a thematic, comparative, critical, or creative response to at least one or more of the assigned books

Your paper should be in the range of 4,000 – 5,000 words and it may deal with a thematic, comparative, critical, or creative response to at least one or more of the assigned books. It may be a paper, essay, personal memoir or creative story that draws upon, engages, and addresses one or more of our readings and is based on the issues of identity, ethnicity, or Arab-American relations.


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You may also refer to outside books and works. You may touch on your own experience with identity and ethnicity, include journal entries, personal essay, and short fiction.


Please Note! Creativity and close personal responses to the readings are valued in this class. Outside experts and critics can be important aids, but take care not to let the opinions of others outweigh your own voice.


Required texts:

Arabesques by Anton Shammas

Zodiac of Echoes by Khaled Mattawa

Towelhead by Alicia Erian (trigger warning: some explicit/graphic material)

Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat

Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi

Never in a Hurry by Naomi Shihab Nye

Emails from Scheherazade by Mohja Kahf

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed


In addition: some recommended Reading:

Through and Through by Joseph Geha

Veils by Nahid Rachlin

Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee

Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi

Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber

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