The presentation exposes and explains a literary and social phenomenon when regular people from all walks of life took up the pen and wrote history in a language that mixed in their own colloquial dialects and oral literary forms. The authorship of chronicles had been the exclusive purview of the scholars (the`ulamā') who recorded events related to their interests and concerns in high Arabic (fuṣḥā). Rather than looking at the colloquial texts as the end of a great Islamic tradition, this talk presents them as entirely new products ushering in the brave new world of al-Nahda and its journalistic print culture.
Dana Sajdi, Associate Professor of History, Boston College
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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