Literatures of the Islamic Near and Middle East
- Module Code:
- FHEQ Level:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Term 2
This module introduces the different literary traditions of the Ancient Near and Middle East and provides an overview of what constitutes "literature" in the region's various ancient civilizations. Study is made of selected central topics of the literary traditions of the area from ca. 3000 BC to ca 600 AD. Through readings of texts in translation students are also introduced to different topics of literary-critical analysis.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
At the end of the module students will have:
- obtained a clear understanding of the region, its diverse history and literatures during the ancient period.
- achieved an understanding of the scholarship, methodology and research issues that characterize the various fields of study required to engage with these literatures: philology, Assyriology, cultural theory.
- acquired a keen sense of the scholarly (areas of investigation and range of subjects) and academic (formation of fields and disciplines and relevant investigative methods) aspects of studying ancient Near Eastern literatures.
- Through the close examination of selected topics and texts students develop an understanding of a variety of literary traditions within the ancient Near East together with awareness that several of these traditions are frequently very closely connected to each other.
The module is taught two hours per week. Weekly lectures and reading classes are given by the respective specialists of the subjects covered.
Scope and syllabus
Where possible the programme follows a chronological progression. The first part deals with the ancient period and the second with the medieval. For every separate field (Mesopotamian, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, etc.) the lectures focus on major and important works and their literary background and/or on trends and pertinent themes of the period. Representative selected works are studied in translation. A vital component of the module will be the illustration of the close relation of these literatures throughout the centuries. Attention is also given to possible continuities or discontinuities in the long history of Near Eastern literature.
Method of assessment
- One essay (AS1) of 1,000 words worth 40%
- One essay (AS2) of 1,500 words worth 60%
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