Folklore | Narrative & Gender: Tales Arab Women Tell
F545 | 2431 | El-Shamy

This course examines women's culture(s) as portrayed in their tales
and related traditional form of expression. Traditions treated will
include selections from several communities in the ethnically,
linguistically, and religiously diverse "Arab World" (e.g., Berber,
Aramaic, Nubian, etc.).

The contents are grouped into 6 segments:

I. 	Introduction: A general survey of "the Arab World," its
	societies, and cultures.
II. 	A Brief history of women's status in Arab communities: 	the
role of Islam and other religious systems.
III. 	Kinship systems and the female's role(s).
IV. 	Economic systems and the working female as "bread
V. 	Tales as cognitive descriptions of life and living under
	specific conditions: self concept, self-esteem, social roles
	(chiftainess/matriarch, servant; mother, wife, sister,
	daughter, cousin, etc.). The stereotyped female: male and
	female views.
VI. 	European/Western theories and Arab stories: the literary
	and the oral traditional.

Main textbook:
H. El-Shamy. Tales Arab Women Tell: And the Behavioral Patterns they
Portray. Collected, translated, edited, and interpreted by Hasan M.
El-Shamy. Indiana University Press, 1999.

Other works will be assigned.
Requirements: One Term paper, and 2-3 reports.