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Identity and Alterity in Classical Arabic Literature

This module explores the ways in which pre-modern Arabo-Islamic literary culture represented ethnic, sexual, physical, linguistic, gender, religious, etc. identities. Primary sources for this module are representations of social identity and alterity drawn from prose literature, poetry, historiography, travel narratives, and religious texts composed in Classical Arabic and other historical varieties of Arabic. These primary sources will be complemented by English-language secondary sources.

Texts studied are likely to include:

  • Prose texts and poems in Classical Arabic (and other historical varieties of Arabic)
  • S. Antoon, The Poetics of the Obscene in Premodern Arabic Poetry: Ibn al-HÌ£ajjaÌ„j and Sukhf, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
  • Cooperson, M.,“Texts without illustrations: The visual imagination in classical Arabic biography”, Princeton Papers, Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 8 (2001): 7-20
  • —, “‘Arabs’ and ‘Iranians: The Uses of Ethnicity in the Early Abbasid Period” In Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts. Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, Leiden: Brill, 2015, pp. 364-387
  • N. Hermes, The [European] Other in Medieval Arabic Literature and Culture, Ninth-Twelfth Century AD, New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan: 2012
  • F. Malti-Douglas, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Word: Gender and Discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing, Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1991
  • K. Babayan and A. Najmabadi (eds), Islamicate Sexualities: Translations across temporal geographies of desire, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008
  • Schick, I. C., “Representation of Gender and Sexuality in Ottoman and Turkish Erotic Literature”, Turkish Studies Association, 28 (2004), pp. 81–104.

Coordinator:  Dr Adam Talib

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment.