The Meaning of Arabic Literature: a seminar investigation into the nebulous concept of adab
An investigation into the concept of literature in mediaeval Arabic. Was there a mediaeval Arabic way of thinking? We look to develop a translation for the word "adab," a concept that dominated mediaeval Arabic intellectual culture, and is related in some ways to what we mean today when we use the word literature. Our core text is a literary anthology from the 900s in Iraq and we try, together, to work out what literature meant for the author and his contemporaries. Readings, assignments, and class discussion all in English.