Observing the Secular

Arab Poets Transforming Their Conceptions of Public


  • Khaled Furani Sociology and Anthropology Department, Tel-Aviv University




Arab poets, Poetic forms, Palestinian poets


This essay examines ethnographically how Arab, mainly Palestinian, poets have been transforming their relation to the public while modernizing poetic forms. Drawing on narratives by poets who work with various literary forms, this study argues that the secular has been vital for this transformation. More specifically, I demonstrate how in poets’ narratives about means and ends of literary agency there lies the articulation of secular subjectivities that poets want either to constitute, contest or explore.

Author Biography

Khaled Furani, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Tel-Aviv University

Khaled Furani is a post-doctoral fellow at the sociology and anthropology department of Tel-Aviv University, and recently completed a book, When Poets Go to Sleep: Secularizing Forms in Arabic Poetry, to be published by Syracuse University Press.


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How to Cite

Furani, K. (2008). Observing the Secular: Arab Poets Transforming Their Conceptions of Public. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 3(1), 5–29. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v3i1.5