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Fall 2021 Middle East GU4266 section 001
Decolonizing the Arabian Nights
Decolonizing Arabian Nigh

Call Number 13583
Day & Time
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
208 Knox Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Muhsin Al-Musawi
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description In a unique revival of interest, the Arabian Nights has made its way to the academy as the handiest and most approachable cultural commodity. Courses are given on its history, translation, media reproduction, Walt Disney’s appropriation, and, occasionally, narratology. By the end of the 19th century, it was available in translation or abridgement in every written language. This course resituates its advent and vogue in specific cultural contexts that closely relate to the rise of the bourgeoisie and the colonial enterprise. It also explores popular and intellectual or critical responses in terms of the rise of literary theory and modes of literary production. Its massive presence gives way in time to pantomime, parody, and pastiche, before engaging again the attention of prominent writers and theorists of ‘prose poetics’ and the fantastic. Its referential popular presence undergoes fluctuations to fit media stereotypes and hegemonic regimes of thought. This course attempts to dislodge originals from adaptations, highlight the nature of entry in terms of a commoditizing enterprise that reproduces the Arabian Nights as a ‘western text’, a point that in turn incites a counter search for manuscripts, and ‘authentication’ processes. Originals and translations will be compared and cinematic or theater productions will be studied, along with paintings, covers, and tourist guides that present the Nights as a commodity in a post-industrial society.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 24 students (25 max) as of 9:00PM Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Subject Middle East
Number GU4266
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20213MDES4266W001

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SIS update 12/01/21 21:00    web update 12/01/21 21:29