This course is intended to be an advanced, fourth year Readings course in Modern Arabic literature. The course will focus on the 20th century essay, short story and theatrical play in historical context, and will be conducted entirely in Arabic. Students will read, present, and discuss weekly selections of approximately 10-20 pages in class. Readings may vary from year to year. In the first year, we will focus on the short story genre.
Students will be introduced to the main trends in 20th century literary and cultural history. They will learn the basic vocabulary and methods of modern Arabic literary criticism through short lectures and occasional selected readings of excerpted texts by major literary critics. They will also learn how to construct and deliver a formal presentation in Arabic. Conversational skills will be strengthened through regular class discussion of student presentations and of the assigned texts. The primary materials will also be used to introduce students to complex Arabic grammar, syntax and style. Vocabulary acquisition and writing skills will be emphasized through regular dictionary and thesaurus drills, translation exercises (English to Arabic), short, bi-weekly essays and a final paper in Arabic.