GIST 535/750: Literature & Society in the Contemporary Middle East

Hagia Sofia at Night

How can literature help us understand everyday life?

Instructor: Razi Ahmad


View Dr. Ahamd's Profile

This course offers a general introduction to the modern Middle Eastern literatures in English translation. Through analyses of selected short stories and novels from Arabic, Turkish and Persian literature, students develop an understanding of the issues that shape everyday life in the Contemporary Middle East. The course investigates issues of nation and national identity, war, ethnicity, class, religion, and gender and sexuality. We use a variety of paradigms, namely nationalist, Marxist, feminist, and Islamist, to provide a theoretical framework for discussion of the selected works. No prior knowledge of Arabic, Turkish or Persian language is needed. Enjoy reading works of fiction by major literary figures from the Middle East such as Nobel laureates Naguib Mahfouz, Orhan Pamuk and more.


Prerequisite GIST 535/750: Junior or Senior standing or consent of instructor.