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Call for Proposals: Khātima Conference (4-6 Jun 2021 | Beirut, Lebanon)

May 31

Khātima Conference 4.-6. June 2021
How to End Things in Arabic Literature
Every text or, to be more precise, every reading of a text, has a beginning and an end. While one could call into question this linear perception in times of textual linkage and seemingly never-ending writing and reading processes, the end is a hermeneutic category that affects our processes of understanding.
The beginning of books and texts, prefaces and introductions in particular, has been a research interest for some time. The end, on the other hand, is still a quite unknown territory in Arabic studies although authors apparently took great care in shaping the final passage of their works. At the same time, the end of any text is the starting point of a hermeneutic process with many open questions. It is the last chance to silence potential criticism, to guide the reader, to create a certain image of the author, to suggest possible readings. The end can be testament, justification, and instruction; it can provide guidance, perspective and closure; it can give assurance and sow the seeds of doubt; it can bring conclusion and hold a promise for further readings.
This conference aims at discussing literary phenomena with regard to endings, finality, and closure from different perspectives, starting with the question where the end of a given text even begins.
We hope to encourage a discussion across boundaries of genres and times and therefore would like to invite you to suggest possible papers for our conference in consideration of the following sections and key points:
1. Manifestations of endings a. Conflict and resolution b. Goals, targets, objectives and their fulfilment c. Events and incidents d. Acts and practices 2. Semantics, Lexis, Rhetoric a. Placement and markers of endings b. Terms and phrases c. Rhetorical patterns d. Stylistic characteristics
3. Guidance and Authority a. Addressing the reader b. Self-reference c. Importance of endings d. Responsibility and effects 4. Reflections on endings a. Rites de passage b. Finality c. Closure d. Endings as beginning
The conference is a co-operation between the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and the University of Bamberg (Germany) and will take place in June 2021 in Beirut.
Conference languages are English and Arabic.
The Sheikh Zayed Chair for Arabic and Islamic Studies at AUB will sponsor parts of the conference and the planned publication of the proceedings.
We are looking forward to receiving your title and abstract before May 31, 2020.
Lale Behzadi lale.behzadi@uni-bamberg.de
Bilal Orfali bo00@aub.edu.lb
Further reading:
Behzadi, Lale; Hämeen-Anttila, Jaakko (eds.). Concepts of Authorship in Pre-Modern Arabic Texts. (Bamberger Orientstudien 7) Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2015.
Fowler, Don P. “First Thoughts on Closure: Problems and Prospects.” Materiali e discussion per l’analisi dei testi classici 22 (1989): 75-122. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40235930
Grewing, Farouk F. et al. (ed.). The Door Ajar. False Closure in Greek and Roman Literature and Art.
Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013.
Kermode, Frank. The Sense of an Ending. Studies in the Theory of Fiction with a New Epilogue.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 20003.
Khamīs, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Ṣālīh al-. Khātimat al-qaṣīda fī-l-qarn al-rābiʿ al-hijrī – fī-l-ʿirāq wa-l-shām. al-Riyāḍ: al-Nādī al-ʿarabī fī-l-Riyāḍ 2014.
Roberts, Deborah H. et al. (ed.). Classical Closure. Reading the End in Greek and Latin Literature.
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997.