Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT012C (AF:272058 AR:157480)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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Arabic Literature 1 is one of the characterising courses of the degree in Languages, Cultures and Societies of Asia and North Africa. The course intends to introduce the student to the main “classic” literary genres in Arabic, their history and developments, and their principal authors and works in the period between the 5th century to the birth of the “Arabic Renaissance” or nahda (XVII c.). Through this course the student must acquire a clear perspective of the history of Arabic classical literature, being able to identify the main poetry and prose genres, and developing a set of useful strategies in analyzing Arabic texts of different kind in a more in-depth way.
Essential methodological knowledge for the study of Classical Arabic literature.
Knowledge of a historical perspective of the main literary genres and authors in their socio-cultural and political context.
Ability in analysing classical literary texts through the study of their stylistic characteristics, and their essential poetic and rhetorical devices.
Elementary morphosyntax and lexical knowledge in Arabic.
The course aims to offer a general introduction to the history of ancient and premodern Arabic literature, from a diachronic perspective, emphasizing the distinctive cultural processes from the pre-Islamic era to the advent of the Nahdah. Particular attention will be paid to the most relevant authors and personalities of classical Arab culture as well as to the main literary phenomena.
Main topics:
- Poetry in the Pre-Islamic Era. Formal and cultural characteristics of the qasida.
- Prose in the Pre-Islamic Era and the birth of Islam: The Koran, the legal and religious texts.
- Literature in the Omayyad Period: Developments in poetic genres: the gazal and the khamriyya. The prose production. .
- Poetry in the first Abbasid Period: Modernist and “neoclassical” poets.
- Poetry in the late Abbasid Period: Adab literature and Maqama.
- The development of scientific prose; the concept of turath
- The contribution of the translation movement in the Andalus. Arab-Andalusian poetry: Muwashshah and zajal.
- Prose since the late Abbasid Period until the Nahda.
- Travel literature.
Heidi Toelle, Katia Zakharia, Alla scoperta della letteratura araba. Dal VI secolo ai nostri giorni, Lecce, Argo 2010, pp. 1-213.
materials provided by the teacher

Further readings:
Allen, Roger, La letteratura araba, Bologna, Il Mulino, Bologna 2006
Amaldi, Daniela, Storia della letteratura araba classica, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2004
Gabrieli, Francesco-Vacca, Virginia, Antologia delle letteratura araba, Accademia, Milano, varie ed.
Oral examination and analysis of the texts studied in the classroom.
Lectures.PowerPoint presentations. E-Sources. Reading, translation and analysis of the texts provided during class.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 05/02/2019