Fall 2023

Dana-Palmer Seminar Room

Tuesday, Thursday

1:30pm - 2:15pm

CompLit 140X: Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature: Political Transformation and Social Change across a Decolonizing Twentieth Century

Annette Lienau

This course will introduce students to writing by major pioneers of twentieth century Arabic literature and to cultural histories of the Middle East through the reading of literary texts. Readings drawn from a diversity of national contexts will include historical novels, short stories, experimental prose narratives, and selections from among the most influential poets of the twentieth century. Against the backdrop of Ottoman and Western European imperial domination within West Asia and North Africa, students in this class will explore how the development of modern Arabic literature has been variously understood by writers and critics: as a response to classical literary influences, as a force for political change, as a form of decolonial engagement, and as a source of cultural and linguistic cohesion after the dissolution of the Ottoman empire in the early twentieth century. Although readings will be consulted and discussed in English translation, Arabic or bilingual versions will be made available to those interested, and an attention to the politics of language will be considered through secondary readings on the controversial difference between regional dialects and transregional standards of literary Arabic.

4 Credits

In Person