People list

Sarah Epstein

Phone: +961 (0)1 359295 | Email:

Postdoc Research Fellow, Oct. 2016 - Sept. 2017

Dr. Sarah Doebbert Epstein joins the Orient-Institut as a Postdoctoral Fellow after completing her doctorate at SOAS, University of London, through the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS). Her research is in what she has termed “Comparative Critical Thought,” which she has developed through a series of trans-schematic, transformative engagements between European philosophy and Arabic critical thought (both classical and contemporary).

Her doctoral thesis was entitled: “From a ‘Philosophy of the Limit’ to a ‘Poetics of the Horizon’: A Comparative Critical Approach to Language, Subjectivity and Alterity in Poststructuralist Thought and Arabic Critical Discourse.” She also holds a master’s degree from SOAS in Arabic Literature (with distinction) and a BA in Government (summa cum laude) from Smith College.

Prior to joining the Orient-Institut, Dr. Epstein was a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Center for Maghribi Studies in Tunis (CEMAT), and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the American University in Beirut’s Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH). During her Mellon fellowship, she designed and taught interdisciplinary courses in philosophy, Islamic studies, and literature at the American University in Beirut (AUB). She is currently affiliated with AUB’s Philosophy Department as a visiting faculty member.

Dr. Epstein’s current research at the Orient-Institut, which entails the transformation of her doctoral thesis into revised book form, is provisionally entitled: “Voyage Toward an Impossible Exteriority: Crossings of European Philosophy and Arabic Poetic Theory.” Engaging trends in continental philosophy and Arabic theory, as well as their intersections, this project considers the work of moving between the “inside” and “outside” of “philosophy,” while interrogating eurocentric conceptions of those limits. It thus opens a critical conversation in which a new ethical/political opening toward the other is at stake. The goal is to begin articulating a new type of critical intervention that could arise from between critical tropologies of thought, through their mutual (linguistic/historical) displacements.