Ph.D. Harvard University, 1980.
Teaching at Chicago since 2004.
Kay Heikkinen holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, awarded in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures (for French language and literature), while representing a multi-disciplinary program in medieval studies, with a dissertation on the academic milieu of tenth-century Islamic Spain. In the past she has taught French language and both world and medieval history, as well as serving in academic administration; more recently she has taught Arabic at the University of Wisconsin and in the Middlebury College summer language schools, as well as participating in the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) program in Cairo.
Since coming to the University of Chicago in 2004 she has taught Beginning Arabic, Intermediate Arabic, High Intermediate Classical Arabic and Arabic in al-Andalus, together with various reading courses for special purposes. She has also served as an instructor in the StarTalk program for high-school students of Arabic, and is currently the faculty advisor for the Arabic Circle (al-Nadwa l-‘arabiyya). Published literary translations include the novels In the Time of Love, by Naguib Mahfouz (Cairo, AUC Press, 2010); Ben Barka Lane, by Mahmoud Saeed (Northhampton, Massachusetts, Interlink Books, 2013); and The Woman from Tantoura, by Radwa Ashour (Cairo, AUC Press, 2014).