Thresholds to Arabic Literary Criticism conference

December 16, 2022 – Opportunities

***This is a preliminary program, and is subject to change.***

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). Registration for this event can be found here.

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

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
Break

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)
Ally Shuaib (University of Toronto)
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)
Canonization and Repudiation: Neoclassical Arabic Poetry and the Decline ‘Complex’
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
Monica Ruocco (L’Orientale University of Naples)
Is Riḥlah Still a Genre in Contemporary 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. Adaptation and Reshaping of Structuralist Approach in Muḥammad Bannīs’ Literary Studies
Lovisa Berg (Dalama University)
The Role of Critics in the Formation of the Syrian Novel
Annemarie McManus (Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin) VIRTUAL
Theory and/as Connection: Palpabilities of Arabic in M. Baradah’s Mithla Sayf Lan Yatakarrar

3.45 –4.00 pm
Break

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)
Zalikha Samar (Independent scholar – Syria)
السرد البصري والمكاني – Visual and Spatial Narrative
Nuha Alshaar (American University of Sharjah)
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 (University of 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).

Day 2: Thursday, Dec 15 – Columbia Faculty House

9:00–10.45am
Panel 4:Traveling Criticism: Reshaping Imaginary Centers and Peripheries of the Arab World
Chairperson: Monica Ruocco (L’Orientale University of Naples)
Clarissa Burt (US Naval Academy)
Ayyām al-ʿArab on Screen: Re-Imaging Turāth and Trans/Forming Pre-Islam and its Poetry for
Contemporary Audiences
Louise Gallorini (American University of Beirut)
The Internal Other: From the Desert to the City
Letizia Lombezzi (University of Siena)
Being Arab, Muslim, and Sudanese. Extra challenges in literary expressions and (trans)formations?
Rym Chakraoui (Lusail University, Doha Qatar)
Arabic Narrative in American Voices: John Barth and Edgar Alan Poe

10.45 – 11:00 am
Break

11:00– 12:45 am
Panel 5: Paradigms Interrogated?
Chairperson: Suzanne P. Stetkevych (Georgetown University)
Ali Hussein (University of Haifa)
The Development of Rhetoric in Classical Arabic Poetry
Amidu Sanni (Fountain University) VIRTUAL
The Arabic Literary Theory on the Ancients (Qudamā’) and the Moderns (Muḥdathūn): A New
Perspective
Yaseen Noorani (University of Arizona)
The Struggle to Define World, Eastern, and National Literary Identity in Egypt during the 1930’s and 1940’s
Boutheina Khaldi (American University of Sharjah)
Bint al-Shᾱṭi’: A Revisionary Reading of the Arabic Literary Canon

1.45– 3.30 pm
Panel 6: Reading the Text and the Paratext: The Role of Translation in the Development of Arabic Literary Criticism
Chairperson: Shir Alon (University of Minnesota)
Qussay al-Attabi (Harvard University)
How Theory Travels, or Sartre in Baghdad
Dima Ayoub (Middlebury College)
The Paratextual Life of the Translator in Post-Nahḍah Arabic Fiction
Fatima Sai (University of Bari)
Mu‘āraḍa, Metaphor of Modernism
Arturo Monaco (Sapienza University of Rome)
Theory in Use: Samples of Literary Comparativism in the Footnotes of Sulaymān al-Bustānī’s
Translation of the Iliad

3.30 – 3.45 pm
Break

3.45 –4.30 pm
Keynote Speech
Mahdi Arar (University of Birzeit)
لغة الجسد في الادب العربي – Body Language in Arabic Literature

4.30 – 5.30 pm
Roundtable 1: Cross-temporal Poetics and Criticism
Moderator: Bilal Orfali (American University of Beirut)
Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University)
Rebecca Johnson (Northwestern University)
Matthew Keegan (Columbia University)
Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS University of London)

Day 3: Friday – Dec 16 – Columbia Faculty House

9:00 – 10.45 am
Panel 7:  Revisionist Critiques and Criticisms from the Nahda and Onwards
Chairperson: Rebecca Johnson (Northwestern University)
Haifa Saud al-Faysal (King Saud University)
From balāgha to ʾintiqād: Transformations in early modern Arabic literary thought
C. Ceyhun Arslan (Koç University)
Family Matters: Oedipus, Tawfīq al-Ḥakīm, and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar
Refqa Abu-Remaileh (Freie Universität Berlin)
The Parallel Geographies of Palestinian Literature During the Tunis Period (1982-1994)
Francesca Maria Corrao (Luiss University Rome)
On “Humanism and Democracy” by Edward Said: Explorations beyond Eurocentric boundaries

10.45 – 11:00 am
Break

12:30 – 1:15 pm
Keynote Speech
Stefan Sperl (SOAS University of London)
Arabic Poetry and Neoplatonic Poetics

2.15 – 4.00 pm
Panel 9: Drifts or Caveats? Ethical and Political Discourse in Crosstemporal Arabic Literary Criticism
Chairperson: Yasmine al-Khayyat (Rutgers University)
Pasquale Macaluso (University of Cape Town)
Laughter Needs No Justification Even After June 5”: Literary Criticism and Humour in Ghassan
Kanafani’s Book Reviews After the Six Day War
Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (American University of Beirut)
Between personal journal and art work: What Etel Adnan’s private papers tell us about life writing
Jeff Sacks (University of California Riverside)
Adab wa naqd: A Never-ending Political Discourse
Ana González Navarro (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Towards an Arab feminist literary criticism: the case of Morocco

4.00 – 4.15 pm
Break

4.15 – 5.15 pm
Roundtable 2: Past Archetypes and the Challenge of the Contemporary
Moderator: Bilal Orfali (American University of Beirut)
Sarah Bin Tyeer (Columbia University)
Taoufik Ben Amor (Columbia University)
Moneera al-Ghadeer (University of Riyadh) VIRTUAL
Yasmine al-Khayyat (Rutgers University)
Ada Barbaro (Sapienza University of Rome)

5.15 – 5.30 pm
Closing Remarks
Muhsin J. al-Musawi, Columbia University



 The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Room B-101
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New York, NY, 10027
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