Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ARBC 6612 - Abbasid Literature
This course will explore the early Abbasid era (750 to 950) through the biographies of representative figures, including the caliphs al-Rashid, al-Amin, and al-Ma’mun; the jurists Abu Yusuf, al-Shafiʿi, and Ibn Hanbal; the ascetics Bishr al-Hafi and Maʿruf al-Karkhi; the physician Jibril ibn Bakhtishu; the translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq; the poets Abu Nuwas and Abu al-Atahiyah; the language-scholar al-Asmaʿī; and the singers Ibrahim al-Mawsili and Arib al-Ma’muniyyah. We will explore the different discourses—historiographic, religious, and literary—that emerged in this period and look at the ways in which they complemented or criticized one another. We will also look at the image of this period in modern Arabic historiography and the contemporary mass media. Literature
ARBC 6615 - Narrating Modernity
This course will explore the nahdah or Arabic cultural renaissance of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by studying the new forms of storytelling and self-representation that became available to writers during this period. We will begin by sampling some of the writings of the so-called age of decline that is supposed to have preceded the nahdah. We will then read, entirely or in part, the memoirs of such figures as Jurji Zaydan, Huda Sharawi, and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, as well as historical novels, narrative poetry, and European literature in translation, in search of what makes these genres distinctively modern. The course will also consider the ways in which the modernist narrative has inspired various attempts to “modernize,” “purify,” or “defend” the Arabic language itself. Literature