Tag Archives: SOAS

Tamim Al-Barghouti: Book launch, Workshop, Public Event (SOAS)

 

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The Poet of Jerusalem is coming to SOAS. Tamim Al-Barghouti, one of the most important and popular Arab poets of his generation, is launching the first English translation of his poetry on. The poemsin In Jerusalem and Other Poems, lovingly translated by his late mother, Radwa Ashour, the prominent Egyptian academic and novelist, and Ahdaf Soueif, the Booker nominated author of The Map of Love, were written in Cairo, Ramallah, Amman, Washington, DC and Berlin between 1996 and 2016. In 2007, Al-Barghouti’s long poem “In Jerusalem,” which describes an aborted journey to the city, became something of a street poem. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. It speaks to the story of millions of homeless Palestinians who have been forced to live in exile since 1948. His father, the famous writer Mourid Barghouti, was expelled from Egypt, where Tamim was born, when he was only five months old. Tamim lived with his mother in Cairo, and for 18 years only saw his father in Budapest during winter and summer vacations. But his poetry is more than the sum total of the Palestinian experience. It is also the barometer of the political fortunes in the Arab world, from the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring spreading like fire from Tunisia in 2010, and the 26 January 2011 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak and transformed an entire generation. Above all, it is testament to a resilient Arabic poetic tradition that, at the hands of a young talent, can continue to thrive, generate new energy and move hearts and souls.

Tamim returns to SOAS on Tuesday, 27 June 2017, to take part in the Chase-funded Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshop (SOAS, S118, 2:30 to 5:30PM) and public event (SOAS, KLT, 6:30-8:00 PM), convened by Marina Warner (Birckbeck) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS), as part of ‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action Programme.

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Tamim Al-Barghouti is an acclaimed Palestinian poet, columnist and political scientist. His poetry readings are attended by thousands, sometimes packing stadiums and amphitheaters. Born in Cairo in 1977, Al-Barghouti published six poetry collections in both colloquial and classical Arabic including  Meejana (Ramallah 1999), Al-Manzar “The Scene” (Cairo 2000), Maqam Iraq (Cairo: 2005) and Fil Quds “In Jersualem” (2008), and two  academic books on Arab politics and history:  Benign Nationalism (Cairo: 2007) and The Umma and The Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East  (London: 2008). He is also the author of “War, Peace, Civil War: a Pattern?” in Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st century (Bloomington: 2013) and “Cracking Cauldrons” in Shifting Sands: the Unraveling of the Old Order in the Middle East (London: 2015). He received his PhD in political science in 2004, and has since taught at Georgetown University, the Free University in Berlin, and the American University in Cairo. He was also a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced studies 2007-2008.  A columnist since 2003, writing in Egyptian and dailies, Al-Barghouti has been associated with the 2011 uprisings, where recordings of his poetry were broadcast on makeshift screens in Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 18 days of demonstrations that ousted Hosny Mubarak.

Ghost in the Tamarind reading; Censorship and Freedom of Speech (Shankar), SOAS

​​Ghost in the Ta​marind book ​reading by S. Shankar, ​​Wednesday 24th May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​​

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large? In his forthcoming novel Ghost in the Tamarind, S. Shankar explores these and other questions against the background of anti-caste movements in India. His reading from the novel highlights the challenges of writing in English about communities that do not primarily function in English. The reading will be followed by a Q&A.

​​Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature​Wednesday 31st May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​

S. Shankar takes up the text and controversial context of Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubagan (English title One Part Woman). Late in 2014, Tamil writer Murugan was attacked for describing caste practices of ritual sex within a temple in his novel, driving him eventually to renounce writing. Shankar’s purpose is to uncover the vernacular conditions within which censorship becomes possible. Shankar sketches the challenges of contesting literary censorship using aesthetic terms fashioned within national and/or cosmopolitan contexts and considers ways in which such contestation might nevertheless be pursued within vernacular contexts. He ends by drawing conclusions relevant beyond the specific Tamil situation.

About S. Shankar

S. Shankar is a critic, novelist, and translator. His scholarly areas of interest are postcolonial literature (especially of Africa and South Asia), literature of immigration, film, and translation studies. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program. His most recent book is Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (2012; U. of California P.; Orient Blackswan India).

S. Shankar has been invited to SOAS as a Visiting Fellow for ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies‘ project. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 670876).

All events are free and open to all. No registration required.

CFP: The Danger of Words in an Age of Danger, Exiled Ink/CCLPS (SOAS)

The Danger of Words in an Age of Danger, Exiled Ink/CCLPS (SOAS), Saturday 1 April

This one-day symposium sets out to examine the contemporary danger of words as it affects exiled writers and some minorities. It will interrogate diverse aspects of the ‘Danger of Words’, from denying exiled writers the freedom to write about the ills in their societies, to the manipulation of words  by dark and sinister forces in our established democracies and the way this affects writers.

Exiled Writers and scholars will examine the ramifications of the country of origin’s continuing censorship of exiled writers’ literary production post exile and of the silencing in the country of destination, in relation to the writers’ literary, aesthetic and ontological negotiation and resistance to it. Exiled literary voices will articulate their responses to the implosion of liberalism in the country of origin and the crisis of liberalism throughout Europe with the rise of the xenophobic right, and of the US right. In a further session on the danger of words, Jewish and Muslim poets will express their own nuanced and varied personal subjectivities and narratives resisting the simplistic and dangerous identities imposed on them.

The symposium will conclude with an exiled writers’ poetry recital.

For information and to send title and abstracts (by 15 March) contact: Jennifer@exiledwriters.fsnet.co.uk

Landscapes of a Lyric Empire, SOAS

Landscapes of a Lyric Empire, Dr Fatima Burney (SOAS), Wednesday 8th March 2017, 3.15pm – 5pm, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London WC1H 0XG.

This talk will present the comparative poetics of Sir William Jones to demonstrate the role of orientalist readings of ghazals in the history of lyricization. Jones was one of the first litterateurs to treat ‘lyrick’ as a universal category and to translate Persian ghazals as ‘lyricks’ – a designation which has remained within ghazal scholarship and comparative models of literary reading to this day. Jones also published several essays on ‘asiatick’ literature that significantly influenced the reception of Persian poetry in English reading publics. This talk highlights the significance of ‘nature’ as a conceptual paradigm in Jones theory of universal poetic form. While Jones’ insistence on the ‘rustic’ genius of ‘asiatick’ poetry was certainly helpful in promoting Persian (and Arabic) poetry to European readers, it entailed converting the products of a cosmopolitan Persianate writing network into objects of a rustic proto-European literary practice.

Dr. Fatima Burney is a Postdoctoral Research fellow at the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies at SOAS. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California Los Angeles in 2017. Fatima’s doctoral dissertation compares Anglophone and Urdu literary romantic movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, particularly in their reception and representation of ghazal poetry. At SOAS, Fatima’s research will focus on the North Indian case study of the Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies research project.

Free event, no registration required. More information can be found here.

Marvellous Thieves, Book Launch, SOAS

 

Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of The Arabian Nights (Harvard UP) by Paulo Lemos Horta. 16th February, 6-8pm.

Drinks reception

Free entry

Room G3, Main Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Copies of the book will be available to buy at a discounted price.

“This fine book … cogently probes an influential period in the knotted and at times sordid history of the Arabian Nights, serving as a fine example to those unraveling this promiscuous and forever malleable set of stories.”— The Wall Street Journal