in Urdu Poetry.” Annual of Urdu Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 22 (2007), 43-66.
  • “Europe: 1760-1850: A Historical Survey.” Encyclopaedia of the Romantic Era, London: Fitzroy-Dearborn, 2004, pp. 329-333.
  • “American Literary Theory: Twentieth Century.” Critical Survey of Literary Theory, Vol. I, Fitzroy-Dearborn, 2000, pp. 28-34.
  • “British Literary Theory: Twentieth Century.” Critical Survey of Literary Theory, Vol. I, Fitzroy-Dearborn, 2000, pp. 175-180.
  • “Bergson Resartus and T.S. Eliot’s Manuscript.” Journal of the History of Ideas, April 1993, pp. 255-276.
  • “Islamic Studies.” In The Blackwell Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory, 1996, pp. 265-270.
  • “Classical Marxism.” In Guide to Literary Theory, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993, pp. 491-495.
  • “The Politics of Multicultural Teaching.” In The Heath Anthology American Literature Newsletter, Spring 1993, pp. 10-11.

Reviews of Books

  • Rev. of Postcolonial Literary Studies: The First 30 Years, ed. Robert P. Marzec, in Postcolonial Text, forthcoming, 2013.
  • Rev. of  T.S. Eliot: Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917, ed. Christopher Ricks, Janus, 1997.
  • Rev. of Mette Hjort, ed., Rules and Conventions: Literature, Philosophy, Social Theory, in British Journal of Aesthetics, Summer, 1994.
  • Rev. of Michel de Certeau, Heterologies, in British Journal of Aesthetics, Autumn, 1987.
  • Rev. of J. Hawthorn, ed., Criticism and Critical Theory, in British Journal  of Aesthetics, Autumn, 1985.
  • Rev. of Christopher Norris, Deconstruction: Theory and  Practice, in British  Journal of Aesthetics, Summer, 1983. 

Creative Work:

Poems and Translations:

  • Selected poems of N.M. Rashed, translated into English. In Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East (Words Without Borders). W.W. Norton, 2010, pp. 163-168.
  • “Hassan the Potter” (A long poem of N.M. Rashed, translated into English). In Modern Poetry of Pakistan, ed. Iftikhar Arif and Waqas Khwaja. Dalkey Archive Press, 2010, pp. 43-55.
  • Poem “To a Suicide Bomber,” featured  in television documentary, entitled Talking Through Walls, PBS television, 2009.
  • Two Poems by Siddiqua Shabnam, translated into English, Annual of Urdu Studies, Vol 24, 2009.
  • Poems of  Iqbal, translated into English. Annual of Urdu Studies, University of  Wisconsin-Madison, 18, 2 (2003), 449-457.

Presentations (Selected):

  • Invited Lecture: “Teaching Literary Theory: Deconstructing Poetry,” Istanbul Sehir University, Turkey, October 24, 2019.

  • Invited Lecture: “Translating the Qur’an: Towards a New Approach,” Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Ibn Haldun University, Turkey, October 23, 2019.

  • Invited Lecture: “Making Sense of the Qur’an in Translation: Sura Luqman,” University of Exeter, U.K., March 18, 2019.

  • Invited Lecture: “Hegel and the Future of Humanism,” Jamia Millia University of Delhi, India, February 27, 2019.

  • Invited Plenary Lecture: “Hegel and the Divine Unity in Islam,” International Philosophy Conference, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, February 8, 2019.

  • Presenter at International Conference (which I organized): “Addressing Classic of World Literature: Problems and Strategies,” Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, January 27-28, 2019.Invited Lecture: “Is Literary Theory Dead?” University of Kuwait, November 21, 2018

  • Invited Lecture: “Qur’anic Rethinkings of Heroism in Sura Yusuf,” GELL Conference, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, March 15, 2018.

  • Invited Lecture: “Challenges in Translating Sura Yusuf,” Kingston University, London, March 8, 2018.

  • Invited to give Poetry Reading: Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, January 30, 2018.

  • Invited Lecture: “Is World Literature Possible?” Mahmoud Darwish Museum, January 29, 2018.

  • Invited Video Lecture: “Plato, Aristotle, and their Influence on the Humanities,” delivered to students and faculty of Hakim Sabzevari University in Iran, February 27, 2017.

  • Invited Lecture: “Literary Theory and the Performance of Identity,” Northwestern University, February 16, 2017.

  • Keynote Presentation with Bruce Lawrence of Duke University: “Issues in Qur’an Translation,” at the 2016 NEH Summer Institute, A Reverence for Words: Understanding Muslim Cultures through the Arts, NYU, July 11, 2016.

  • Invited Lecture: “Translating the Qur’an: Comparisons,” School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November 11, 2015.

  • Keynote Presentation with Bruce Lawrence of Duke University: “Translating the Qur’an: A Poetic Approach,” Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, November 10, 2015.

