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Hafsah bint al-Hajj & the Poetics of Women in al-Andalus

Hafsah bint al-Hajj & the Poetics of Women in al-Andalus

Date(s) - 02/18/2022
10:30 am

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Free USD
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Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center


Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

In this talk, Dr. Majd Al-Mallah will examine the poetry of the Andalusī woman poet Ḥafṣah bint al-Ḥājj (d. 589/1191) in the context of a rich body of anecdotes surrounding that poetry as preserved in Nafḥ al-ṭīb, which al-Maqqarī (d. 1041/1632) wrote to document the cultural memory of al-Andalus. Although literature surrounding Ḥafṣah is generally limited compared to major male poets, this talk will showcase a close analysis of al-Maqqarī’s section on Ḥafṣah and reveal the poet’s voice and agency.

Majd Al-Mallah is Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Grand Valley State University and Coordinator of the Arabic and Middle East Studies Programs at GVSU. He received his Ph.D. in Arabic and Comparative Literature from Indiana University and currently teaches Arabic and Middle East Studies. His research focuses on classical Arabic poetry in the 10th and 11th centuries C.E. and Modern Arabic fiction. His most recent work focuses on women poets in classical Arabic literature, particularly from al-Andalus. He has published many articles in journals and encyclopedias on classical Arabic poetry and Modern Arab writers. He served as a reader for many scholarly journals, including the Journal of Arabic Literature and others. He co-edited a Dictionary of Literary Biography volume on Twentieth Century Arab Writers (with Coeli Fitzpatrick) and has published a book titled In the Shadows of the Master: Al-Mutanabbi’s Legacy and the Quest for the Center in Fatimid and Andalusian Poetry.

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