• Course Number: ENGL 236
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  • Quarter: Spring 2024

Edward Said’s (1935-2003) intellectual impact across the humanistic disciplines can hardly be underestimated and this course attempts to take stock of his contribution. The ongoing epistemicide in Gaza—the death of intellectuals, the destruction of books and archives, the bombing of universities—makes it particularly urgent to accompany Said’s longstanding knowledge project. In this regard, the course accompanies intrepid knowledge guardians working in the face of all odds. Accompaniment is a world-making process whereby: (a) students with varying degrees of expertise can “read with” a thinker for their arguments and interventions, approaches and methods; and (b) students read for resonances (continuities and divergences) between extant writings and current scholarship (in this case, 2014-present). How do we as knowledge-makers engage political crises with the experts? What does it mean to accompany them?


We will read Edward Said’s The Question of Palestine (1979); Covering Islam (1981); After the Last Sky (1986); and selections from Culture and Imperialism (1993), The Politics of Dispossession (1994), and Out of Place (1999) alongside works such as Saree Makdisi and Alice Walker’s Palestine Inside Out (2010), Alex Lubin, Geographies of Liberation (2014), Gil Hochberg’s Visual Occupations (2015), and Angela Davis’ Freedom is a Constant Struggle (2015). To the extent possible, the course will include visits by these living authors (Makdisi and Lubin are confirmed); we will also follow podcasts (from Makdisi Street) and online seminars (from Jadaliyya) relevant to our discussions. Students will be expected to prepare questions (in pairs) for the author visits; participate in class discussion; mockup a syllabus exploring accompaniment as a method; and write a 15-page research paper (on fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, essays, films, reportage, photographs, graphic novels, etc.).


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