Jul 14, 2024  
Catalogue 2023-2024 
Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AFRS 225 - Prison Literature and Political Dissidence in the MENA Region

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
Prison literature is a well-developed subgenre of modern Arabic letters. The earliest works depicting the suffering of political prisoners in the MENA region date back to the 1940s. In this course, we read novels, memoirs, short stories, and poetry that portray the horrors of the imprisonment experience and the denial of personal and political freedoms to political dissidents and freethinking intellectuals. Throughout this expansive literary corpus, we discover how the prison experience itself becomes an overarching metaphor for the usurpation of individual and human rights under brutal dictatorial regimes and police states emerging from the failure of postcolonial nationalist projects in the second half of the twentieth Century until the present. The course readings help students to understand some of the root causes of instability and the seemingly interminable cycles of violence that plague the region. Authors include Tahar Ben Jellloun (Morocco) Sonallah Ibrahim, Nawal Sadaawi and Zaynab Al-Ghazali (Egypt), Faraj Bayrakdar and Moustafa Khalifa (Syria), Hashem Gharaibeh (Jordan) Mahmoud Saeed and Sinan Antoon (Iraq). All readings are in English translation. The course fulfills the requirements of the Prison Studies Correlate. Mootacem Mhiri.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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