Directory of Classes
NOTE: Course information changes frequently. Please re-visit these pages periodically for the most recent and up-to-date information.

Fall 2020 Middle East GU4259 section 001
War Narrative: The Arab World
Arabic War Narrative

Call Number 13138
Day & Time
R 2:10pm-4:00pm
To be announced
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Muhsin Al-Musawi
Method of Instruction Hybrid
Course Description This course works along a number of axial structures that   aim to let texts voice their informing theoretical, political, and poetic strategies. It draws on war narratives in other parts of the world, especially Vietnam, insofar as these find their way into Arabic writing. A poetics of prose gives these narratives the power of literary production that makes them more readable, appealing, and provocative than ordinary journalistic reporting. Through close readings  of  a number of  Arabic war novels and  some long narrative poems, this course  proposes to  address war in its varieties  not only as liberation movements in  Algeria and Palestine,  but also  as an engagement with  invasions, as in  Iraqi narratives of war, or  as conflict as was the case between Iran and Iraq, 1980-1988,  as proxy wars in other parts of the region , or ‘civil’ wars generated and perpetuated by big powers. Although writers are no longer the leaders of thought as in the first half of the 20th century, they resume different roles of exposition, documentation, reinstatement of identities, and geographical and topographical orientation. Narrators and protagonists are not spectators but implicated individuals whose voices give vent to dreams, desires, intimations, and expectations. They are not utterly passive, however. Behind bewilderment and turbulence, there is a will to expose atrocity and brutality. Writing is an effort to regain humanity in an inhuman situation. The course is planned under thematic and theoretical divisions: one  that takes  writing as a deliberate exposure  of the censored and repressed; another as  a counter shock and awe strategy implemented under this name in the wars on Iraq   whereby brutalities are laid bare; and a third  that claims reporting  in order to explore its limits and complicity. On the geographical level, it takes Algeria, Palestine as locations for liberation movements; Iraq as a site of death; Egypt as the space for statist duplicity  and camouflage; and Lebanon as an initial stage for a deliberate exercise in a seemingly civil war. A number of films will be shown as part of students’ presentations.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 27 students (25 max) as of 8:06PM Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Status Full
Subject Middle East
Number GU4259
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20203MDES4259W001

Home      About This Directory      Online Bulletins      ColumbiaWeb      SSOL
SIS update 08/05/20 20:06    web update 08/05/20 21:21