The volume brings together approaches to different elements of Arabic-Islamic civilization, mainly in the areas of linguistics, literature, literary theory, and prosody, but also including religion, ritual, economics, and zoology. Contributions also touch upon the adjacent areas of the Old Iranian, Persian, Greek and Byzantine written traditions. Some take as their points of departure specific Arabic words (cat, giraffe) or morphemes; others explore literary genres, subgenres (oration, ode, macaronic poem, travel narrative) or figures within them (the trickster, the devil). Cultural concepts such as wishing, gift-giving or discourse are treated, as are aspects of broader phenomena, such as the role of gender in dream interpretation or the relative merits of luxury goods and mass-produced commodities.
Beatrice Gruendler, Ph.D. (1995) in Arabic Literature, Harvard University, is Professor of Arabic at Yale University. She has published on Arabic script and the social context of Arabic poetry, including
The Development of the Arabic Scripts (Scholars Press 1993) and
Medieval Arabic Praise Poetry (Routledge Curzon 2003).
“… a very well-produced volume. […] … a volume that has the look and feel of a festschrift, but contains so much substance and scholarship that it will appeal to a broad audience.” Shawkat M. Toorawa in
Journal of the American Oriental Society 132.3 (2012), 491-497.