Animals in Arabic Literature

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Public Workshop on May 9 and 10 at Freie Universität Berlin

No 121/2019 from May 08, 2019

A public workshop being held on May 9 and 10 at Freie Universität Berlin will focus on representations of animals and their significance in Arabic literature from the 8th to 14th century C.E. As part of the event on May 10, Oxford professor emeritus Geert Jan van Gelder will give a talk on Arabic "just-so stories," a short literary form, usually no more than two or three sentences long. The workshop, entitled Animals, Adab, and Fictivity , is part of the AnonymClassic project. The Dahlem Junior Host Program, run by the Dahlem Humanities Center, has provided financial support.Beatrice Gründler and Dr. Matthew L. Keegan, both from the Department of History and Cultural Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, are organizing the event. Professor Gründler is the principle investigator of AnonymClassic and a recipient of the Leibniz Prize. Participation in the workshop is free. No registration is required. Presentations will be held in English.

According to scholars from the project, animal fables in Arabic literature can be understood as a way of dealing with controversial political or ethical issues through literary devices, often with a picaresque touch. Readership therefore ranged from the elite to the less educated and even young readers.

Time and Place

  • Thursday, May 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday, May 10 from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Room 2.2051, Fabeckstraße 23/25, 14195 Berlin (subway station: Dahlem-Dorf, U3)

Agnes Kloocke, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838 57687, Email: anonymclassic [at] geschkult.fu-berlin (p) de

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