Middle East Literature in Transition: New Frontiers in the 21st Century

This working group, convened in Fall 2013, explores the way in which novels and short stories, and to a lesser extent plays and poetry, express or articulate the sociological, religious, and cultural changes occurring in the countries of the Middle East.

Chair: William Granara, CMES Director and Gordon Gray Professor of the Practice of Arabic

The fears and the hopes and the anxieties and the tensions and the aspirations of Israelis, Arabs, Turks, and Persians are articulated more often through creative writing, through the novel and the short story, through plays and through poetry, than through other fields of inquiry. So to train our students in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian, and to get them reading contemporary novels in the original, is to give them access to a world that is informative and challenging. — CMES Director William Granara, Sept 18, 2013