Islam and the Literary Imaginary in Twentieth Century North Africa

CGS Brown Bag Series
Apr 15, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Dr. Hoda El Shakry, Penn State

This talk will present Professor El Shakry's current book-length research project, which explores the influence of Islamic thought and philosophy on the literary milieu of the region of the Maghreb – namely, the former French colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.  Her work examines how twentieth century Arabophone and Francophone textual materials – novels, poetry, plays, as well as literary and cultural periodicals – engage with the Qurʾan, the apostolic tradition of Hadith, in addition to central debates in Islamic exegesis, jurisprudence, and philosophy.  She argues that explicating this confluence between theological and literary discourses exposes the shared formal as well as ethical concerns of both traditions.  Moreover, the imperial context of her inquiry situates this investigation within the broader transnational questions of decolonization, post-colonialism, nation-state building, and globalization.  

Hoda El Shakry is an Assistant Professor of Comparative, Arabic and African Literatures. Her teaching and research interests lie in modern literature, criticism and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa.  Her scholarship traverses the fields of modern Arabic and Francophone North African literature, Mediterranean studies, Islam and secular criticism, postcolonial studies and narrative theory.  Her current book project explores literary engagements with the Qur’an and Islamic Thought in twentieth century Arabophone and Francophone fiction of the Maghreb.  Before coming to Penn State, Hoda El Shakry was an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU.  Her publications include: “Apocalyptic Pasts, Orwellian Futures: Elle Flanders’ Zero Degrees of Separation” in GLQ (2010) and “Revolutionary Eschatology: Islam and the End of Time in al-Tahir Wattar’s al-Zilzal ” in the Journal of Arabic Literature (2011).  She has a forthcoming piece on Arabic literary pedagogy and the Maghreb, entitled: "Lessons from the Maghreb."

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

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