Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE L-Għarbi

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Oriental Studies

DESCRIPTION This is a text-based study-unit covering classical Arabic literary works produced during the Abbasid period (mid-8th century onwards). The study-unit is constructed around key texts selected from various genres of classical Arabic literature; eastern and western poetry and prose, including the production of the grammars, lexicons, biographical dictionaries, literary criticism and adab anthologies. The selected texts discussed in this study-unit are in English. The focus is on the main issues relevant to an understanding of classical Arabic literature and its development, such as the changes in the role of poetry, the development of storytelling and the influence of religious and philosophical thinking on Abbasid literature. The topics covered in this study-unit will be determined by the lecturer according to the pedagogic strategies and needs of the students.

Study-unit Aims:

1. To acquaint students with classical Arabic literary writings of the Abbasid period;
2. To enable students to critically discuss various themes, forms and techniques attested in Abbasid literature;
3. To familiarize students with the history and development of Abbasid literature, its sources, and its culture.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will:

1. be acquainted with Abbasid literature;
2. be able to critically discuss themes, forms and techniques attested in Abbasid literature;
3. be able to have enough insight into the history and development of Abbasid literature, its sources, and the culture.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. appreciate Abbasid classical Arabic literary texts in translation;
2. strengthen his/her knowledge about the socio-cultural background which led to the development of Abbasid literature;
3. distinguish between different classical Arabic literary genres;
4. apply the literary skills learned in this study-unit to other study-units related to Arabic literature.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Classical Arabic Literature:

- Ashtiany, Julia, et alii (Eds.). ‘Abbasid Belles-Lettres. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- Beeston, A.F.L., Johnstone, J.M., Serjeant, R.M. and Smith, G.R. Arabic Literature and the End of the Umayyad Period, Cambridge: C.U.P., 1983.
- Gibb, H.A.R. Arabic Literature: An Introduction, London: O.U.P., 1963.
- Lichtenstadter, Ilse. Introduction to Classical Arabic Literature. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1974.
- Stetkevych, Suzanne Pinckney. “The ʿAbbasid Poet Interprets History: Three Qasīdahs By Abū Tammam.” Journal of Arabic Literature 10, no. 1 (1979): 49-64.



Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Oral examination SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Kurstin Gatt
Martin R. Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.