ARABIC 530 - Arabic Poetry and Discourses of Empire
Fall 2022, Section 001 - The Arabic-Islamic Ode
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Arabic Studies (ARABIC)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Completion of ARABIC 402 or advanced Arabic proficiency.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The Arabic ode (Qasida) is on par with film or the novel in terms of global impact, but few scholars or students have access to it in American higher education. It began in 6th-7th century Arabia as folk art, but then in the 8th century it became the prestigious language of Arabo-Islamic empire lasting until the modern era with subtle but numerous adaptations along the way. In that time, the Arabic Qasida evolved in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and inspired parallel genres in other Islamicate languages, such as Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, as well as Swahili, Fulfulde, Hausa, Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Malay.

This course has two aims, one linguistic and the other comparative cultural. The first goal is to develop students' Arabic linguistic skills in reading the rich and complex language of the Qasida. The second will be to connect that language to the culture of the time and our own context. We will be looking at several prevalent genres like praise poetry (madih) and satire (hija') as well as boasts (fakhr) and beefs (naqa'id). We will be placing them in comparative dialogue with similar forms like the hip-hop "battlin" and Icelandic (Viking) sagas. To connect language to culture (and our lives), we will be drawing on several contemporary and classical literary critical theories that open up lines of investigation. The course will be text- and discussion-based, and depending on the skill level of students, we will conduct as much discussion as possible in Arabic.

Intended Audience:

The seminar is intended for advanced students of Arabic (minimum 3 years).

Class Format:

Course is conducted primarily in Arabic.


ARABIC 530 - Arabic Poetry and Discourses of Empire
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Meets-with COMPLIT 720.001

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