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C LIT 323 A: Studies In The Literature Of Emerging Nations

A Thousand and One Narrators: Masterpieces of Story Literature from the Middle East and India

Meeting Time: 
MW 9:30am - 11:20am
THO 119
Jennifer E. Dubrow

Additional Details:

In this course, we study classic works of story literature from the Middle East and India, with focus on A Thousand and One Nights (aka Arabian Nights); The Mahabharata; and the Indo-Persian romance, Dastan-e Amir Hamza. These masterpieces have continued to entertain and inspire for centuries. In this course we explore how the texts work, both as narrative innovations and explorations of eternal human themes. We will consider, for example, the roles of frame stories in Arabian Nights, multiple narrators in The Mahabharata, and supernatural adventure in Dastan-e Amir Hamza. Finally, we close the course by reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie, perhaps a modern parable on storytelling’s power. Course goals include: to appreciate and analyze the texts as classics of story literature; uncover what they have to say about human society; and discover their continuing influence on art and culture. Some film versions will be shown, and class sessions will focus on group discussion and analysis.

The main texts for this course are:
The Arabian Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy
The Mahabharata, translated by John D. Smith
The Adventures of Amir Hamza, translated by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Assignments will include short essays and a final paper; a group presentation; and participation in class discussion.

Catalog Description: 
Novels and short stories, from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Discusses relationship of Western literary genres to an oral literary tradition, as well as issues like colonialism, gender relations, narrative technique, native and non-native languages.
Department Requirements Met: 
Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:19am