“Iraq is just one example, but there are so many corners of this thing we call ‘Arabic Literature’ that are worthy of more attention than they get. I hope that we will see more of this literature make its way into university reading lists.”
Teaching with Arabic Literature in Translation
“I must say, I’ve never taught a course on Moroccan literature, until now, because I felt there hasn’t been enough work available. I feel like I’m now ready to start thinking about such a course.”
“Other labels we pick apart are ‘Literature of Resistance’ and ‘Poets of the South in Lebanon’ as examples of this labeling process that is motivated by extra-literary imperatives.”
“I think the corner stone of a good academic experience is the public lecture. Through the public lecture, the university asserts curiosity as the most essential feature of learning. When I was a student, the public lectures I attended were the key that opened the world for me, and I hope Tarjamat will open translation as a problematic for a much larger community than specialist interest in the field.”
“If in the classroom you’re able to compare multiple translations of a single work, and/or read essays by translators on their craft, this offers rich and rigorous examples of how choices are made on the level of word, phrase, syntax, diction, metaphor, image, so on. Such examples of precision and multiplicity are ideal for student writers.”
It’s popular to think that literature gives us a “window into the lives of others” and other similar cliches, but marginalized, stigmatized subjectivities such as the Palestinians’ aren’t a costume that we can try on and take off at our whim by opening and closing a book. The desire to better understand diverse Palestinian experiences through their literature is noble, the claim to authoritatively know Palestinians through it isn’t.
In general, I was hoping to introduce to students the genres (premodern and modern) where women writers have contributed to what we might, with some skepticism, call the “canon” of Arabic literature.