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Khayal: Late Ottoman-Era Arabic Literature in the lens of Sovereignty

Oktober 5, 2022 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm

The story of the rise of modern Arabic literature begins in the 19th century when the encounter with Europe instigates a far-reaching process of translation, adaptation, and transmutation against the backdrop of a wider move towards state-modernization on the one hand and incipient colonization on the other. In the throes of these sweeping changes, modern Arabic literature is born as a hybrid; its early examples in the 19th century are a mixture of traditional Arabic literary forms and modern European ones.

Turning to debates on “khayal” (the imaginary, or as we go on to discover: the spectral) in the 19th century, this talk re-tells the story of the inception of literary modernity in Arabic, in the late Ottoman period as an arduous reckoning with modern political sovereignty.

Dr. Maha AbdelMegeed is an Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at the American University of Beirut. Her current research focuses on rethinking the narratives of the origins of literary modernity in Arabic as well as on the changing conceptions of Arabic language from mid 18thcentury till the early decades of the 20thcentury. Dr. AbdelMegeed is currently a visiting scholar at the Orient-Institut Istanbul.


Oktober 5, 2022
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Orient-Institut Istanbul
Şahkulu Mah., Galip Dede Cad. No. 65
Beyoğlu, İstanbul 34421 Turkey
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