Yasmine Motawy is a Senior Instructor of Rhetoric and Composition at the American University in Cairo. She is an educator, translator, reviewer, scholar, mentor, and editor for children’s literature. She has a BA and MA in comparative literature from The American University in Cairo and a PhD (2012) in comparative literature with a dissertation on ideology in contemporary Egyptian and British children’s literature. She has since written on children’s New Media, Utopian imaginings, representation of Muslim children, prizing, civic engagement in children’s books, and crossover fiction in various edited collections and peer reviewed journals. She prioritizes making information about children’s literature accessible, and has contributed book reviews and journalistic articles towards this goal. Motawy has been involved in the promotion of reading in the Arab world and the revival of the Egyptian section of International Board on Books for Young People from 2012 to 2018, and was associate editor of the Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature, and has also served on the 2016 and 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury and the 2017 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature jury. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Mellon Foundation postdoctoral grant where she supported interdisciplinary Arabic language knowledge production around Egyptian children’s literature. From 2019 to 2020, she was on the Arabic books selection committee of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Book Club.
As part of her endeavors to take more Arabic children’s literature abroad, she organized the first outreach Children’s Literature Symposium at the American University in Cairo, where authors, publishers, illustrators, educators, critics, translators, academics and interested members of the general public gathered to network, collaborate, and discuss Arabic children’s literature. Yasmine is currently working on a manuscript on ideology in contemporary Egyptian children’s books.
Motawy is interested in picturebooks, the metropolis in cinema and fiction, writing for social justice, humor in media, migrant narratives, Arab YA fiction, service learning, informal education, teaching children’s writing, life narratives, and the creative writing process.