Folklore | Arabian Nights: East & West
F307 | 15365 | H. El-Shamy
Above class meets with Folk-F617.
In 1704 the French Orientalist Antoine Galland introduced The
Thousand and One Nights to the Western World. Few written or printed
documents received more public attention worldwide than did this
compendium of re-written folk narratives and its Western derivative
known as The Arabian Nights. The impact of the Nights on cultures
across the world has been profound. This course explores a variety
of issues related to the work from interdisciplinary perspectives.
I. Eastern Thousand Nights and Western Arabian Nights:
The Written and the Oral; the Oral Connections
II. The Format:
The Frame Story
III. Sheherzad: the Raconteuress as role model.
What does Sheherzad represent for the contemporary
IV. The Literary Genres in the Two Nights Traditions
The Novella, the "fairy tale"/Zaubermšrchen, the
Legend, the Exemplum, the Cante fable/sÓrah, the
Humorous Anecdote, the Formula tale.
The Nights in Modern Arts (Cinema, Music, Painting)
V. Society and Social Relations in the Nights
Freemen and Slaves
Race, Species, Ethnicity and Faith
Male and Female
Marriage and Concubinage
Husbands and wives, Men and Save-girls, Parents and
VI. Other Sociocultural Institutions
Economy, Government, Religion
VII. Social Theories and Worldviews in the Nights
VIII. Theoretical framework for the Study of the
Nights (Analyses of Specific Tale Texts)
Historical Reconstructional, Functional/Sociocultural,
Psychoanalytic, Feminist, Semiotic, ....
Two exams, one term paper.
Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, CSA