Contact: Ms Nadia Atia Overlap: None Prerequisite: None
The last ten years has seen a proliferation of Iraqi fiction in English translation and some Anglophone Iraqi literature ; this is no doubt linked to almost a decade of increased interest in Iraq since the 2003 invasion by Allied troops and the subsequent fall of the Baathist regime. This presents an opportunity to introduce students of world literatures without knowledge of the Arabic language to Iraqi literature and its historical contexts. Using the First World War, the Iran-Iraq war and the two Gulf Wars as foci, this course examines Iraqi responses to the conflicts that have ¿ quite literally ¿ defined Iraq. The first part of this course focuses on responses the First World War. The Mesopotamian campaign was the first invasion of what was then Mesopotamia by British (and Indian) troops; this conflict led directly to the creation of the Kingdom of Iraq and the British Mandate in Iraq. The second part of the course examines literary responses to the Iran-Iraq war. This conflict profoundly changed Iraqi society, initiating a period of economic and societal change and a shift in the levels of violence and other repression Saddam Hussein¿s government inflicted upon its own people. The final section of the course examines Iraqi responses to the two Gulf Wars and the period of sanctions in between. The last two decades have seen a mass exodus from Iraq; despite a more stable political situation, Iraq has yet to recover from the loss, in particular, of its educated middle classes and intelligentsia. This last section will consider changing conceptions of home by a growing diaspora ¿ a section of Iraqi society disproportionately represented in translated works ¿ and the responses of those who chose, or are forced, to remain in Iraq to the years following the fall Sadam Hussein¿s regime.