Samuel Liebhaber

Associate Professor of Arabic

 
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 FALL 2019: Tues 1:00-2:30, Wed 10:15-11:45, and by appointment
 Voter Hall 002

Sam Liebhaber is an Associate Professor of Arabic at Middlebury College.  He received his M.A. degree in Comparative Semitics (2000) and his Ph.D. in Arabic Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (2007).  Alongside teaching Arabic language courses covering four years of Arabic proficiency, Dr. Liebhaber teaches courses on Arabic literature and world literature. Dr. Liebhaber has undertaken several extended periods of research and fieldwork in Yemen on the poetic traditions of the endangered Mahri language, a poorly documented Semitic language indigenous to Southern Arabia.  Dr. Liebhaber has published a translation of the first written collection of poetry in the Mahri language, The Dīwān of Ḥājj Dākōn (American Institute for Yemeni Studies, 2011), as well as articles on Mahri poetry and language in TheJournal of Semitic Studies (2010),Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (2010), The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (2011), and The Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures (2013).  Dr. Liebhaber is the author of the Mahri Poetry Archive, an online resource for Mahri poetry, society, and history: http://sites.middlebury.edu/mahripoetry/. More broadly, Dr. Liebhaber is interested in language ideology in the Middle East, vernacular Arabic poetry from the Arabian Peninsula, contemporary Yemeni literature, Semitic epigraphy, and Comparative Semitics.

 

Sample syllabi of his literature courses can be found here:

Modern Arabic Literature (English): http://sites.middlebury.edu/arbc221f14/

Classical Arabic Prose (Arabic): http://sites.middlebury.edu/arbc0410spring15/

The Arabic Novel (English): http://sites.middlebury.edu/arbc212f15/

The Arabic Novel (Arabic): http://sites.middlebury.edu/arbc0402f12/

Arabia: A Literary Approach (English): http://sites.middlebury.edu/arbc210f14/

 

Publications:

  • The Dîwân of Hâjj Dâkôn: Introduction and Commentary by Sam Liebhaber. Ardmore: The American Institute for Yemeni Studies, in press.
  • “The Humaynî Pulse Moves East: Yemeni Nationalism Meets Mahri Sung Poetry.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies: in press.
  • “Arabian Prosody Revisited: A Spectrographic Analysis.” Wiener Offene Orientalistik/Südarabien-Symposion: in press.
  • “Rhythm and Beat: Re-evaluating Arabic Prosody in Light of Mahri Oral Poetry” Journal of Semitic Studies, 55:1 (2010): 163-182.
  • “Written Mahri, Mahri Fushâ and Their Implications for Early Historical Arabic.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 40 (2010): 227-232.
  • “Playing With Poetry in Southern Arabia.” International Studies Magazine, Middlebury College (2008).
  • The Book of Sana’a by Dr. Abd al-Azîz al-Maqâlih, trans. Bob Holman and Sam Liebhaber, Ardmore: The American Institute for Yemeni Studies, 2004.
  • “Al-Shanfarâ and ‘The Mountain Poem’ of Ibn Khafâja: Some Observations on Patterns of Intertextuality.” Journal of Arabic Literature 34 (2003): 107-121.

Presentations:

  • “Disappearing Act: The Mahri Language of Southern Arabic” Language Works Faculty Speaker Series, Middlebury College (11/11/2010)
  • “Written Mahri, Mahri Fushâ and Their Implications for Early Historical Arabic” The Seminar for Arabian Studies, London (2009)
  • “A String of Pearls: Narrative Structure and The Pre-Islamic QasîdaTalking About Literature Series, Literature Program in Conjunction with Introduction to World Literature Course, Middlebury College (3/19/2009)
  • “Rhythm and Beat: Re-evaluating Arabic Prosody in Light of Mahri Oral Poetry” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Washington D.C. (2008)
  • Organized Panel: “Revisiting al-Hamdânî: New Perspectives on the Indigenous Language Communities of the South Arabian Periphery” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Montréal (2007)
  • “Humaynî Poetry in al-Mahra?” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Montréal (2007)
  • “Oral Traditions and the New School of Poetry and Song in the Mahri Language of Southeast Yemen” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Washington D.C. (2005)
  • “The Mahri Language, Mahri Poetry and Indigenous Expressions in Southeast Arabia” Crossing Over: Learning to Navigate the Borderlands of Intercultural Encounters, Cleveland State University (2005)
  • “The Lyric Poetry of Hâjj bir Alî Dâkôn, a Contemporary Poet of al-Mahra” Fifth International Conference on Yemeni Civilization, Sana’a (2004)
  • “Oral Taditions and ‘The New School’ of Mahri Verse” American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Sana’a (2004)
  • “Oral Taditions and The New School of Mahri Verse: An Analysis of Contemporary Poetry in the Mahri Language of SE Yemen” Centre Français d’Archeologie et de Sciences Sociales de Sana’a (2004)
  • “Adapting Arabian Motifs into the Poetic Idiom of al-Andalus: The Case of “The Mountain Poem” of Ibn Khafâja” Arabic, Hebrew & Spanish Literature in the Iberian Peninsula: A Symposium in Memory of Amérigo Castro, University of California, Berkeley (2003)
  • “The Colloquial Poetry of Ibn Quzmân: Form and Meaning” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Anchorage (2003)
  • “Representations of Epigraphy and Writing in the Nasîb: An Historical Examination of a pre-Islamic Motif” Middle East Studies Association Conference, Washington D.C. (2002)

Department of Arabic

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