Nation and Nationalism in Middle Eastern fiction (in Translation)
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2
- Taught in:
- Full Year
There are no pre-requisites for this course.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
The objectives of the course are to introduce students to the major themes of modern Middle Eastern fiction in the context of the postcolonial struggle for nationhood in the region; to familiarise them with the diversity of cultural politics, political discourses and literary expressions in the Middle East; and to provide them with the necessary critical tools and language for the understanding and analysis of modern Middle Eastern fiction.
At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the history, development, diversity and major themes of modern Middle Eastern fiction. S/he will be able to relate these to the broader context of the main historical, political and social events affecting the region in the twentieth century. S/he will comprehend the ways in which individual and communal identities are questioned, debated, subverted or shaped in works of fiction. S/he will also acquire the critical tools for discussing and writing about literature.
This course is taught over 22 weeks with 2 hours classroom contact per week.
Scope and syllabus
Course readings and discussions are guided by, but not exhaustive of, or exclusive to, the following major themes:
- The colonial and postcolonial context of the development of modern Middle Eastern fiction
- The emergence of the nation as a paradigm for individual and communal identity
- The spread of nationalism and its impact on literary expression
- Imagining the nation
- Programmes of nation building
- Constructing the national subject
- The nation as woman
- Nationalism and the liberation of women
- National allegories in fiction
- Questioning political authority
- Resisting the state
- Inner and outer exile
- Prison literature
- Middle Eastern diasporas
This course is compulsory for Year 2 students on the BA Middle Eastern Studies programme.
Method of assessment
One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); one essay of 2,500 - 3,000 words to be submitted on the day of teaching, week 2, term 2 (20%); one essay of 2,500 - 3,000 words to be submitted on the day of teaching, week 2, term 3 (20%).
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