Alfred El-Khoury

Visiting Doctoral Fellow

Alfred el-Khoury is a PhD candidate in the Department of Arabic Studies at the University of Bamberg. He did his previous studies at the Lebanese University (BA, 2013) and the American University of Beirut (MA, 2015). 
El-Khoury’s doctoral project is motivated by the following question: What can the investigation of metaphor in corpora of old Arabic poetry teach us about specific turning points in the development of this poetry? In tackling this question the project takes the war-metaphor as case study and focuses mainly on two moments in the history of Arabic poetry: the “muḥdath” moment that started to take shape at the turn of the third/ninth century, and the “pre-muḥdath” moment, used here to refer to the poetical tradition that the muḥdath poets drew upon, appropriated as theirs, and in a way contested. In this framework, metaphor is used for two purposes: first as a conceptual notion that helps us reexamine Arabic critical notions such as istiʿāra, majāz, maʿnā, and badīʿ; and second as a critical tool to study texts and shed light on the interpretation practices, editorial endeavours, and literary agendas of the Arabic poetry commentators between the third/ninth and fifth/eleventh centuries.