The Time of the Caliphs: A Cultural History of Islam's Golden Age|
Fall 2013 not offered
This class will introduce students to works that are considered to be among the great classics of literature produced in Islam's Golden Age (750-1258). In that era, Baghdad served as one of the world's leading centers for both scientific exploration and artistic production. We will explore the historical and cultural context of some representative works produced by Muslims in that era and discuss to what degree they represent values that are both specific to that culture and universal. Among the questions to be explored are, What makes a work a "classic"? Does the definition of a classic work of fiction vary over time and place? Besides the Qur'an, THE TALES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS is perhaps the best known literary work of Islamic culture. But in the Arabic-speaking world, it is considered "trash literature." What accounts for the difference in reception?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Hugh Kennedy, WHEN BAGHDAD RULED THE MUSLIM WORLD
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, translated by Husain Haddawy
Farid ud-Din Attar, THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS
Usamah ibn Munqidh, AN ARAB-SYRIAN GENTLEMAN & WARRIOR
Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun, THE MUQADDIMAH: AN INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY
Other readings on electronic reserve.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Eight short essays on the assigned reading
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and participation in discussion of the texts.
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