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The 4th Biennial Arabic Language Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference

Translanguaging and Linguistic Diversity in Arabic

Thursday, 18th April, 2024, University of Cambridge

Professor Clive Holes
Emeritus Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World & Emeritus Professorial Fellow, Magdalen College

Paper title: Classical or Colloquial? the False Dichotomy

After completing a BA Hons degree (1st Class) in Arabic and Turkish at Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1969, Clive Holes embarked on a career in cultural diplomacy and English language teaching, first as a volunteer with the UNA and then as a Staff Officer of the British Council, serving in Bahrain (1969-71), Kuwait (1972-4), Algeria (1974-6), Iraq (1980) and Thailand (1980-82). In the same period he did an MA in English Language at Birmingham University (1971-2) and a PhD in Arabic Sociolinguistics at Wolfson College, Cambridge (1976-81).

He returned to the UK and a Lectureship in Arabic and Applied Linguistics at Salford University (1983-5), before becoming Director of the Language Centre at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman (1985-7). In 1987 he returned to a Lectureship in Arabic at Cambridge and a Tutorial Fellowship at Trinity Hall. He was promoted to an ad hominem Readership in Arabic in 1996 before being appointed Khalid bin Abdullah Al Sa’ud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at Oxford University and Magdalen College in January 1997, retiring in 2014. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002.

Professor Holes has written extensively on Arabic sociolinguistics, Arabic dialectology, the history of Arabic, and Arabic popular literature. His most recent books are: Arabic Historical Dialectology (ed) (Oxford, OUP, 2018); Dialect, Culture and Society in Eastern Arabia (Leiden, Brill, 3 Volumes, 2000-16); Modern Arabic: Structures, Functions and Varieties (2nd edition Georgetown University Press, Washington DC, 2004); and two co-authored books on Arabic popular poetry: The Nabati Poetry of the UAE (Ithaca Press, 2011) and Poetry and Politics in Contemporary Bedouin Society (Ithaca, 2009). He is currently completing a book on the Arabic dialects of Oman to appear in the CUP Open Access series Cambridge Studies in Semitic Languages and Cultures.