Folklore | Tales Women Tell in the Middle East
F734 | 25320 | El-Shamy

Meets with F308.  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 winner".
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.