Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Avigail Noy


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Harvard

Interests


Arabic literature, Arabic Literary theory, the Arabic linguistic tradition, Islamic civilization

Biography


Avigail Noy is a scholar and teacher of classical Arabic literature and Islamic civilization. Her research focuses on the pre-modern Arabic literary and linguistic traditions, including poetics, rhetoric, literary criticism, grammar, Islamic hermeneutics, and adab. She has published articles on early Islamic conceptions of metaphorical language and on the legacy of the influential linguist, ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī. Her current book project explores the development of Arabic poetics in the thirteenth century. She teaches courses on Arabic literature, the Arabian Nights, and classical Arabic texts. Noy holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard and an M.A. and B.A. in Arabic and Islamic studies from Tel Aviv University.

Courses


ISL 373 • The Arabian Nights

41640 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 10
GC (also listed as MEL 321, MES 342)

The Arabian Nights (Alf Layla wa-Layla) has increasingly become an exemplar of ‘World Literature’ but at its core it remains a product of the Arabic literary tradition. In this course students are introduced to the stories and narrative structure of The 1,001 Nights, their Indian and Iranian influences, the history of the text, its place in the Arabic-Islamic world, and its discovery and elevation in Europe (and the U.S.) as an ‘Oriental’ work of fiction. Students will consider key aspects of the work and the larger issues surrounding its impact, including popular literature, fantasy, Orientalism, gender & sexuality, race, humor, crime, modern Arabic interpretations and more.

 

MES 386 • Reading Arabic Literature

41260 • Fall 2021
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM CAL 422
(also listed as C L 386, MDV 392M)

This course introduces students to the canons of Arabic literature through readings in translation. Texts range from pre-Islamic poetry in the 6th century to novels in the 20th century, and include the Qur’an, Maqamat, Islamic court literature known as adab, literary criticism, philosophical literature, early modern love poetry, European genres in the modern era, and more. We will discuss to what degree the term “canon” applies to these texts and will consider how the work of early modern orientalists and Islamic revivalists influenced our perception of the canon(s). We will also explore the persistence of certain literary forms, especially classical Arabic poetry, up until the 21st century, with reality shows coming out of the Arab world like “Prince of Poets.” The question of translation will be considered throughout. No knowledge of Arabic or Islam needed.

Weekly readings, attendance & participation: 40%

Presentation(s): 10%

Research paper: 50%

MES 386 • The Arabic Humanities-Wb

41030 • Spring 2021
Meets TH 3:00PM-6:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

In this graduate seminar we dive into the rich world of pre-modern Islamic humanities, exploring the traditions that formed the culture of an educated Muslim (almost-always) man. Students will familiarize themselves with Arabic writings ranging from linguistics and logic to literature, history, poetic criticism and adab – a category that defies modern classification but includes discussions of poetry, language and theology. Texts include Sibawayh, Jahiz, Tawhidi, Ibn Rashiq, Farabi, Avicenna, Jurjani, Ibn Khaldun, and more. Prerequisite: three years of Arabic at the university level (two years with instructor’s permission).

Evaluation: Attendance and participation: 30%, Presentations: 20%, Final paper: 50%

ISL 373 • Intro To Arabic Lit-Wb

40095 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as C L 323, MEL 321, MES 342)

An introduction to Arabic literature from ancient Arabian poetry to modern Palestinian novels. Students will familiarize themselves with the major themes, genres, and writers of literary masterpieces written in Arabic from the 6th century to the late 20th century. Topics include desert poetry, the Qur’an, medieval Muslim court literature, popular literature, Arabic poetics, travel literature, and the emergence of modern Western genres, with a focus on Palestinian literature as a test-case. We will engage first-hand with Imru’ al-Qays’ Qifa Nabki, al-Jahiz’s Books of Misers, Ibn Hazm’s theories about love, Mahmoud Darwish’s I Come from There, and Emile Habiby’s The Pessoptimist. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Islam or Arabic is necessary.

ISL 373 • The Arabian Nights-Wb

40098 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as MEL 321, MES 342)

The Arabian Nights (Alf Layla wa-Layla) has increasingly become an exemplar of ‘World Literature’ but at its core it remains a product of the Arabic literary tradition. In this course students are introduced to the stories and narrative structure of The 1,001 Nights, their Indian and Iranian influences, the history of the text, its place in the Arabic-Islamic world, and its discovery and elevation in Europe (and the U.S.) as an ‘Oriental’ work of fiction. Students will consider key aspects of the work and the larger issues surrounding its impact, including popular literature, fantasy, Orientalism, gender & sexuality, race, humor, crime, modern Arabic interpretations and more.

MEL 380C • Reading Arabic Literature

40760 • Spring 2020
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 422
(also listed as C L 386)

This graduate course introduces students to the canons of Arabic literature through readings in translation. Texts range from pre-Islamic poetry in the 6th century to novels in the 20th century, and include the Qur’an, Maqamat, Islamic court literature known as adab, literary criticism, philosophical literature, early modern love poetry, European genres in the modern era, and more. We will discuss to what degree the term “canon” applies to these texts and will consider how the work of early modern orientalists and Islamic revivalists influenced our perception of the canon(s). We will also explore the persistence of certain literary forms, especially classical Arabic poetry, up until the 21st century, with reality shows coming out of the Arab world like “Prince of Poets.” The question of translation will be considered throughout. No knowledge of Arabic or Islam needed.

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  • Middle Eastern Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
    +1-512-471-3881