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CODE 55858
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR L-OR/12
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

A course in Arabic literature and culture.

Taught hours: 36.

 

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aimes at offering the student the basic notions of Arabic culture and literature through diachronic readings that pay particular attention to the socio-cultural dimentions of beduine society, as well as to its literary production forms. Within this topic, attention will be paid to the birth and progress of Islam with its religious, social and artistic influences.

Main examples of pre-Islamic poetry, early islamic literary production and prose production will be analyzed.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this teaching unit, participants will have achieved a general level of knowledge of culture in the classical Arab world, in the period between the 6th and mid-13th centuries of the Christian era. In particular, students will have an understanding of the aspects that characterised Arab society of that period and the historical events that constitute the founding acts for the Muslim community. Reference will be made to the religious debates that animated the late antique world in order to highlight the elements that place the Islamic tradition in a relationship of continuity with the other Abrahamic religions. A selection of literary texts in Italian translation will provide participants with the necessary knowledge to distinguish themes, formal characteristics and purposes of the various genres of writing produced in the classical era.

 

 

PREREQUISITES

None

TEACHING METHODS

This module will be taught over the first semester (october-december), with 3 hours seminars per week, accounting for a total of 36 hours lessons.

Students will be introduced to the rich literary heritage of the Arabic language, starting from the golden odes of Pre-Islamic Arabia, ending with the early beginning of literary prose by the end of the Umayyad period. A historical framework will be first presented together with the literature produced along that same period. Chosen poetry and prose texts will be analyzed, with a particular focus on their connections to the social and historical environment in which they were produced.

 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

  • The pre-Islamic framework of the Arabian peninsula; the tribal system. 

    Late antique religious debates.

    Orality in the pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula. The role of poets during the Ǧāhiliyya.

    Themes, motifs, structure and poetic form of the qaṣīda.

    The issue of authenticity pertaining to the Arabic texts which have been foundational to the early history of Islam.

    Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Koran; the birth of the Muslim community

    The Rightly Guided Caliphs. The fixation of the Koranic script.

    The main collections of Saying and Doings of the Prophet Muhammad.

    The Greek impact on Arabic literature.

    The schism of the Muslim community into Sunnite and Shia branches.

    The Umayyad period and the evolution of poetry

    Love poetry (ġazal), encomiastic poetry (madīḥ) and duelling poetry (naqā’id).

    The rise and growth of adab collections.

    Geography and travel literature

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Text books:

- CORRAO Francesca Maria, RUOCCO Monica, Letteratura araba dall’epoca preislamica all’età postclassica, Le Monnier Università, Milano 2024

- TOTTOLI Roberto, Introduzione all'Islam, Istituto Per l'Oriente C.A. Nallino, Roma, 2018

- A selection of literary texts provided by the teacher (check AulaWeb on line)

Recommended readings:

- GHERSETTI Antonella, La letteratura d’adab, Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, Roma, 2021

- TOELLE Heidi, ZAKHARIA Katia, Alla scoperta della letteratura araba, dal VI secolo ai nostri giorni, Argo, Lecce, 2010

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

This course will be held in the second semester (February 2025).

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The final exam consists of an oral test. Online registration for the final exam is mandatory.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The final oral exam consists of an interview aimed at verifying the knowledge of the essential traits of tribal society, the historical events that contributed to the formation process of Arab-Islamic society, and its literary production. Additionally, critical-analytical skills (the ability to analyze, judge, and establish analogies and contrasts between cultural and literary phenomena) will be assessed, as well as the mastery of the vocabulary related to certain key concepts.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The examination programme also applies to non-attending students Attendance at lectures is not compulsory, but strongly recommended.

Candidates must be familiar with the contents of the following parts of the textbooks:

Arabic Literature up to p. 308

Introduction to Islam up to p. 129

literary texts (will be uploaded on the course portal AulaWeb)

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Prof. Sara Dickinson (sara.dickinson@unige.it), the Department’s disability liaison.