COMP 228
Modern Arabic Literature in Translation Fall 2009
Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed COMP 228 / ARAB 228
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course will examine the major themes in contemporary Arabic literature by considering works by writers from across the region. The intent of this course is to introduce students to the diverse perspectives offered by Arab writers through various literary forms including novels, short stories, poems, films, and interviews. Primary attention will be given to the ways in which Arabic literature helps us understand the problematic notion of Arab identity and the idea of a national self. In addition, works will treat issues such as: the impact of colonialism, the emergence of national consciousness and independence movements, debates around tradition and modernity, sexuality, representations of women, issues of rural versus urban identity and migration, the traumas of war, Islamification, the question of religious pluralism, and the role of language in these texts. Possible works will be chosen from Arab countries across North Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the region of the Levant. Authors may include but are not limited to: Salih, Mahfouz, Munif, Barakat, Daif, Bakr, Zayyat, Tuqan, Takarli, Darwish, Youssef, Kuni, Yacine, and Djebar. All readings will be in English, though students of Arabic are welcome to read all or portions of the texts in the original. This course fulfills the EDI requirement as it encourages students to actively identify with the social and cultural contexts unique to Arab peoples. In addition, as postcolonial works of fiction, many of these novels fundamentally explore questions of power and hegemony. Students will come to understand how the colonial experience challenged notions of cultural, linguistic, and national belonging and, as a result, generated powerful practices of resistance.
The Class: Format: discussion/seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 1356
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, intermittent reading responses, two short papers and one longer paper; 20-25 pages of writing
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 228 Division I ARAB 228 Division I
Attributes: INST Middle Eastern Studies Electives

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