Attendance and participation
This course is run as a seminar, attendance and active participation are required. You must not miss class and you must come to class having done and thought about the readings and topics for class discussion. You also should have checked the blog before each class and be familiar with questions and topics for discussion that day. Because students will be doing different readings and preparation for the different classes this is all the more important and will be reflected in your mark. Sometimes you will be required to make a comment on a blog post before class. Sometimes the blog post will ask you to read additional material or watch a short video, or click on some links and read a webpage etc. This is part of your active participation in the class.
Written assignments for this class are done according to interest in one of 5 streams. These assignments may be handed in as traditional academic essays, according to their specific assignment (i.e. some are translations, some are analyses etc.), or in a creative form. Please ask me about creative ideas you have before embarking on one, but most ideas are approved. I am also potentially open to people working in small groups or pairs on these assignments, again see me before doing this.
The stream work gives you the opportunity to focus your participation in class on one stream that you are interested/required to pursue or to choose different ones as the class develops. You may need to do different/additional readings for these assignments than those on the main syllabus of readings. A traditional essay should be about 1500-2000 words long. Other forms for the assignment should be modeled along these lines. I am less concerned with length than the analysis and ideas developed within each piece. These assignments are marked on a high pass, pass, fail basis.
Arabic Literature as World Literature Manifesto
The main assignment for this class in addition to your stream work (and building off of your stream work) is a group project in which you will develop your own manifesto. I have titled it for you, provisionally, as the Arabic Literature as World Literature Manifesto (reflecting our class title) but your group of course is welcome to change and modify it.
The main assignment here is that each group produce a manifesto. This can take whatever form you think it should. You should familiarize yourself with the manifesto genre and think about what the best way to get your ideas across in this genre is, especially based on skills and knowledge your group possesses collectively. It need not be solely in written form and you should take all forms of media into account as you develop your project. In addition to the actual manifesto itself, you also will need to present it to the class in about 10-15 minutes. (We will determine the exact amount of time given to each group closer to the time.) Moreover, your group will produce an analysis of the manifesto you produce, outlining the thinking behind it and sharing with me the reasons you put it together the way that you did. Finally, each individual participant will produce your own critique and analysis of the manifesto itself.
The ideas that need to be thought through in this piece are those we will work with throughout the semester. What is world literature? What can it be? Is it a useful concept or not? What does it mean for Arabic literature? And so on. You will want to reflect within this final set of materials the work you have done conceptually as well as practically in engaging with these issues.