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The College of Arts Sciences

Course Spotlight: "Modern Middle Eastern Literature"

By: Ayla K. Cline, 
October 3, 2016

Deborah Starr, Associate Professor of Modern Arabic and Hebrew Literature and Film in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, will be teaching a course on Modern Middle Eastern Literature (NES 2728) in the spring 2017 semester.

Starr’s class will explore, thematically, modern literature from the Middle East with a focus on works written in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Hebrew. All readings are in English and the class will be offered for 3 credits.

“The thematic organization permits us to approach critical issues comparatively,” says Starr of the class. “In addition to exploring the tension between Eastern and Western influences in this literature. We will also investigate other issues writers confront: How do literary heritage and religious tradition inflect modern texts? What is the relationship between politics and aesthetics? How does literature represent traumatic memories and violence, past and present?”

Deborah Starr received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan in 2000. She is the author of Remembering Cosmopolitan Egypt: Literature, Culture, and Empire (Routledge, 2009) and co-editor, with Sasson Somekh, of Mongrels or Marvels: The Levantine Writings of Jacqueline Shohet Kahanoff (Stanford University Press, 2011). She is currently at work on a new book about minorities in Egyptian cinema from the 1930s to the 1950s. Her research and teaching interests include cosmopolitanism, postcolonial studies, minorities of the Middle East, film, and urban studies.

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