Professor Muhsin al-Musawi is a literary critic and a scholar of classical and modern Arabic literature and comparative cultural studies. He taught for over two decades at universities in the Arab world before moving to Columbia University. He is the author of twenty-eight books (including four novels) and over sixty scholarly articles. He has been the editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature since 2000.

Professor al-Musawi's teaching and research interests span several periods and genres. His books include: Scheherazade in England (1981); The Society of One Thousand and One Nights (2000); Anglo-Orient: Easterners in Textual Camps (2000); The Postcolonial Arabic Novel: Debating Ambivalence (2003); Arabic Poetry: Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition (2006); Reading Iraq: Culture and Power in Conflict (2006); The Islamic Context of the Thousand and One Nights (Columbia University Press, 2009); and Islam in the Street: The Dynamics of Arabic Literary Production (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009). He is also the editor of and a contributor to Arabic Literary Thresholds: Sites of Rhetorical Turn in Contemporary Scholarship (2009), and wrote the introduction and notes to the Barnes & Noble edition of The Thousand and One Nights, published in 2007. Professor al-Musawi was the recipient of the Owais Award in Literary Criticism in 2002.