Aya Labanieh

Aya Labanieh is a Syrian American writer, translator, academic, and aspiring stand-up comedian. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, studying imperial conspiracies and their conspiracy-theory afterlives in literature and media. She currently serves as research associate for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Ancient Near East, and has led multiple public humanities projects, such as GATE: From Babylon to Berlin (2023), which invited migrant Middle Eastern poets and musicians to reflect on exile, belonging, and Babylonian antiquity at Berlin’s Pergamonmuseum. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Arabic LiteratureTulsa Studies in Women’s LiteratureJournal of Postcolonial WritingMOSF Journal of Science Fiction, and edited volumes Global Science Fiction and Approaches to Teaching Gilgamesh. Her public-facing writing has appeared in Aeon magazine, Ancient ExchangesCulturico, and Politics/Letters.