News: Arabic Studies

Prof. Roger Allen on “Literary History and Generic Change”

Lecture in Arabic:

Prof. Roger Allen
University of Pennsylvania

“Literary History and Generic Change”

Monday, March 14, 3:30 pm Washington 201

The Arabic section will be hosting a major figure in the field of modern Arabic literature on Monday, March 14 in the person of Prof. Roger Allen of the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently the Sascha Jane Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and since 2005 he has been Chair of the Department. He also has served as the president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) during the year 2009-2010.

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Prof. Allen has made contributions in many different areas, and his visit to William and Mary will highlight two of them. First, in light of his expertise and contribution to the field of Arabic language pedagogy, he will be reviewing and evaluating the Arabic textbook project at its current stage of completion, including both the Modern Standard Arabic volume as well as the Moroccan colloquial volume. Second,  as perhaps the most well known and most highly regarded specialist on Modern Arabic fiction in the United States and Europe, he will deliver a lecture entitled “Literary History and Generic Change.” He will discuss a genre unique to the Arabic tradition, termed the “maqaama,” which employs rhymed prose to present a series of picaresque vignettes involving the same rogue character and narrator. Prof. Allen will discuss the importance of this genre to the Classical tradition, as well as its manifestations and reflexes in the modern period.

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