This course examines the nexus between war and literature through a multifaceted approach: by reading texts from a variety of genres and regions in the Arab world, students will be exposed to the diverse experiences and perspectives that helped shape the creative process of writing during times of high conflict and crisis. This course includes a comparative component that explores the interconnections between Arabic wartime fiction and several major historical events such as the Holocaust, Argentina’s ‘Dirty War,’ the Algerian War of Independence and the theoretical questions they raise. Do they each have their own unique structure and idiom, or can we think about individual and collective trauma through a translocal and cosmopolitan literary lens? Topics include: the individual and collective nature of trauma; the study of embodied practices such as testimony and witnessing; their uses in literature; the social role of sites of memory; performances of protest and resistance.