World Philologies Seminar
Thu 08 Dec 2016 | 15:00–18:00

How Do You Say ‘Epigram’ in Arabic?

Adam Talib (American University in Cairo); Chair: Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin)

Freie Universität Berlin, Holzlaube, Room 2.2059, Fabeckstr. 23-25, 14195 Berlin

The qaṣīdah and the qiṭʿah are well known to all scholars and students of classical Arabic literature, but the maqṭūʿ, a form of classical Arabic poetry that emerged in the thirteenth century and soon became ubiquitous, is as obscure today as it was once popular. This literary-historical lacuna is an occasion for us to consider how categories of world literature are applied to the classical Arabic literary tradition and to confront the larger question of generic commensurability.

Adam Talib is assistant professor of classical Arabic literature at the American University in Cairo. His research into forgotten episodes in the history of classical Arabic poetry has been published in the Journal of Arabic Literature, ArabicaAnnales Islamologiques, and elsewhere. His first as-yet untitled monograph will be published in the Brill series Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures in early 2017. Adam has also co-edited a volume on classical Arabicmujūn (or obscene literature) entitled The Rude, the Bad, and the Bawdy: Essays in Honour of Professor Geert Jan van Gelder, which was published by the Gibb Memorial Trust in 2014. Adam is also a translator of modern Arabic literature and has translated novels and short stories by Egyptian, Syrian, Saudi, Algerian, Iraqi, and Sudanese authors. His most recent translation, Raja Alem's The Dove's Necklace (co-translated with Katharine Halls), was published earlier this year.

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