Events Calendar
Mar 22
17:00 - 18:30
POSTPONED: What was Literary Theory in the Medieval Islamic World?
Centre for Modern European Literature Lecture Series
Professor Rebecca Gould (University of Birmingham)

Abstract: Within contemporary literary studies, literary theory is often closely associated with modernism's interest in the autonomy of literary artefact. Yet the interest in the literary artefact as an object of inquiry, and of literariness as a discursive mode that uses language in distinct ways, is by no means limited to modern European literature. Drawing on a long history of Persian and Arabic poetics, and specifically the rhetorical tradition ('ilm al-balagha), this talk examines premodern concepts of figural representation, including metaphor, simile, and metonymy, that were instrumental in shaping the literary theory of premodern Persian and Arabic literature. I consider how the alternative understandings that this tradition fostered of figuration, genre, authorship, and the creative process itself could enrich and potentially revise European-derived understandings of literary form.


SECL Staff Room,
Cornwallis North West,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Dr Mathilde Poizat-Amar


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012