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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2005

E 314V • Arab American Literature & Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32340 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
PAR 104

Course Description

The events of September 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq brought new attention to the Arab American community. Surveying one hundred years of Arab American literature, this course will approach formulations of the diverse and historically dynamic Arab American identities as they have been reflected in poetry, novels, short stories and autobiographies from the early twentieth century to the present.

We will also consider the themes of diaspora and assimilation in this body of literature as it relates to formative historical events: the First and Second World Wars, the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars, the oil embargos of the 1970s, the Gulf War, the Middle East peace process, September 11 and the current war in Iraq.

No knowledge of Arabic will be required for this course.

Grading Policy

As a substantial writing component course, students will be required to write three short critical response papers (1-2 pages). They will also write a medium length critical analysis paper (5 pages) on one text and a final comparative analysis (at least 8 pages) on two or more texts. Students will also be required to prepare an oral presentation on an aspect of cultural life within the local Arab American community.

On-line discussion forum 5%
Reading quizzes, participation, attendance, etc. 10%
Oral presentation 10%
Community research project 10%
Three critical response papers 15%
Midterm critical analysis essay 20%
Final comparative analysis essay 30%


Selections of poetry from Khalil Gibran, Mikhail Naimy, and Elia Abu Madi
Amin al-Rihani, The Book of Khalid (1911)
Salom Rizk, Syrian Yankee (1943)
William Peter Blatty, Which Way to Mecca, Jack? (1960)
Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab American Poetry (1988)
Dinarzads Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction (2004)
Packet of supplementary readings


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