Ethnic and Third World Literature
Ethnic and Third World Literature

Katie Logan


Katie Logan

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MES 342 • Arab Literary Travels

41084 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 302
(also listed as E 324, WGS 340)

Course Description

This course introduces students to modern Arabic and Arab-Anglophone literature through vocabularies of travel: exile, estrangement, study abroad, immigration, diaspora, return, displacement, and dispossession.

In class, students will balance artistic production influenced by travel with the real conditions of poverty, loss, and violence that impact contemporary immigrants and refugees. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, literature has emerged from Palestinian dispossession in 1948 and 1967, oil compound development in the Gulf, the Lebanese Civil War, decolonization efforts in North Africa and the Middle East, and, more recently, continued refugee crises in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. This same period has produced thinkers and artists like Edward Said, Leila Ahmed, Mahmoud Darwish, and Miral al-Tahawi, all of whom understand movement, travel, and even exile or estrangement to be essential components of their creative endeavors. As students explore texts from these authors and events, they will learn to focus particularly on the class, gender, and ethnic disparities that inform different narratives’ relationship to travel.

We’ll use the travel narrative framework to explore Arabic literature’s encounter with foreign spaces and literatures, including those colored by colonial legacies and histories of conflict. Ultimately, students in this class will discover a breadth of modern Arabic literature while learning to situate that literature in a global context that considers critically the types of movement bringing people, places, and ideas into contact.

Texts will be available in English translation; language students may access the texts in Arabic.

TENTATIVE READING LIST

Leila Ahmed, A Border Passage: From Cairo to America: A Woman’s Journey (1999) Sara Ahmed, “Home and Away” (1999) James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (selections; 1997) Mahmoud Darwish, Memory for Forgetfulness (Palestinian-Lebanese prose poetry; 1987)

and “Counterpoint (For Edward W. Said)” Moneera al-Ghadeer, Desert Voices: Bedouin Women’s Poetry in Saudi Arabia (selections; 2009) Annemarie Jacir, When I Saw You (Palestinian-American film; 2013)

Ghassan Kanafani, “Return to Haifa” (Palestinian short story; 1970) ‘Abd al-Rahman Munif, Cities of Salt (Gulf novel; 1984) Edward Said, “Reflections on Exile” (2000) Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North (Sudan; 1966)

Elia Suleiman, The Time that Remains (Palestinian film; 2009) Miral al-Tahawi, Brooklyn Heights (Egyptian-American; 2010) 

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Mourning

43615 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 2.112

This course responds to a question posed by Judith Butler in her Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (2006): “What makes for a grievable life?” In other words, how do we decide which deaths or losses to mourn, our methods for mourning them, and what this process of mourning produces? Butler understands loss as a transformative event, something that requires us to redefine who we are and what our communities look like; mourning is the process by which we understand and express that transformation. Our answers to these questions, then,  have important implications for who we are as people, members of a particular nation or community, and participants in the historical process. As a result, discussions around this topic are always political, always controversial, always rhetorically grounded.

This class will engage with a variety of texts that answer these questions in different ways and with different goals in mind. How, for example, might a politician and a family member of the deceased talk about the losses of September 11th differently and for what purposes? Why are certain losses commemorated by a community while others pass in silence? How do different forms of memorialization (the obituary, the gravestone, the elegy or the political speech) represent different components of the same loss? How does mourning as a practice assist, obstruct, or complicate the process of community formation? By engaging these questions through case studies of their own, students will learn to think critically about the psychological, social, and political underpinnings through which we frame our responses to significant losses and the rhetorical strategies by which we develop these responses.

Assignments and Grading

Unit 1 Summaries: 10%

Unit 2 Analyses: 10%

Unit 3 Minor Assignments: 10%

Blackboard Questions 10%

Essay 1.1 5%

Essay 1.2 10%

Essay 2.1 10%

Essay 2.2 15%

Final Project 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer, Lunsford

Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters

Additional selections from the following texts (to be posted on Blackboard):

Precarious Lives, Judith Butler

“Mourning and Melancholia,” Sigmund Freud

Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson

Loss: Mourning Remains, David Eng and David Kazanjian

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Mourning

44623 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WEL 4.224

This course responds to a question posed by Judith Butler in her Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (2006): “What makes for a grievable life?” In other words, how do we decide which deaths or losses to mourn, our methods for mourning them, and what this process of mourning produces? Butler understands loss as a transformative event, something that requires us to redefine who we are and what our communities look like; mourning is the process by which we understand and express that transformation. Our answers to these questions, then,  have important implications for who we are as people, members of a particular nation or community, and participants in the historical process. As a result, discussions around this topic are always political, always controversial, always rhetorically grounded.

This class will engage with a variety of texts that answer these questions in different ways and with different goals in mind. How, for example, might a politician and a family member of the deceased talk about the losses of September 11th differently and for what purposes? Why are certain losses commemorated by a community while others pass in silence? How do different forms of memorialization (the obituary, the gravestone, the elegy or the political speech) represent different components of the same loss? How does mourning as a practice assist, obstruct, or complicate the process of community formation? By engaging these questions through case studies of their own, students will learn to think critically about the psychological, social, and political underpinnings through which we frame our responses to significant losses and the rhetorical strategies by which we develop these responses.

Assignments and Grading

Unit 1 Summaries: 10%

Unit 2 Analyses: 10%

Unit 3 Minor Assignments: 10%

Blackboard Questions 10%

Essay 1.1 5%

Essay 1.2 10%

Essay 2.1 10%

Essay 2.2 15%

Final Project 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer, Lunsford

Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters

Additional selections from the following texts (to be posted on Blackboard):

Precarious Lives, Judith Butler

“Mourning and Melancholia,” Sigmund Freud

Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson

Loss: Mourning Remains, David Eng and David Kazanjian

Curriculum Vitae


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