Literatures of the Modern Middle East



This Open UvA-Course offers students a broad overview of the fundamental literatures pertinent to the Modern Middle East, with specific reference to Arabic and Hebrew literature.

The two points of departure for the course are the Jewish enlightenment (Haskala) and the Arabic (Egyptian) cultural renaissance (Nahda) . The focus will be on the long 20th century i.e., from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the third millennium. In order to understand these questions and hopefully to raise some more, the students will be stimulated to explore in each session a weekly theme (such as War, Love, Desert and Youth). In each session one or more students will present a novel from the list. The students will thus gain a critical thematic survey of a variety of literary works. In addition to their inherent literary and philosophical prominence these themes will be used as “red threads” in an attempt to find common denominators towards a definition of Literatures of the Middle East.

Date, time, location and price

  • Date: 1 November - 15 December 2017
  • Time: Wednesdays, 15:00 - 17:00 and Fridays, 13:00 - 15:00
  • Number of courses: 14
  • Location: P.C. Hoofthuis 1.04
  • Price: 180 / 162 (discount price for AUV-members)

Disclaimer: voor de actuele roostergegevens raadpleegt u altijd de roosterwebsite van de UvA. De Illustere School is niet verantwoordelijk voor wijzigingen in het rooster.

Important information

Course type Open UvA-Course
Education Lectures
Semester/block Semester 1, block 2
Language English
Study material Each theme is connected to a novel or poem pertaining to Middle East literatures (mainly from the Hebrew and Arabic literary canon). All the texts used in the course will be available in English. A reader will be made available to the students for copying.
Other You may only attend the lectures, not the seminars or other extras. It is not possible to partake in exams or obtain credits.  
Deadline registration 23 Oktober 2017 (subject to availability)


To register for this course you need to create an Illustere School account. If you already have an account, please use your existing account to register for the course. For both options, click the button below.

After registration

Directly after signing up for a course you receive confirmation of your registration by e-mail. 


The tuition fee will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Registration for an Open UvA-Course for UvA employees is free. 


Blackboard is the digital learning environment of the University of Amsterdam and is used by all teachers and (regular) students of the UvA. Illustere School students may also use Blackboard. Your personal codes will be send to you by email.  


Published by  Illustere School