Modern Standard Arabic 3
Modern Standaard Arabisch 4: gevorderde grammatica
Arabic Texts 1: Stories
Arabic Texts 2: Media Arabic
This course asks how we can use Arabic sources in research, and how we can interpret Arabic writings with a critical, analytical and scholarly eye. Via a mixture of original Arabic texts and translations, students will encounter a range of classic stories of Arabic-Muslim civilisation, and critically analyse how the stories were composed, how they were converted into ‘classics’, how Muslims have used the material, and how modern academic research studies it. The class will also introduce students as how to apply modern academic theories of narrative, memory, gender and literary techniques to analyse primary texts.
The course is designed around one book, "Pasturing at the Wellsprings of Knowlegde", written in the fourtheenth century by the Egyptian Ibn Nubātah. The book contains summaries and stories that cover the basic elements which any learned Muslim ‘needed to know’ in order to appear educated in society, the book was frequently copied and reproduced into the 20th century as a student handbook to the basics of classical Arabic culture. Stories range from pre-Islamic Arabia to Greek philosophers to Persian kings to famous poets, and by following the book, students of course will become ‘well read’ in terms of Arabic culture, and well-acquianted with how we can understand that culture today.
The course objectives are:
1) To lean and practice methods of critical analysis on primary Arabic and secondary scholarly sources;
2) To learn and work with available tools to perform critical and analytical readings of classical Arabic primary sources;
3) To be introduced to core aspects of classical Arabic and Muslim civilisation.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Students are entitled to resit the final paper. The Instructor will assign a new question to each re-sitting student, Students are not allowed to prepare the same essay question as used in their initial submission of the final paper.
All relevant materials and selections from Ibn Nubātah’s Pasturing at the Wellsprings of Knowlegde will be avaialble on Brightspace. The following texts are helpful introductory background:
Allen, Roger, An Introduction to Arabic Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Allen, Roger and Dwight Reynolds (eds), Arabic Literature in the Post-Classical Period. Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2008.
Hourani, Albert, A History of the Arab Peoples, London: Faber and Faber, 1991
Webb, Peter, Imagining the Arabs: Arab Identity and the Rise of Islam. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016 White, Hayden, “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality”, Critical Inquiry 7 (1980), pp. 5-27
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar on the right.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office de Vrieshof.
Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.