Islamic Language, Identity and Power

Subject 110-471 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Completion of 110-011 Arabic 3B or equivalent. Admission to Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies or Arabic Studies
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr A Gully
Subject Overview:

This subject will trace the historical role of Arabic in establishing national and religious identity in Muslim societies. It will focus particularly on the Islamic humanities during the pre-modern period, and will evaluate the development of language as a means of negotiating power within the intellectual community. Various literary forms of adab will be examined such as grammatical and epistolary writings, and these will be evaluated against the rank and power structure among the intellectual and religious scholars during that period, as well as within the context of 'dependency'. Attention will also be given to the rise of Islamic literature (al-adab al-islami) as a product of the nexus between Islamic thought and modernity through literature and humanism. Linguistic issues of the early modern period (beginning with the 19th century nahda, or renaissance in the face of European colonialism) will also be studied as a critical element in the formation of Arab identity. Some attention will be given to the way in which Arabic is sometimes used today as a means of political and ideological persuasion. Analysis of Arabic texts will form an integral part of this subject.

Assessment: A 20 minute oral seminar presentation, which includes question and answer time and 1000 word write up of presentation, 20% (from Week 4 onwards); a 4000 word research essay on topic chosen by student and approved by the coordinator 80% (due at the start of the examination period)
Prescribed Texts: Materials prepared by the Institute
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources

  • exercise methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills

  • develop a deeper understanding of the importance of Arabic primary source material

  • develop team work skills through involvement in group discussions

  • demonstrate time management and planning through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion

Notes: .
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Asian Societies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Islamic Studies)

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