  • Invited Lecture: “Hegel and Antigone: Feminist Readings,” University of Oxford, England, November 4, 2015.

  • Keynote Address, “The Challenge of Literacy in a Global Setting,” Literacy for Life Conference, Mercer County College, October 24, 2015.

  • Invited Presentation: “The Crisis in the Middle-East: Problems of Fundamentalism,” Elizabethtown College, PA, October 1, 2015.

  • Invited Lecture: “Hegel and the Foundations of Modern Literary Theory,” Harvard University, April 24, 2014.

  • Keynote Presentation with Bruce Lawrence of Duke University: “Qur’an Translation,” at NEH Conference “A Reverence for Words,” NYU, July 14, 2014.

  • Keynote speaker, reading and discussing my own poetry at Kingston University, London, November 27, 2013.

  • Participant in joint panel discussion of Rutgers and Johns Hopkins University, “Advancing Curricular Civic Engagement,” at Third Annual Eastern Region Campus Compact Conference, Philadelphia, October 25, 2013.

  • Invited to read my own poetry at Kingston University, London, February 7, 2012.

  • Invited to read my own poetry at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, February 6, 2012.
  • Keynote speaker, reading my own poetry at the “Celebration of Eastern Cultures,” University of Pennsylvania, September 27, 2009.
  • “Reading and Democracy.” Fifth International Conference on the Book. Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, Spain, Oct. 21, 2007.
  • “Islamic Studies and the Burden of Literalism.” International Conference on New Directions  in the Humanities, University of Carthage, Tunis, July 5, 2006.
  • “Literary Criticism in College Education: Who Needs it?” Public Lecture, Barnes & Noble, Marlton, NJ, March 1, 2006.
  • “Islamic Studies and the Modes of Literary Criticism.” Presented at the Twenty-First Annual Conference of the Literary Association of Nepal, Kathmandu, March 2, 2005.
  • “Urdu Poetry: The Challenges of Teaching and Translating.” MLA Convention, New York, Dec. 27, 2002.
  • “Kant’s Metaphysics and Aesthetics.” Lecture presented to Rutgers University Philosophy Society, Feb. 21, 2002.
  • “The Struggle of Classical Philosophy and Rhetoric.” The New Europe at the Crossroads, York, England, August, 2000.
  • “Literature and the Four Schools of Islamic Law.” American Legal Studies Association, Pittsburgh, Oct 30, 1999.
  • “Memory and History in Schopenhauer and Freud.” Frontiers of Memory, Institute of Education, London, September 17-19, 1999.
  • “Plato and Aristotle on Democracy.” The New Europe at the Crossroads, York, England, July 1998.
  • “History into Fiction: Robert Graves’ King Jesus.” Robert Grave.
  • Centenary Conference,” University of Oxford,  England, 8-12 August, 1995.             
  • “Virginia Woolf: Feminism and Philosophy.” Fourth Annual Virginia Woolf Conference, Bard College, 10 June 1994.
  • “Hegel and Derrida.” Bucknell University, 9 March 1994.


  1. Reviewer of submitted manuscript, “Hegel and Islam,” for Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History (November, 2020).
  2. Reviewer of submitted manuscript “The Ruins of Causality: Disinterment of Causes in The Waste Land,” for Paideuma, February, 2020.
  3. Reviewer of Essay, “Investigating the strategies employed in extended metaphor translation in the Holy Qur’an,” submitted to Journal of Comparative Islamic Studies, June, 2019.
  4. Reviewer of submitted manuscript “Capricious Adventure: Hegel and the First Avant-Garde,” for Nineteenth-Century Contexts, January, 2018.
  5. Reviewer of submitted manuscript “T.S Eliot’s Rewritten Thesis,” for T.S. Eliot Studies Annual, May, 2016.
  6. Evaluation of Grant Application for Israel Science Foundation: “Elegiac Realism: The Novel and the Transience of Cultural Worlds,” by Evron Nir.
  7. External examiner, D.Phil. thesis, entitled “Of Poems and Propositions: T.S. Eliot and the Linguistic Turn,” University of Oxford, November 3, 2015.
  8. External Reviewer for book manuscript proposal, Maryam Khan’s Proposed Translation of Nazir Ahmad’s A Bride’s Mirror, Modern Language Association, February, 2010.
  9. External examiner for promotion of candidate, Waqas Khwaja, to Full professor at Agnes Scott College, June, 2009.
  10. Co-Supervisor of Ph.D. thesis, Kingston University, 2007-2008.
  11. Examiner of M.A. theses in English, International Islamic University of Malaysia, 2004-2005.
  12. External examiner, University of Glasgow Ph.D thesis entitled “Philosophy and Style in the Critical Writings of T.S. Eliot,” August, 2000.
  13. Reader of submitted articles for Journal of the History of Ideas, Summer 1993 – 2003.
  14. External examiner, Ph.D thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, Summer 1992.