NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES & CIVLZT
Modern Arabic Literature
This course is a study of modern Arabic literary forms in the context of the major political and social changes which shaped Arab history in the first half of the twentieth century. The aim of the course is to introduce students to key samples of modern Arabic literature which trace major social and political developments in Arab society. Each time the class will be offered with a focus on one of the literary genres which emerged or flourished in the twentieth century: the free verse poem, the prose-poem, drama, the novel, and the short story. We will study each of these emergent genres against the socio-political backdrop which informed it. All readings will be in English translations. The class will also draw attention to the politics of translation as a reading and representational lens.
Every Other Term
Course usually offered in spring term
Cross Cultural Analysis
This is an introductory course to the NELC major. It is also relevant to students interest in literature in general, poetry, modernist movement, and translation studies. It also serves as an introduction to the modern Middle East.
At the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate:
1. The ability to identify some of the important literary themes and trends in Modern Arabic poetry
2. The ability to apply some of the basic approaches of critical theory to works of literature and especially to close-readings of poetry
3. Skills in the use of literary and critical sources
5 Written Responses (5 pages each): The writing assignments will either be a close reading of one of the poems or a response to one of the critical readings. Consider what insights into the process of translation comparison of one translation offers and think about the way different translations can produce different images of this body of literature
One 12 to15 page paper: This assignment is a research paper in which student focus on a poet or a school of poetry or a recurrent theme. The study must focus on close reading of texts in addition to supplementary research. Student's also have the option of taking a comparative approach by drawing on other poetic traditions you are familiar with. The issue of translation may be focus as well.
Regular weekly informal class presentations
A final conference-like presentation on final paper topic