Leyla Rouhi

Preston S. Parish '41 Third Century Professor of Romance Languages
Hollander Hall Rm 313
At Williams since 1993


B.A. Oxford University
M.A. Harvard University
Ph.D. Harvard University, Romance Languages

Areas of Expertise


  • Cultural and Intellectual Exchange between Islam and the West in the European Middle Ages
  • Miguel de Cervantes and Islam
  • Lope de Vega and the material culture of 17th-century Spain
  • Persian Cultural Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern Iberia
  • Proxenetism and profane love in medieval and early modern European and Islamicate cultures


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

RLSP 202

Spain's Fin de Siglo and the Crisis of Ideas

RLSP 211

A Survey of Spanish Literature from the 11th to the 17th Centuries

RLSP 217 T

Love in the Spanish Golden Age

RLSP 301

Cervantes' "Don Quijote"

RLSP 322 / ARAB 322

Islam in Spain

COMP 350 / RLSP 303

Cervantes' "Don Quixote" in English Translation

Scholarship/Creative Work

Forthcoming: “Going Between Spaces in La Celestina and El libro de buen amor,” (Brill, volume co-edited by Felipe Rojas and Peter Thompson)

with Julie A. Cassiday, “Persian Cargo on a Russian Ark: The Role of Iran in Sokurov’s Russian Ark” International Journal of Persian Literature vol 2, No 1, (2017) 63-93.

“Lope de Vega and the Meanings of Book Ownership” Hipógrifo 4.1, (2016)  255-269

“The Shadow of Islam in Cervantes,” in The Persistence of Philology: Rethinking the Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, ed. Suzanne Conklin Akbari and Karla Mallette (University of Toronto Press, 2014).

“Vassar’s Culinary Ambassador, Penleope Casas,” Vassar Alumnae/i Quarterly, Volume 109 Issue 2 (2013)

El anacronópete, by Enrique Gaspar (translated with Michael Cooperson) (January, 2012).

Don Quixote in Persian,” Motarjem magazine, Teheran 2011.

“Miguel de Cervantes, Early Modern Spain, and the Challenges to the Meaning of Islam,” in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Volume 4, Number 1, (2011) pp. 7-22.

“My Father, Amir-Hossein Rouhi,” in Payab Magazine, Teheran, June 2011 (in Persian).

“La literatura persa a través de los mss de la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano,” in Las artes del libro oriental. Manuscritos en árabe, armenio, hebreo y persa en la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano. Armen Tokatlian, María Jesús Viguera Molins y Juan Antonio Yeves Andrés, edit. Madrid: Ed. Lázaro Galdiano, 2010.

“A Handsome Boy Among those Barbarous Turks: Cervantes and the Art and Science of Desire,” in Islamicate Sexualities, ed. Najmabadi and Babayan (Harvard, 2008).

“Reading Cervantes in a Time of War,” in In the Light of Medieval Spain, ed Coleman and Doubleday (Palgrave, 2008).

“The Representation of Gender in Pre-modern Persian and Arabic Literature,” Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures in Islam, Brill (ongoing series).

Special edition of Medieval Encounters 12.3 (December 2006), coedited with María J. Feliciano and Cynthia Robinson.

Under the Influence: Questioning the Comparative in Medieval Castile, co-edited with Cynthia Robinson, (Brill, 2004). Intrioduction (co-authored with Cynthia Robinson) and chapter on Juan de Segovia’s Study of Islam (“A Fifteenth-Century Salamancan’s Pursuit of Islamic Studies.”

Mediation And Love: A Study of the Medieval Go-Between in Key Romance and Near-Eastern Texts. (Leiden, 1999)

“Trotaconventos and the Dynamics of Dialectical Reasoning.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 1, 1999.

“From Nevski Prospect to Zoia’s Apartment: Trials of a Russian Procuress.” (Co-author, with Julie A. Cassiday) Russian Review 58, 3 (1999).

“A Definition of Medieval Woman’s Work.” Celestinesca, 22 (ii) 1998.

Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature, Greenwood Press: Three entries on medieval topics. (1997)

Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature (two entries on Medieval Iberia).

Translator, with Deborah Jensen, “Interview with Hélène Cixous,” in Shifting Scenes: Interviews on Women. Writing and Politics in Post-68 France, edited by Alice Jardine and Anne Menke (Columbia University Press, 1991) 32-51.

Numerous reviews on Persian, French, Spanish, and Arabic literature and culture.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Professor of the Year 2010 for Massachusetts: