Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Spring Semester Has Started

The spring semester started on February 8 here at St. Olaf College. I am teaching three courses: First Year Writing, Folklore, and Muslim Women Writers. I have taught First Year Writing many times and Folklore a number of times, but will be teaching Muslim Women Writers for the first time.

Teaching a course again and again does not diminish its freshness. It is always a different experience, even if we are discussing the same texts. My Muslim Women Writers course is going to be even more of a novelty, as I have noted, and I wish to say a word about it.

I will be teaching the following texts:

1. Aboulela, Leila. Minaret. Grove. 
2. Ali, Monica. Brick Lane. Scribner.
3. Ba, Mariama. So Long a Letter. Waveland Press, Inc.
4. el Saadawi, Nawal. The Fall of the Imam. Telegram Books.
5. Hossein, Rokeya S. Sultana's Dream. Feminist Press.
6. Mattu, Ayesha. & Nura Maznavi. Love, InshAllah. Soft Skull Press.
7. Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran. Random.

Of all these works, I have only read Minaret, So Long a Letter, and The Fall of the Imam. In preparing for the course, I have been reading other works, particularly Amina Wadud's Qur'an and Woman and Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing, edited by Margot Badran and Miriam Cooke.

I have already talked to the class about Islam, dwelling on Muhammad, The Qur'an, the hadiths and the five pillars. I will be saying more based on the readings, the first of which will be Sultana's Dream.

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