Prospectus

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Arabic Literature

Course 2018-2019

Admission requirements

  • MSA4, Teksten Arabisch 1, Media Arabic.
  • Test during first class (15%).

Description

This course has two goals:
(i) to introduce students to salient aspects of the development of Arabic literature from pre-Islam to the present day; and
(ii) to train students to read the literature in its original Arabic.

We begin with the earliest recorded types of Arabic prose to explore the foundations from which Arabic literature developed. The course studies the Qur’an, hadith (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad and early Muslim community), and early Arabic translations of pre-Islamic Middle Eastern literatures. We then explore the main kinds of literary production in medieval Islam: adab prose, popular storytelling and poetry. The course closes with literature in the modern period, examining how prose and poetry ‘traditions’ responded and were changed through processes of ‘modernisation’.

Each week’s classes will begin with a short lecture related to the style and content of the primary texts assigned for the week’s reading. Students are also required to read one secondary reading in English for discussion of the lecture topic. The class will then read, translate and analyse the primary Arabic texts.

All required readings and the Arabic texts will be posted on Blackboard.

Course objectives

Students will:

i) learn the main genres of Arabic literature and their historical development;
ii) be introduced to modern scholarship on Arabic literature;
iii) learn to read Arabic literary texts in their original language with the aid of a dictionary;
iv) develop their proficiency in Arabic and Arabic grammar; and
v) be introduced to the fundamentals of pre-modern Arabic and practice reading pre-modern texts

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar.
Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hrs
Lectures/seminars (13 x 4) 52
Study of Arabic texts for translation in class 70
Study of secondary literature and preparation of essay 18

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Test 15 %
Participation 10%
Essay, on a topic to be set by the convenor 25%
Exam 50%

To be allowed to sit for the essay and the exam, students must satisfy the following skills requirement throughout the course:

  • Vocabulary Tests
    The tests will cover vocabulary encountered in the primary readings
    There will be 3 tests, once every 4 weeks during the semester

Resit

There is no resit opportunity for the test, participation or essay. Students who do not receive a passing final mark may take a resit of the exam which will count again for 50%.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

Students will receive a detailed week-by-week handout of the required readings at the beginning of the course.
The detailed syllabus and readings will also be available on Blackboard.

In preparation for the course, students may wish to consult the following:

  • Allen, Roger, The Arabic Literary Heritage. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005.
  • Badawi, M. M. (ed), Modern Arabic Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992.
  • Cachia, Pierre, Arabic Literature: an overview. London: Routledge, 2003.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English])http://hum.leiden.edu/students/study-administration/usis-english.html) and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

H.E.K. Omari MA

Remarks

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).