Sam Liebhaber
Office
Voter Hall 002
Tel
(802) 443-5598
Email
slieb@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
SPRING 2024: Tuesday, 1:00-2:30pm & Wednesday, 1:00pm-2:30pm, and by appointment.

Sam Liebhaber is a Professor of Arabic at Middlebury College and received his Ph.D in Arabic Literature from the University of California in Berkeley in 2007. Sam has spent several years of Arabic language study and research in Yemen where he lived and studied in Sana’a, Aden, and al-Ghaydha.  In addition to an abiding interest in modern Yemeni literature, Sam pursued research on oral popular poetry in the Mahri language in eastern Yemen.  This work has been published as a digital exhibit of Mahri poetry, When Melodies Gather (Stanford University Press, 2018), which invites online visitors to explore the process of poetic creation in the strictly oral setting of al-Mahra.  Sam’s current project is a translation of the poetic works of Yemen’s iconic revolutionary poet, Muḥammad Maḥmuūd al-Zubayrī (d. 1965).

Sam teaches courses at all levels of the Arabic language sequences (ARBC101 through ARBC302), fourth year Arabic seminars on Classical Arabic Prose (ARBC410) and Modern and Contemporary Arabic Literature (ARBC414) and the following English language courses: Arabia: A Literary Approach (ARBC210), The Arabic Novel (ARBC212) and Modern Arabic Literature (ARBC221).  Sam has taught Introduction to World Literature (CMLT101) through the Comparative Literature Program and a first-year seminar: Arabian Oral Poetry (FYSE1008).

Sam’s complete CV and list of scholarly publications can be found at the link below.

 

Courses Taught

Course Description

Beginning Arabic I
The goal of this course is to begin developing reading, speaking, listening, writing, and cultural skills in Arabic. This course stresses written and oral communication, using both formal Arabic and some Egyptian dialect. Emphasis is also placed on reading authentic texts from Arabic media sources, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture. 6 hrs lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Beginning Arabic II
This course is an intensive continuation of ARBC 0101. In addition to the goals stated for that course there will be extra emphasis on cultural skills during winter term. (ARBC 0101 or equivalent).

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

LNG, WTR

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Beginning Arabic III
This course is a continuation of ARBC 0102. 6 hrs. lect/disc (ARBC 0102 or equivalent)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Intermediate Arabic I
This course is a continuation of ARBC 0103. Emphasis is placed on reading authentic materials from Arabic media, expanding students' vocabulary, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture and communicative competence. (ARBC 0103 or equivalent) 6 hrs. lect/disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Intermediate Arabic II
This course is a continuation of Arabic 0201. Fifth in a series of courses that develop reading, speaking, listening, writing, and cultural skills in Arabic. This course stresses communication in formal and spoken Arabic. (ARBC 0201 or equivalent). 6 hrs. lect/disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Modern Arabic Literature
This course is a survey of the most important moments in the development of Modern Arabic Literature from the end of 19th century to the present. We will map the developments, achievements, and innovations by Arab writers against a double background of rising nationalism, decolonization, and wars on the one hand and the idea and experiences of modernity and the west on the other. We will examine works of fiction by both male and female writers including novels, short stories, and drama, as well as poetry representing several different Arab countries. Students are encouraged to read in advance Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab People. (Open to all, no previous knowledge of Arabic is required). 3 hrs. Sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

AAL, LIT, MDE

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Advanced Arabic II
This course is a continuation of Arabic 0301. It aims to help students reach an advanced level of proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing Arabic, as well as to develop further an understanding of Arab culture. Readings include articles on cultural, social, historical, political, and literary topics. Course will be conducted entirely in Arabic. (ARBC 0301 or equivalent) 4 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Readings in Classical Arabic Prose (in Arabic)
Classical Arabic prose is one of the delights of world literature. A product of the vibrant intellectual climate of the 'Abbasid Caliphate (750 - 1258 CE), Classical Arabic prose embodies a humanistic sensitivity and inquisitive depth that has set the standard for literary Arabic. In this course we will read representative texts from some major genres of Classical Arabic prose: geography, history, philology, biography, and the tradition of courtly belles-lettres. Students will also be presented with the opportunity to read hand-written manuscripts. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. seminar.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, LIT, LNG, MDE

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Readings in Modern Arabic Literature
In this course students will engage modern and contemporary literature in the original Arabic language. In addition to reading an Arabic novel, we will examine other literary-aesthetic genres such as poetry, plays, and short stories. Throughout, we will analyze and discuss the role of modern Arabic literature in exposing and challenging various systems of marginalization and injustice in the Arab world and beyond. (ARBC302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, LIT, LNG, MDE

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Independent Study
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis I
Approval required.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis II
Approval required.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis
A senior thesis is normally completed over two semesters. During Fall and Winter terms, or Winter and Spring terms, students will write a 35-page (article length) comparative essay, firmly situated in literary analysis. Students are responsible for identifying and arranging to work with their primary language and secondary language readers, and consulting with the program director before completing the CMLT Thesis Declaration form. (Approval required.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Arabian Oral Poetry
The Arabian Peninsula enjoys a rich legacy of oral poetry and written poetry with oral roots. In this seminar, we will explore how the oral poetic traditions of the Arabian Peninsula have evolved over time, starting with pre-Islamic odes from the 6th century CE and ending with contemporary poetry circulated on social media. In addition to reading, analyzing, and enjoying individual poetic texts and performances, we will consider how the concept of oral literature emerged with Milman Parry’s Oral Formulaic thesis, giving rise to new ways of reading historical texts, understanding the art of performance, and reckoning with the cultural implications of literacy.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CW, LIT, MDE

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Middle East Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog