Description : This literary-historical book draws out and sheds light upon the mechanisms of "the ideological work" that the Arabic Majnūn Laylā story performed for ‘Abbāsid urbanite, imperial audiences in the wake of the disappearance of the "Bedouin cosmos." The study focuses upon the processes of primitivizing Majnūn in the romance of Majnūn Laylā as part of the paradigm shift that occurred in the ‘Abbāsid empire after the Greco-Arabian intellectual revolution. Moreover, this book demonstrates how gender and sexuality are employed in the processes of primitivizing Majnūn. As markers of "strangeness" and "foreignness" in the ‘Abbāsid interrogations of the multiple categories of ethnicity, culture, identity, religion and language present in their cosmopolitan milieus. Such "cultural work" is performed through the ideological uses of alterity given its mechanisms of distancing (e.g., temporal and spatial) and nearness (e.g., affective). Lastly, the Majnūn Laylā love story demonstrates, in its text and reception, that a Greco-Arabian and Greco-Persian subculture thrived in the centers of ‘Abbāsid Baghdad that molded and shaped the ways in which this love story was compiled, received and performed. Offering a corrective to the prevailing views expressed in Western scholarly writings on the Greco-Arabian encounter, this book is a major contribution to scholars and students interested in Islamic studies, Arabic and comparative literature, Middle East and gender studies.
Description : During the uprisings of the Arab Spring between 2010 and 2012, oppositional movements used political humor to criticize political leaders or to expose the absurdities of the socio-political conditions. These humorous expressions in various art forms such as poetry, stand-up comedy, street art, music, caricatures, cartoons, comics and puppet shows were further distributed in the social media. This first comprehensive study of political humor in the uprisings explores the varieties and functions of political humor as a creative tool for resistance. It analyzes humorous forms of cultural expression and their impact on socio-political developments in different countries of the Middle East and North Africa with a special focus on the changing modes of humor.
Description : Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture. The relationship between France's national territory and other regions of the world where French is spoken and written (most of them former colonies) has long been central to discussions of "Francophonie." Boldly expanding such discussions to the whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to today. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with "others." Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, these essays establish a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns informing the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.
Description : "A struggle between two memories" is how Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish describes the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Within this struggle, the meanings of land and home have been challenged and questioned, so that even heaps of stones become points of contention. Are they proof of ancient Hebrew settlement, or rubble from a bulldozed Palestinian village? The memory of these stones, and of the land itself, is nurtured and maintained in Palestinian writing and other modes of expression, which are used to confront and counter Israeli images and rhetoric. This struggle provides a rich vein of thought about the nature of human experience of place and the political uses to which these experiences are put. In this book, Barbara McKean Parmenter explores the roots of Western and Zionist images of Palestine, then draws upon the work of Darwish, Ghassan Kanafani, and other writers to trace how Palestinians have represented their experience of home and exile since the First World War. This unique blending of cultural geography and literary analysis opens an unusual window on the struggle between these two peoples over a land that both divides them and brings them together.