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Fall 2018 Comparative Literature: Middle East GU4226 section 001

Call Number 72475
Day & Time
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
207 Knox Hall
Points 4
Approvals Required None
Instructor Muhsin Al-Musawi
Course Description This course draws a map of Arab thought and culture in its multiple engagements with other cultures. It works globally along two lines: a theoretical one that accommodates conceptualizations of self-narrative in relation to shifting categories of center and margin; and a thematic one that selects a number of Arabic autobiographical texts with strong thematic concerns that cut across multiple cultures. Although Europe sounds at times more conspicuous in early 20th century autobiography, the Afro-Asian and Latin American topographical and historical itinerary and context are no less so, especially in writings we associate with societal and cultural transformations. More than historical accounts, these intellectual itineraries speak for the successes and failures of the secular ideology of the Arab nation-state. They convey the struggle of intellectuals-- as self-styled leaders, for an ideal state on the ruins of the past. The course studies a number of autobiographical works; memoirs and reminiscences that are meant to rationalize and reproduce a writer’s experience. Probably self-censored, these serve nevertheless as trajectories for a secular journey rather than one from denial to affirmation. Staunchly established in modernity and its nahdah paradigms, most of these writings are secular itineraries that rarely end in a search for faith. They are the journeys of a generation of Arab intellectuals who are facing many crises, but not the crisis of faith. They provide another look at the making of the Arab intelligentsia- and probably the Afro-Asian and Latin American one, since the early 20th century, and help us discern not only achievements on the level of education and public service , but also the mounting discontent with failures that have been wrapping the formation of the nation state.No prior knowledge of Arabic language is required.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 13 students (15 max) as of 12:06AM Friday, January 18, 2019
Subject Comparative Literature: Middle East
Number GU4226
Section 001
Division Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Open To School of the Arts, Barnard, Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate, Graduate School of Arts and Science, General Studies, School of Professional Studies, Global Programs, International and Public Affairs
Campus Morningside
Section key 20183CLME4226G001

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