Section Information for Spring 2014
This course is focused on the study of contemporary Middle East literature in English translation. We will read different genres of literature: poetry, novels, graphic novels, short stories, and memoir written by established and new authors from different countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Syria. Focusing on these works thematic concerns and formal features, we will place them in their historical and cultural contexts. Therefore, we will combine close reading of texts (such as feature films, documentaries, music video clips, and other relevant material) to help us better understand the dynamism of Middle Eastern cultural production. Among the issues we will be discussing are ones relating to tradition and modernity, nationalism and globalization, gender and sexuality, war and revolution, totalitarianism and freedom. My objective is to create throughout the semester a learning community that develops interest and knowledge of Middle Eastern literature and culture that goes beyond sensationalist news headlines, uncritical, reified understandings of the region's societies, and reductionist views of literature as a mirror that directly reflects reality.
The course will be conducted as a lecture/discussion. I will use blackboard to post material for the course and you will use it to submit your papers and other assignments. Therefore, it is important that you know how to use it. Knowledge of Arabic is not a requirement of this class.
Satisfies the English BA requirement for the concentration in literature.
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