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CL100A: Palestinian Literature


Fall 2020
Professor Liron Mor
Tu/Th 2:00- 3:20p, taught remotely

This course surveys modern Palestinian cultural production from the late Ottoman period to the present moment. How do Palestinian authors, film makers and artists record, respond to, and communicate their personal and collective experiences? Thematically, this course focuses on representations of disappearance—due to expulsion, settler colonialism, and appropriation—and on expressions of the fragmentation of Palestinian lives and temporalities, through checkpoints, refugee camps and sieges. Methodologically, this course investigates the particular ways in which literature coveys past events and allows for experiences and insights that are different than those produced by historical documentation. It further explores the tension between the political and the aesthetic: how have Palestinian authors and artists dedicated their works to shaping their nation and its struggle, while at the same time insisting on the aesthetic and psychological values of their work, situating themselves in relation to other literary traditions, or expressing their discontent with nationalism as a framework? Readings and viewings may include works by Khalil al-Sakakini, Ghassan Kanafani, Emile Habiby, Sahar Khalifeh, Elias Khoury, Ibrahim Nasrallah,Adania Shibli, Ibtisam Azem, Elia Suleiman, Scandar Copti, Mona Hatoum, Larissa Sansour, Hana Farah and others. All works will be discussed in their English translations; students are welcome, however, to read them in the original Arabic.