COMP 249
Trauma and Memory in Maghrebi and Middle Eastern Literatures Fall 2019
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ARAB 249 / COMP 249
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Arabic literature produced in the Maghreb and the Middle East has always engaged with the socio-political concerns of different Arab societies. Whether caused by the colonial state(s) or by post-independence leadership, trauma has been a central theme in Maghrebi and Middle Eastern literature for a long time. Using a combination of memoirs, films, and fictional works, this course aims to raise students’ critical awareness and aesthetic appreciation of literary representations of the multiple traumas inflicted on people and societies in the Maghreb and the Middle East. The different novels and films assigned in this course will be read against seminal literature on memory and trauma studies to answer the following questions: how does Arabic literature remember? In what ways does Arabic literature engage with the past sequelae of colonialism, dictatorship, war, and displacement? How do Arabic novelists and memoirists dialogue with memory and trauma theory even though Arabic scholarship has given short shrift to trauma and memory ethics and aesthetics? What events or experiences are pivotal to collective and individual traumas represented in Maghrebi and Middle Eastern literature(s)?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1012
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: regular posts on Glow, two five-page papers, one ten-page final paper, one presentation, and participation in class
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Arabic Studies majors and certificate students
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARAB 249 Division I COMP 249 Division I
WS Notes: Students in the course will write: 1) 400-word weekly, focused responses on Glow; 2) a book review (600 words); 3) two five-page papers as mid-terms; 4) one ten-page paper as a final paper for the course. Students are required to present an outline of their papers before submitting a draft paper. Students will receive detailed and consistent feedback on the writing. Students are required to incorporate the feedback to improve their drafts before they become final.
DPE Notes: Students in this course will learn how to identify and analyze gender, class, and power-related aspects of traumatic memory. The different readings assigned in this course will help students develop critical skills to examine how various forms of power and social inequality play out in memories of war, political detention, forcible disappearance, and social ostracism in the Maghreb and the Middle East.

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