Open Lecture: The Intellectual and Political Roots of Arabic Teaching at Edinburgh
First taught at the University of Edinburgh in 1751 Arabic was not officially introduced as a regular subject of study until 1859 when it became an additional subject of study for the Senior Hebrew class. A dedicated Lecturer in Arabic was appointed in 1911 and thereafter Arabic continued to be taught within the framework of Semitic languages until the early 1950s when a Department of Arabic was established in response to changing post-war policies. This paper will explore the intellectual and political roots of Arabic at the University of Edinburgh from the mid-nineteenth century until the early 1950s looking at its practitioners, curriculum, and student body. Originating from a milieu of comparative religious studies and continental philology taught largely by churchmen, Arabic would also come to serve the staffing needs of imperial administration. The paper will further examine the changing character of Arabic pedagogy, the programme of study, its approach to spoken Arabic, and other changes within the curriculum that saw it begin to move away from a traditional orientalist construction and towards a more area studies model. About the Speaker: Anthony Gorman is Senior Lecturer in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Historians, State and Politics in Twentieth Century Egypt (2003) (which has appeared in Arabic translation) and the co-editor of a number of publications: The Long 1890s in Egypt (with Marilyn Booth) (2014); Diasporas of the Modern Middle East (with Sossie Kasbarian) (2015); The Press in the Middle East and North Africa, 1850-1950 (with Didier Monciaud) (2018); Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Arts Thought and Literature (with Sarah Irving) (2021), two of which are now being translated into Arabic. He continues to work on a history of the Middle Eastern prison, the anarchist movement in the Eastern Mediterranean before 1914 and aspects of the Greek presence of modern Egypt. Information published by Leisure and Culture Dundee.
Friday, April 28, 2023 - 18:00
VenueAl-Maktoum College of Higher Education
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