Modern Arab-American Literature: Origins and Now Dr. Maurice Ebileeni
This course will focus on anglophone literary writings by authors of Arab descent in the United States from early twentieth century till today. The history of Arab-American literature is over a century old, but it has only recently begun to be recognized as part of the ethnic landscape of literary America. The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the cultural history of Arab-American communities as well as with writings that represent both the authors creative concerns and these communities’ conflicts of preserving a cultural identity in the heavily assimilationist U.S. context.
We will read texts by Khalil Gibran, Ameen Rihani, Diana Abu Jaber, Mohja Kahf, Susan Muaddi Darraj, and Hisham Mattar to explore, how these authors’ immigrant experience and their minority status shape the conception of their Arab-American literary identity. Second, we will also explore how these writers explore their position as critics of the east without succumbing (not always successfully) to established orientalist notions developed in the west.
Hence the purpose of the course is not only to look at texts that represent Arab-American literature, but also to relate to the political climate, ideological considerations, publishers’ marketing strategies, and readers’ expectations as part of the development of this literary branch.
The Prophet (excerpts) by Khalil Gibran
The Book of Khaled (excerpts) by Ameen Rihani
Crescent by Diana Abu Jaber
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
The Inheritance of Exile by Susan Muaddi Darraj
The Anatomy of Disappearance by Hisham Mattar
Orientalism by Edward Said
Minor Literature by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
Immigrant Writings by Wail Hassan
Attendance and participation 10%
In class mid-term 30%
Final exam 60%