Back to Winners

Arab Culture in Other Languages 2021

Tahera Qutbuddin

United States

A Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago, and serves on the editorial board of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Library of Arabic Literature. She obtained her PhD and MA from Harvard University, USA, Tamhidi Magister and BA from Ain Shams University, Cairo, and high school diploma from Sophia College, Mumbai. Her research focuses on intersections of the literary, the religious, and the political in classical Arabic poetry and prose. Her recent publications include ‘Arabic Oration: Art and Function’ released in 2019, ‘Light in the Heavens: Sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad’ released in 2016, and ‘A Treasury of Virtues: Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of ʿAlī’ released in 2013). She has received fellowship support from the Franke Institute of Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

About The Book

In this book, the author runs a comprehensive examination of oration in the Arabic language, with its unique cultural and artistic characteristics. These characteristics include influencing and engaging the audience, the use of imagery, the dynamic pace, and the occasional use of religious and literary quotations. This form of communication dates back to the pre-Islam oral tradition of Arabian Peninsula tribes and has undergone several phases of transformation over time until it has taken its modern, distinctive form, earning in the process a status as a genre of Arab heritage worthy of respect in its own right. The writer's exceptional familiarity with classical Arabic literature and her firm grasp on oral tradition studies and theories have enabled her to clearly articulate the various aspects of oration: structure, style, types, and function (religious, political, intellectual, social or military).

Published: 2019

Interview with

Tahera Qutbuddin

Play Video