Keynote Speakers

Prof. Steven G. Kellman – University of Texas San Antonio – Prof. Kellman teaches comparative literature and has written extensively about Translingualism. He has been a Fulbright Senior Lecturer and a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar.

Professor Lawrence Venuti – Temple University – Prof. Venuti is an American translation theorist, translation historian, and a translator from Italian, French, and Catalan. Currently, he is a professor of English at Temple University. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Columbia University, University of Trento, University of Mainz, Barnard College, and Queen's University Belfast.

Professor Jason Rothman - University of Reading – Professor Rothman is a professor of Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading. In addition, he is involved in neuroscience research with the Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics. His focuses on first, second and third language acquisition in children and adults and the relationship between bilingualism and changes to cognitive functions and brain structure throughout the lifespan.

Professor Roumyana Slabakova – Professor Slabakova is the Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Center for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton. Her research is grounded in generative linguistic theory and explores the second language (L2) acquisition process. Prof. Slabakova’s theoretical focus is the acquisition of grammatical structure and its interaction with meaning using online and offline psycholinguistic methodologies.

Dr. Mai Al-Nakib – Kuwait University - Dr. Mai Al-Nakib was born in Kuwait and spent the first six years of her life in London, Edinburgh, and St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a PhD in English literature from Brown University and is Associate Professor of English and comparative literature at Kuwait University. Her academic research focuses on cultural politics in the Middle East, with a special emphasis on gender, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonial issues. Her short story collection, The Hidden Light of Objects, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014. It won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s 2014 First Book Award, the first collection of short stories to do so. She lives in Kuwait and is currently writing her first novel.

Joumana Haddad – Ms. Haddad is a Lebanese poet, translator, journalist and women's rights activist. She has been selected as one of the world’s 100 most powerful Arab women for three years in a row by Arabian Business Magazine (she came in position 36 in 2016), for her cultural and social activism. She is founder of Jasad, a quarterly Arabic-language magazine. In addition, she teaches creative writing at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and has published several well-known books and poetry anthology in multiple languages.