1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Almas Khan


The University of Chicago Law School, Juris Doctorate with honors, 2006.

University of California, Irvine, Master’s of Arts in English, 2010. Thesis (with distinction): Lord Jim, the Imperial Romance, and the Romance of Imperialism.

Stanford University, Bachelor’s of Arts in English with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa honors, 2003.

Almas Khan is an ABD doctoral candidate in the English department at the University of Virginia. She previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University, a Master’s degree in English from U.C. Irvine, and a law degree from the University of Chicago. Almas specializes in modern and contemporary literature, law and literature, and poetry and poetics and is presently working on her dissertation, which is entitled A Fraught Inheritance: Legal Realism, Literary Realism, and the Forging of American Democracy. The project explores the relationship between legal realism and literary realism during the modern period in the United States, analyzing novels and plays based on actual incidents with law as a vital plot point.


Law & Literature, Modern & Contemporary, Poetry


  • “Poetic Justice: Slavery, Law, and the (Anti-)Elegiac Form in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!” (forthcoming in the Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry).
  • Between the Acts: A Modernist Meditation on Language, Origin Narratives, and Art’s Efficacy on the Cusp of the Apocalypse” (forthcoming in the English Academy Review).
  • “Postconfessional Poetry and the Concentric Circles of Ideas in Frank Bidart’s ‘Ellen West’” (forthcoming in Proteus: A Journal of Ideas).
  • Heart of Darkness: Piercing the Silence” (forthcoming in Anglica).
  • “Infusing Ethics into the Legal Writing Curriculum – and Beyond.” The Law Teacher 19.2 (2013): 7-8.
  • “Opening Class with Panache, Professionalism, and a Pinch of Humor.” Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research & Writing 20.2/3 (2012): 117-21.
  • “A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources,” Washburn Law Journal 50.2 (2011): 395-432.
  • “Teaching a Master Class on Legislation to First-Year Legal Writing Students.” Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research & Writing 19.3 (2011): 195-96. Also presented as a poster at the Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, Palm Desert, California (2012).
  • “Teaching Advocacy through a Real Simulation.” The Law Teacher 18.1 (2011): 11. 
  • “The Interaction between Shariah and International Law in Arbitration.” Chicago Journal of International Law 6.2 (2006): 791-802.

Lectures and Conference Presentations

  • Presenter, Postconfessional Poetry and the Concentric Circles of Ideas in Frank Bidart’s “Ellen West,” Friends of English Southland Conference, University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (2014).
  • Moderator, Poetry, Metaphor, and the Experience of Reading, University of Virginia Graduate English Students Association Conference, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (2014).
  • Presenter, “Oh! Blessed Rage for Order”: Law, Poetry, and the Rhetoric of Slavery in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!, Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities Conference, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia (2014).
  • Presenter, Elements of the Law: Intertwining Legal Storytelling, Legal Reasoning, and Legal Practice in the First-Year Curriculum, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Tempe, Arizona (2012) and Applied Legal Storytelling Conference, Denver, Colorado (2011).
  • Moderator, The Path to Academia, North American South Asian Law Students Association Conference, Miami, Florida (2009).

Awards and Professional Activity

  • Tomorrow’s Professor Today program participant, 2014-15.
  • Mellon Graduate Teaching Seminar participant, “Writing, Memory, Disciplinarity,” 2014-15.
  • Osnabruck Summer Institute for the Cultural Study of Law participant, 2014.
  • Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, Jefferson Trust Essay Contest winner, 2013: “Symbolism and the Prospects for a New ‘Becoming’ in Marzieh Meshkini’s The Day I Became a Woman.”