Fall 2023

Crosslisted: Arabic 150R: Travel and Autobiography in Arabic Literature

Shady Nasser

Travel is a persistent feature of Arabophone societies through which they have consistently sought to understand and extend their physical, spiritual and imaginative worlds. This course explores the literary tropes of travel and how real, imaginary and spiritual geographies have been described and developed. It encourages students to think about the theme of travel in Arabic literature, its formal and stylistic modes of expression, and the deeper and diverse implications of writing about traveling  Closely connected to travelogues are biographical and autobiographical works through which themes of identity, belonging, and depiction of the other will be explored. Material is taken from a broad range of Arabic literary works with a focus on modern texts such as The Days by Taha Husayn, The Journey of Ibn Fattuma by Najib Mahfouz, A Mountainous Journey by Fadwa Tuqan, and Season Migration to the North by Tayyib Salih among others. All texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge of Arabic is required. Students who have reading knowledge of Arabic may participate in an extra weekly session to read the original texts in Arabic.

4 Credits

In Person