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CSI'S Monday Majlis: Aurora Magliozzi

Love for Beardless Boys in the Erotic Arabic Literature

The CSI Monday Majlis is a Monday evening, online event, where invited speakers present on aspects of their current research

Event details

Monday the 21st of November. 17:00-18:30 (UK time)
Aurora Magliozzi, Love for Beardless Boys in the Erotic Arabic Literature

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Abstract: The comparison between maidens and youths was a significant literary topos in the ancient world, and it seems far from being unknown to the Arabs too. The love for beardless boys first appears in Arabic literature in the 9th century, probably under the impulse of external traditions, such as the Greek and Persian ones. In fact, the theme seems to be completely absent in Arabic literature before the Abbasid era, a period of multiculturalism and flourishing translation movements. This particular kind of love – recommended, discouraged or used as a literary tool – is present in classical, post-classical and premodern literature, and develops itself both in poetry and prose, in popular and in adab literature, and of course in the erotic literature as well.
In this talk, I will first give an overview of what we call today “erotic literature” of the Islamicate Middle Ages, showing the complexity and diversity of this literary production. Second, I will focus on the theme of love for young boys displaying, through different texts of the classical and post-classical periods, how various authors dealt with homoeroticism, and in which terms they depicted this kind of love.

Aurora Magliozzi is a PhD student at the University of Naples L’Orientale working on erotic Arabic literature of the classical and post-classical period. At the same university she is currently subject expert in Arabic Literature and previously tutor of Arabic Language. She participated in 2019 in a research project on medieval historiography of al-Andalus and the Maghreb at the Escuela de Estudios Arabes in Granada.