Ostentatious Ornament or Meaning that Matters? Classical Arabic Poetry and the Qur’ān
Speaker: Dr. Rachel Friedman
January 31, 2020, 2:00pm in the Dunker Family Lounge
(refreshments will be served)
This talk discusses a major development in poetic style in classical Arabic poetry and the effect this development had on Arabo-Islamic thought. It traces the trajectory of the qasida, or ode, from pre-Islamic times through to the period that is often referred to as the Islamic Golden Age. In doing so, it devotes particular attention to stylistic innovation in this poetry and the social factors that spurred it on. The new, highly manneristic poetic style was a topic of widespread contention in society. This talk will show how the controversy effects played a significant role in shaping discourse on the Qur’an and its status as a literary and linguistic miracle, thus leaving an enduring mark on a major body of Arabo-Islamic thought.
Dr. Rachel Friedman is an instructor in the Arabic Language and Muslim Cultures program at the University of Calgary. After obtaining her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley with a specialty in classical Arabic literature and Islamic thought, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Williams College in Massachusetts. She has taught a variety of courses on classical and modern Arabic literature and culture as well as Arabic language courses. Her research has been published in several journals, including The Journal of Arabic Literature, The Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, and The Muslim World.
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