Michael Cooperson, professor of Near Eastern languages and cultures, has received the Sheikh Zayed Award for his Arabic-to-English translation of “Impostures” by Maqamat Al-Hariri. His translation was praised as “a bold, mature and innovative approach.” Winners of the award’s translation category each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit and a prize of about $200,000.
“Impostures” is a difficult work to translate, in part because it is heavily reliant on a rhyme scheme. Cooperson used a more liberated form of English, which made the translation more accessible globally.
Cooperson’s fields of study include the cultural history of the early Abbasid period, the Maltese language and culture, translation and the use of time travel as a literary device. He teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses in the Arabic department on linguistics, literature, culture and translation.