Folklore | The Arabian Nights: East & West
F617 | 16247 | El-Shamy
Meets with F307. 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. These include:
I. Eastern Thousand Nights and a Night and Western Arabian
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 female?
IV. The Literary Genres in the Two Nights Traditions
The Novella, the "fairy tale"/Zaubermšrchen, the Legend, the
Exemplum, the Cante fable/sÓrah, the legend, 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 Take-home Exams; One Term Paper
Attendance and participation are paramount importance
Arabian Nights' Entertainment. Robert L. Mack, ed. (Oxford
University Press: 1995).
Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, Vol. 18, No.
2 (2004), Ulrich Marzolph, Guest ed. (Wayne State University Press)