Course Details

ARBC 144: Arabic Literature at War

Arabic literature is a vibrant and humane tradition. At the same time, several Arab societies have experienced periods of exceedingly violent conflict throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries. In this course, we will investigate the ways these two currents—war and the literary—converge in several Arab societies. As members of societies at war, but also as literary artists, how do authors represent these conflicting narratives? What sorts of war stories do they tell, how do they tell them, and what sort of literary practice is produced? We will study the birth of the Lebanese Civil War novel as a bona fide genre in the 1970s and 80s, how literature informed anti-colonial struggles in Palestine and Algeria from the 1950s to the present, and read some works of genre-bending horror and science fiction that have appeared in the wake of Iraq’s recent destruction. Taught in English, no knowledge of Arabic is required.
6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Offered Spring 2021; Z. Haidar