Sleiman El Hajj

Assistant Professor of Creative and Journalistic Writing

Dr. Sleiman El Hajj is assistant professor of Creative and Journalistic Writing in the Department of Communication, Arts and Languages (CAL) (2018—). He is credited with restructuring the creative writing track in the BA English, and represents CAL on the School Research and Development Council. In Trinity term 2019, Dr. El Hajj was appointed Visiting Research Fellow in the department of international development at the University of Oxford.

Dr. El Hajj studied creative writing at Exeter College, the University of Oxford (2014), and completed a PhD in the subject at the University of Gloucestershire in England (2013-2017). His doctoral specialism, as are his research interests, is interdisciplinary. It combines fiction, life writing, and 21st-century world literature. Dr. El Hajj’s research interests include creative nonfiction, gender studies, narrative constructions of home, queer theory, and Middle Eastern literature.

Dr. El Hajj was the lead archival indexing consultant for the Emile Bustani Foundation (2008-2013). In this capacity, he produced the Index for the Emile Bustani Archives, accessible digitally at the Jafet Memorial Library at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The latter amount to 38,042 pages of trilingual archival material, including documents pertaining to the oil industry and to building the infrastructure in the Gulf in the middle of the last century, political and state correspondence, international public relations with investors and politicians in the US and the UK, local earthquakes and natural disasters, and extensive newspaper coverage, both in local and foreign press. Prior to this appointment, El Hajj was staff writer for the Office of Information and Public Relations at AUB, writing more than 100 news articles between 2004 and 2008.

Since July 2015, El Hajj has been Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), a UK professional body that assesses and promotes university-level teaching quality.

Research and Curricular Development

In addition to restructuring the creative writing program, Dr. El Hajj has proposed two new timely additions to the English program to date: life writing, which will be offered for the first time in Spring 2020, and narrative medicine. He is currently working on a number of projects in creative nonfiction: an ethnography and auto-ethnography of migrant domestic workers, as well as school bullying, respectively, in the Lebanese context, and a comparative creative writing study of youth perceptions of home among university students.

Recent publications explore different iterations of gender, sexuality, and movement. Dr. El Hajj’s output spans creative and critical research and has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as Excursions, Life Writing, and Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, and in short story collections and anthologies, such as Crooked Holster and Shadows: New Writing V.

Selected Publications

Critical Writing

  • Under Review. Ethnographic Storytelling and Domestic Labor: The Journey of a Migrant Worker in Beirut, Qualitative Inquiry. (Q1 Rank.)
  • Accepted. Sleiman El Hajj (2020): Voices Against Disavowal, Obscurantism, and Exclusion: The Year in Lebanon, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly. (Q2 Rank.)
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2019): Archiving the Political, Narrating the Personal: The Year in Lebanon, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 42 (1), pp.42-91. (Q2 Rank.)
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2018): Rewriting Home: A Life Writing Study in Post-Postwar Lebanon, Life Writing, 15 (2), pp.255-272. (Q1 Rank.)
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2014): Between Validation and Emasculation: Paradox of the West as Architect of Queer Autonomy in Rabih Alameddine’s The Perv, Excursions, 4 (1). University of Sussex Press: Brighton. (Cited exclusively in Q1 journals).

Creative Writing

  • Under Review (2019). A Christmas Miracle. Journal of International Women’s Studies.
  • Under Review (2019). Edith and Jonathan. Journal of International Women’s Studies.
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2017): The Attic. Shadows: New Writing V. Horseplay Press. Cheltenham, England.
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2015): Carnival. Compass: New Writing III. Horseplay Press. Cheltenham, England.
  • Sleiman El Hajj (2015): Not Home. Crooked Holster: An Anthology of New Crime and Thriller Writing. University of Glasgow, Scotland.


  • Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), University of Oxford, Trinity 2019
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK (2015—)

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Creative Writing, University of Gloucestershire (2017)
  • Advanced Creative Writing Summer School, Exeter College, University of Oxford (2014)
  • MA in American Literature, American University of Beirut (2008)
  • BA in English Literature; Minor in American Studies, American University of Beirut (2006)
  • BS in Biology, American University of Beirut (2004)