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ARABIC (L49)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)SP2017

L49 ARAB 451Topics in Modern Arabic Literature and Culture: Undocumented:Arab and Afro-Arab Narratives3.0 Units
Description:Undocumented: Clandestine Narratives from the Arab, African, and Afro-Arab World This course will explore narratives of undocumented migration across the Mediterranean and the literary themes that emerge from them: criminality, legality, clandestinity, mobility, diaspora, otherness. While media attention on boat journeys across the Mediterranean has risen lately, undocumented migration from the North African coast to Fortress Europe has been on the rise since the 1990s. The course will provide some historical context surrounding each text and theme, and we will explore the meanings of historical narratives as they apply to the texts. We will consider how Mediterranean borders and border towns have been associated with visceral experience and social vices in literature: a history of travel culture attracted by freedoms and different and dangerous mores of the region. While being portrayed as diverse, encompassing many cultures and languages, social vices, pleasures, and adventure, they are also seen as sites of dangerous, illicit, and clandestine migration. We will analyze this paradox of the border alongside the identity of the undocumented who cross it in literature and other cultural texts (like graphic novels, music, and film) from Arab, Anglophone, and Francophone Africa. We will discuss the meaning ofidentity as it relates to documents and paper, with a briefforay into the identity and the movement ofthe sans-papiers in France. We will explore ideas and arguments presented in the texts and develop our own insights into the texts through close readings, writing activities, and class discussions. Feel free to integrate into discussions your own interests or experiences that relate to the course material. One objective of the course is to develop your critical thinking skills by analyzing a variety of multi- media texts (literary, filmic, musical, comic) with an eye towards context, themes, imagery, and language. This course provides a space for forming new ideas and working through questions and arguments as a means of organizing your thoughts into written compositions. Another objective is to help you develop writing skills: formulating a thesis, expressing your thoughts precisely, building convincing arguments, and using clear and correct language. Our objective is to gain the tools for writing clearly argued, well-constructed, and stylistically coherent essays. The two objectives are related: fine-tuning your literary analysis skills will improve your writing.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:HomeSame As:L75 451  U35 471Frequency:None / History


A course may be either a “Home” course or an “Ident” course.

A “Home” course is a course that is created, maintained and “owned” by one academic department (aka the “Home” department). The “Home” department is primarily responsible for the decision making and logistical support for the course and instructor.

An “Ident” course is the exact same course as the “Home” (i.e. same instructor, same class time, etc), but is simply being offered to students through another department for purposes of registering under a different department and course number.

Students should, whenever possible, register for their courses under the department number toward which they intend to count the course. For example, an AFAS major should register for the course "Africa: Peoples and Cultures" under its Ident number, L90 306B, whereas an Anthropology major should register for the same course under its Home number, L48 306B.

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S=Special Audit
Q=ME Q (Medical School)

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