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Dr Islam Issa

Reader in Literature and History

School of English

Islam Issa is a multi-award-winning writer, curator, and broadcaster. A literary critic and historian, his work has focused primarily on the modern-day reception of Early Modern English literature in global contexts, particularly Shakespeare and Milton, and the cultural history of the Middle East.

Islam brings pioneering approaches and fresh narratives to the fields of literature, history, and cultural studies through an international repertoire of publications, exhibitions, TV and radio appearances, and speaking tours.

Islam has authored Milton in the Arab-Muslim World (2016), Milton in Translation (2017), Digital Milton (2018), and Shakespeare and Terrorism (2021). He has curated the exhibitions Stories of Sacrifice, Shakespeare in South Asia, and Ageless Cleopatra. He has presented the TV documentary Cleopatra and Me (BBC Four) and the radio documentaries The Balcony and Shakespeare and Terrorism (BBC Radio 3). His awards include the Times Higher Education "Research Project of the Year", the Milton Society of America "First Book Award" and "Irene Samuel Memorial Award", the Muslim News Awards "Excellence in Community Relations" prize, and the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce "Future Face of Birmingham: Public Sector and Education".

The university's "Researcher of the Year" for two consecutive years, he joined Birmingham City University in 2015 after receiving his PhD in English Literature from the University of Birmingham, where he also worked as a Visiting Lecturer and Teaching Fellow.

Islam teaches across all periods and genres of literature, especially the Early Modern. He has served as the Outreach Officer for the School of English.

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