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ENGL200M - Topics in Literature: Literature of the Middle East (3-0-3)

Covers selected literary themes, such as gothic, science fiction, or women’s literature. Students apply critical contexts and practice various theoretical approaches to the readings. Prerequisites: ENGL110XM or ENGL110M. Please note that students can take only ONE Special Topics literature courses for credit. (Fulfills English or Humanities requirement)

It is exceptionally important that we examine the human, international story as we define policy, technology, politics, and consequence in a fully global world. This course focuses on contemporary literature (fiction and nonfiction) from the Middle East, stories of war, friendship, perseverance, violence, and gender. We will read Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), Khalil Gibran (The Prophet), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), and Mohsin Habid (Exit West), and Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban).

As Youssef Rahka argues in “Beyond The Thousand and One Nights: Contemporary Arabic Literature: Breaking Down Common Western Perceptions of Middle Eastern Writing, “…these stories and extracts demonstrate how intelligently and creatively Arabs are reclaiming traditions that are by now arguably as exotic to them as they are to Westerners, while dealing with society and politics in the same breath. They bear testimony to a collective worldview that not only subsumes but also transcends news reports of the troubled Middle East. And they make a statement on the human condition as lasting and universal as it is specific.”