Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

A multilingual journal published annually, featuring original scholarly articles in Arabic, English, and occasionally French. Each multidisciplinary issue is dedicated to a specific theme.

Articles from No. 29, Annual

De-Disciplining the Humanities
The humanities today face a series of challenges--including an inbred narcissism, chronic under-funding, and social irrelevance. This essay explains some of the reasons for this state of things. It advocates a new focus on getting our hands dirty,...
Melancholy in the Humanities: Lamenting the "Ruins" of Time between Bill Readings and Augustine
In The University in Ruins, Bill Readings traces shifting ideas about the university from the writings of Kant and von Humboldt to their "ruins" in a managerial newspeak that prioritizes profitable programs over humanities scholarship and teaching....
One-Dimensional Learning: The Dialectic of Sacred and Secular as the Enduring Possibility of the University
This article traces the origins of the university as an interplay between transcendence and immanence, sacred and secular, first in ancient Greek philosophy and then within the Byzantine, Islamic, and Latin intellectual worlds. It shows how the dialectic...
Public Spheres, Personal Papers, Pedagogical Practices: Ruth First's Academic Postings To/from Dar Es Salaam and Maputo
This article discusses Ruth First's work in her final years at the University of Dares Salaam (Tanzania) and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Maputo, Mozamibque), with reference to First's biographical trajectory and towards a reconsideration of...
Scholarship and Integrity: Matthew Arnold's "The Scholar-Gipsy" and Anita Desai's "Scholar and Gypsy"
This article presents a comparative study of Matthew Arnold's 1854 poem "The Scholar-Gipsy" and Anita Desai's 1978 story "Scholm" and Gypsy". Arnold's poem contrasts the single-minded integrity of his central character's search lot redemption through...
The Neoliberal University: Theory and Practice
This article analyzes recent transformations and tendencies regarding academic modes of governance as expressions of neoliberal politics and policies. It traces the history and development of neoliberalism from World War II to the present, arguing...
The Politics of Higher Education and the Militarized Academy after 9/11
This article situates the development of the university as a militarized knowledge factory within the broader context of increasing militarization within American society in recent years. Highlighting the growth of knowledge, research, and social relations...
The University and Its Discontents: Egyptian and Global Perspectives
Universities have been, and remain, places of questioning and contestation. This is true also of the role and status of the university itself. Particularly in recent years, the "very idea" of a university has been open to radical re-examination from...
University and Stasis: Four Rival Ideas of a University
This article maintains that the modern university is in a condition of stasis', a perpetual discord and disunity, which, while not enough to destroy the institution, significantly impairs its ability to function, and generates widespread discontent...
Wanted Languages Dead or Alive
This article considers the impact of global business and government agendas on tbreign language teaching in the United States. The desire to close the 'language gap' in American education, a laudable goal to be sure, is beginning to compromise the...
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