December 14, 2022


Italian Academy, Columbia University

8:30 am – 8:00 pm

Event Organizer

Institute for Comparative Literature and Society

Event Sponsor

Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Columbia University Arabic Studies Seminar, Brill Academic Publishers, and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi)

This event is at full capacity. Limited virtual seats are available here. Please note that virtual participants will not be able to comment during the Q&A. 

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society is proud to present Thresholds to Arabic Literary Criticism. This event will be held in-person at Columbia University at the Italian Academy (December 14) and Faculty House (December 15-16).

This event is also co-sponsored by Columbia University Arabic Studies Seminar, Brill Academic Publishers, and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi)

The program for the event can be found below.

Day 1: Wednesday, Dec 14 – Italian Academy, Columbia University

9.00 – 9.30 am
Opening Remarks and Introduction
Sarah Cole (Dean of the Humanities Division, Columbia University)
Ali Bin Tamim Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC)

9.30 – 10.15 am
Keynote Speech
Muhsin J. al-Musawi (Columbia University)
Theoretical Thresholds: Dependency and Thievery in the Adab Marketplace

10.15 – 10.30 am

10.30– 12.15 am
Panel 1: The Seeds of Arabic Literary Criticism: Re-allocating Seminal and Marginalized Perspectives
Chairperson: Nizar Hermes (University of Virginia)
Shuaib Ally (McGill University)
Irony as False Attribution of Beliefs: ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī’s Contribution to the Theoretical
Development of Irony in Arabic Linguistics and Exegesis
Hany Rashwan (United Arab Emirates University)
The Overlooked Balāghah Commentaries of Ḥadīth Literature: al-Sharīf al-Radī in Dialogue with Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAīny
Suzanne Stetkevych (Georgetown University)
Camels and Metapoesis: al-Maʿarrī’s Saqṭ al-Zand 58
Chiara Fontana (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
The Name of the Key: Al-Sakkākī’s Literary Craftsmanship and Pragmatic Poetics in Miftāḥ al-ʽUlūm

12.15 – 1.00 pm
Keynote Speech
Mahdi Arar (University of Birzeit) [VIRTUAL]
لغة الجسد في الادب العربي – Body Language in Arabic Literature

1.45 –3.45 pm
Panel 2: Endogenous Approaches’ Translocation in Contemporary Arabic Criticism: from al-Maghrib to Bilād al-Shām
Chairperson: Emily Drumsta (University of Texas at Austin)
Maria Elena Paniconi (University of Macerata, Italy)
Tales of trans/formation: the intersection between Bildungsroman and the Arab Novel
(Egypt as a case study)
Simone Sibilio (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
Theoretical ‘Transformations’ and Syncretism. A Negotiated Application of the Structuralist Approach in Muḥammad Bannīs’ Literary Studies
Lovisa Berg (Dalarna University)
The Role of Critics in the Formation of the Syrian Novel

3.45 –4.00 pm

3.45 – 5.30 pm
Panel 3: The Poetics of Dis/Figuration: Criticism as a Sensorial Exercise in the Pre-modern and Modern Periods
Chairperson: Stefan Sperl (SOAS. London University)
Nuha Alshaar (American University of Sharjah/The Institute of Ismaili Studies)
From al-Jāḥiẓ to al-Tawḥīdī and the Brethren of Purity: Art of Writing, Aesthetics, and the Ethical
Approach to Language
Zainab Sayed Zahed (Independent Scholar)
The Imaginary Context in Nahj al Balaghah: Towards a theory of Arabic Rhetoric
Murtaza Shakir (Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Mumbai)
From Longing to Belonging: Contemplating Optimism in the Verses of Takhalluṣ (Transition) in the Exilic Poetry of the Fatimid Dāʿī Al-Muʾayyad fī ‘l-Dīn al-Shīrāzī (d. 1078 CE).

 The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Room B-101
74 Morningside Drive
New York, NY, 10027
  (212) 854-4541
  (212) 854-3099