K-12 Educators: Global Lit Online Book Group to Discuss Mahfouz’s ‘Autumn Quail’

If you’re among the first 15 K-12 educators to register for the group, you’ll get a free Mahfouz collection that includes Autumn Quail, The Beggar, and The Thief and the Dogs:

Autumn-QuailOn January 27, from 7–8 p.m. EST, Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies will host a discussion of Autumn Quail with scholar Sami Alkyam.

Alkyam, who has been teaching at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has a particular interest in depictions of dictators and tyranny in the Arabic novel. Indeed, as organizers write, in Autumn Quail, “Naguib Mahfouz writes about shifting experiences of authority and identity following the Egyptian revolution of 1952.  Part of a three-part novella cycle exploring the historic military coup that resulted in the overthrow of Egypt’s constitutional monarchy, this short work of fiction offers a rich historical lens through which to explore political transitions in contemporary Egypt.”

I’m always hesitant about using books as historical lenses — unless we’re talking Beer in the Snooker Club, because then you’ve also got beer goggles — but it should nonetheless be an interesting time. Plus, you have an excuse to read Autumn Quail, which is one of novelist Pauls Toutonghi’s favorite works by Mahfouz. Here’s why.

The session, which will be conducted in an Adobe Connect “virtual classroom space,” can — according to organizers — be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. Participants will need to register to get a URL for the classroom “location.”

Register here.