CFP: [Renaissance] Arabs and the New World

full name / name of organization: 
Wail S. Hassan
contact email: 
whassan@uiuc.edu

Call for Papers
American Comparative Literature Association
April 24-27, 2008
Long Beach, CA

Seminar Title: Arabs and the New World

Twelfth-century geographer al-Idrisi reported that eight Arabs sailed west from Lisbon to
discover what lay beyond the “Sea of Darkness” (the Atlantic ocean), and arrived somewhere in
South America. In 1492, Louis de Torre, a converted Moor, accompanied Columbus to act as an
Arabic interpreter once the expedition reached India. Columbus reportedly had a copy of al-
Idrisi’s book with him. The culture that the conquistadores brought to the New World was deeply
marked by eight hundred years of Arab presence in the Iberian Peninsula. Arab immigration to
the Americas in large numbers, however, did not begin until the nineteenth century, and since
then those immigrants (variously known as “Turks,” “turcos,” “Syrians”) and their descendants
have produced a significant amount of literary texts in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and
Spanish. This seminar will focus on Arab arrivals in—and departures from—the New World, from
1492 to the present. Papers are invited on any aspect of Arab-Canadian, U.S. Arab-American,
Arab-Mexican, Arab-Colombian, Arab-Brazilian, Arab-Argentinean, Arab-Chilean literatures, as
well as Arabic literature by returnees from the Americas. Please send abstracts by November 10
to Waïl S. Hassan whassan_at_uiuc.edu.

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Received on Thu Oct 04 2007 - 11:02:36 EDT

cfp categories: 
renaissance