About Mustapha Marrouchi

008Born in the colony, Mustapha Marrouchi received his education in the colonial classroom.  There he learned how to mimic the colonial master, who was quite good at mimicking himself.  By the time he left the colony for the West, he had become adept at cursing the very master who introduced him to modernity.  In the process, he acquired the necessary tools that have enabled him to signify with a vengeance i.e. to dismantle the master’s house.  Sly civility also led him to wear the emperor’s clothes.  His rootlessness gave him the edge, in that he knew how to play Hamlet without being the prince—to answer back.  Language is courage you might say.  To be able to father an idea, no matter how skewed it is, give it birth, make it happen is no small feat.  Or is it?  In his case, he set out with the intention and indeed method to rip the English language apart, a language that was imposed from above on so many of the earth’s peoples.    Today, as he sits back, thinking to himself life is good, he admires the few test tube babies he has forced her to bear.  He also marvels at his itinerary even if in the process of driving forward he caught the bug and became infected with the migrancy syndrome—a virus that forces all those who leave their home to live half a life elsewhere–after all, they can never be fully American or Canadian or Australian–and thereby lose their place in the world.  Rootlessness is a double-edged sword: an American citizen but certainly not American, a Canadian citizen but surely not Canadian.  A spare wheel of sorts or better still a hollow individual.  And if “they fuck you up, your mum and dad,” Philip Larken once intoned in a poem, dislocation screws you real hard and with an attitude too.  As time goes by, you become a monster: both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  In the end, though, you were born, you live your life, and you eventually die.  To hell with it.  Even monuments die let alone you.  Better to try and fail than not try at all, as many do.

The journey of one such cultural amphibian, Mustapha Marrouchi, includes most recently, the titles Dean’s Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Rogers Fellow in Postcolonial Literature; Research Associate (ISS, Claremont, California); and coordinator of The Graduate Circle during his tenure at UNLV. He is the author of The Fabric of Subcultures: Networks, Ethnic Force Fields, and Peoples without Power and editor of Embargoed Literature: Arabic, winner of the 2010-Horizon Award.

Professor Marrouchi is the author of several works of literary criticism, including Signifying with a Vengeance and Edward Said at the Limits. In 2003, he edited Algeriad: Colonialism, Islamism, Terrorism, a collection of essays that trace the question of Algerian Islamism to French colonialism. He is the author of “Of Childhood and Fear” and “On Couscous,” which trace his childhood experiences in a small town in the High Atlas in the 1960s; and “Cry No More for Me Palestine,” a remembrance of the late Palestinian Poet, Mahmoud Darwish.

An influential cultural critic, Professor Marrouchi has written widely on Islam(ism), terrorism, African-American literature, the Arab revolution, Arabic literature, theory, colonial discourse, couscous, war, and soccer. His essays have been translated into Catalan, Urdu, and Arabic, and his writing has appeared in a variety of journals including Boundary 2, Texte, College Literature, Journal of African Philosophy, JAC, The Dalhousie Review, Akhbar al-Adab, Ariel, The Southern Review, Poetics Today, Le Monde Diplomatique, Mosaic, Callalou, Countercurrents, and Globalcomment. A frequent public speaker, he has voiced his opinion on many issues, including the invasion of Iraq, terrorism, fundamentalism, torture, injustice, the Arab Spring.

Marrouchi is now writing a book on mobbing in Academia.

A lover of red wine, single malt scotch, horses, opera and Qawali music, Mustapha Marrouchi lives on border line between North America, Europe and Africa, where he grows olives, wheat and barley.  In his spare time, he looks after his bees, whom he calls “little angels,” and breeds horses.  He also reads Sufi poetry, plays the tabla, and enjoys listening to Glenn Gould performing Bach and Maria Callas singing arias.  He hunts partridge and wild hare in the High Atlas.  Life is pretty good, you might say.