Zahraa Habeeb

Zahraa Habeeb
PhD Candidate, Graduate Instructor
20 Tate Hall
  • BA in English, University of Baghdad (2011)
  • MA in English, Missouri State University (2015)
  • PhD in English, University of Missouri, Columbia (in progress)
Research and Teaching

Areas of Study

  • Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Iraqi Fiction

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Being an Iraqi woman who grew up in a place constantly occupying the headlines, I have taken it as my mission to tell the world about the literary work of Iraqi authors, who are presenting a story about the country and its people that is more accurate and humane than the one presented in the media. In my master’s thesis, I did extensive research on the trauma of war and oppression in the Iraqi fiction of Sinan Antoon. I concluded that trauma has led to the novels’ Iraqis’ diasporic urge, confusing sense of life and death, and to the characters’ estranged perspective on life in general.

Iraqi literature is changing rapidly to reflect the political, cultural, religious, and social transformations taking place in the country. I study the work of Iraqi novelists to name the unspeakable in a changing Iraq and to discover the stylistic forms that writers have developed to recognize the vicissitudes of life in Iraq. I work with biography, too, for my writers’ own lived experiences deeply inform their fictions.

Awards and Honors
  • Student Achievement Funding Award (2015)
    • Missouri State University
  • Study Abroad Scholarship (2013)
    • Government of Iraq