This course is discontinued

ARA4304 – Contemporary Arabic Literature: Texts and Contexts

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Reading course to familiarize students with trends and developments in contemporary Arabic literature and to discuss recent literary “events”. Texts are chosen from among works published during the last 5-10 years and will be analyzed as comments on, and expressions of, what is currently “going on” in Arab societies (cf., e.g. the "Arabic Spring") and cultures. The analysis of literary texts provides students with more insight and a better understanding of literature as a mode of commenting on, and interacting with given political, social, economic etc. situations. The course has its focus in a close reading og the original Arabic source texts, but uses also other  relevant  material in order to support analysis and to place recent developments in Arabic literature in the wider context of postcolonial, and global, writing.

Learning outcome

Students acquire competence in the reading, analysis and interpretation of Arabic primary sources (fiction). The course also gives training in the critical use of relevant secondary literature. Students develop their ability to describe and summarize source material to analyse it with regard to a chosen method of literary criticism; and to present their own analysis in oral and written form and in a concise academic style.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

You have to have admission as a Master's student to the Program for Asian and African Studies to follow this course


Formal prerequisite knowledge

ARA2110 – Arabisk språk 3+4 (discontinued) or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Fluent knowledge of written Arabic (four semesters minimum) and English. For reference literature, reading knowledge in German and/or French will open new horizons.


10-week seminar (2 hours/week) with class readings and intermittent lecture-style presentations by teacher and students.

See Felles retningslinjer for obligatoriske aktiviteter ved HF

Teaching takes place throughout the semester, but nor necessarily every week (dates are negotiable).

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Term paper (semesteroppgave) on a relevant topic to be agreed upon, 8-10 pages (18-22 000 characters including spaces, 12 pt, 1.5 lines; footnotes and appendices excluded).
The term paper/essay can be written in English or Norwegian (or Danish, Swedish).

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Mid-term evaluation ARA4304

Periodic evaluation ARA4304


Reading list is to be agreed upon between student and lecturer.

Useful information about Master's studies at IKOS
(This information will soon be available in English).

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language