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Spring 2021 Middle East GU4273 section 001
Playful Tradition: Adab, Islam, and the
Adab, Islam, and the Maqa

Call Number 11203
Day & Time
Location
M 4:10pm-6:00pm
ONLINE ONLY
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Matthew L Keegan
Type SEMINAR
Method of Instruction On-Line Only
Course Description Is adab Islamic? The term adab is usually translated as "literature" or "belles-letters," but in addition
to narrative material and poetry, adab encompassed a wide array of discourses on behavior, ethics,
and aesthetics. There is a long tradition of seeing adab as "secular." In particular, "edgy" genres
depicting wine, bawdy talk, parodies of Islamic discourses, and criminal activities are often seen as
critical of Islam. This seminar examines these playful, edgy texts to rethink the ways in which
scholarship has limned the relationship between adab and Islam. In particular, we will look at the
maqāma, a genre of Arabic prose that usually features an eloquent rogue who disguises himself as a
preacher, a mufti, and a pious ascetic, among many other things. These maqāmas were at the center
of Islamic education for centuries, and they were taught and composed from al-Andalus to
Indonesia. We will read maqāmas and related genres that engage playfully with the Islamic tradition
or are otherwise portrayed as edgy. We will also critically evaluate the scholarship on these texts.
The goal is to contemplate new ways of understanding the relationship between adab and the
Islamic tradition.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 6 students (15 max) as of 9:00PM Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Subject Middle East
Number GU4273
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Note No knowledge of Arabic is required.
Section key 20211MDES4273W001

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SIS update 12/01/21 21:00    web update 12/01/21 21:29