Course Outline (Draft)

Spring 2011


Any changes will be announced in class. 

Date Reading/Activity  
Jan 11 Introduction  
13 Archetypes and the purposes of folktalesNamesTranslations

Creation stories

18 Enuma Elish (Babylon)Osiris, Isis and Horus (Egypt)Telepinu (Hittite – Turkey and Syria)

Bible – Genesis 1-8 (Israel)

20 The Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia – Assyria, Akkadia, Sumeria) (Locate a Blog Assignment due)  
25 Bible – 1 Samuel chapter 8 through 1 Kings chapter 2 (Israel)  
27 The Tale of the Two Brothers (Egypt)Rhampsinitus and the Clever Thief (Egypt)The Fisherman (Morocco)

The Girl in the River (Morrocco)

Pre-Islamic Literature

The Poem of Imru (Arabia)

(1st Blog Post Assignment Due)

Feb 1 Qur’an readings (Arabia)

  • Sura 26 The Poets
  • Sura 27 The Ants
  • Sura 28 The Story
  • Sura 72 Noah
  • Sura 4 Women
3 Rumi – selected poems (Persia)Abu Nuwas – selected poems (Persia)Al-Jahiz – (Iraq/Arabia)

  • Evidence of the Existence of God
    • The Cadi and the Fly
  • Misers – The Preamble
    • Laughter
    • Comprehensive Scrap Recovery
  • Robbers and Their Tricks
  • A Tale About Brigands
8 Sa’adi – Selections from The Golestan (Persia)Selections The 1001 Nights(1st Discussion Topic Assignment Due)  
10 Test 1  
15 Paper 1 due

Introduction to Modern Middle Eastern Writing and Culture

17 IntroductionIbrahim Abdel Meguid  – “No One Sleeps in Alexandria”Yahya Taher Abdullah  – “Rhythms in Slow Time”

Leila Abouzeid  – “The Discontented”

Yusuf Abu Rayya  – “Dreams Seen by a Blind Boy”

Daisy Al-Amir  – “The Doctor’s Prescription”

Radwa Ashour  – “I Saw the Date Palms”

Hala El Badry  – “A Certain Woman”

In Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction
22 Alaa Al Aswany  – From The Yacoubian BuildingTaleb Salih  – From Season of Migration to the NorthNaguib Mahfouz – From Palace Walk

Ibrahim al-Koni – From The Bleeding of the Stone

(2nd Blog Post Assignment Due)

In Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction
24 Najwa Qa’war Farah – “The Worst of Two Choices; or the Forsaken Olive Trees”Mahmoud Darwish “A Memory of Forgetfulness”Shoshannah Shababo – “Simha’s Wondrous Spell”

Ronit Matalon – “Little Brother” –

(2nd Discussion Topic Assignment Due)

Mar 1 Abu Salma

  • “My Country on Partition Day”
  • “We Shall Return”

Zuhair Abu Shayib  – “Fever of Questions”

Abd al-Latif ‘Aql

  • “From ‘From Jerusalem to the Gulf’”
  • “On the Presence of Absence”

Muhammad al-As’ad

  • “When the Inhabitants of a Planet Converse”
  • “Who”

Salma Khadra Jayyusi  – “The Woman”

3 Moshe Sartel  – “Lamenting of the Birds”Schlomo Avayou

  • “Fleeting Thrill”
  • “Wildweed”

Erez Bitton

  • “Summary of a Conversation”
  • “Sulika’s Qasida”

Amira Hess – “We’re Children of Atlantis”

8 Mohja Kahf

  • “The Dream of Return”
  • “My Grandmother washes her feet in the sink of the bathroom at Sears”
  • “Email from Scheherazad”
  • “You are my Yemen”
  • “Ishtar Awakens in Chicago”

(Video Assignment (part 1) Due)

10 The 99

“Islam, Media and The West”

Political Cartoons by Ali Farzat

Interview with Ali Farzat

15 Persepolis: The Story of a ChildhoodFrom Among the Believers(Video Assignment (part 2) due) Book purchase
17 Test 2  
21-25 Spring Break  
29 Puppet Theatre and Improvised Comedic Performance  
31 Puppet Theatre and Improvised Comedic Performance (3rd Blog Post Assignment Due)  
Apr 5 Puppet Theatre and Improvised Comedic Performance  
7 Religious Drama

(3rd Discussion Topic Assignment Due)

12 Israeli Theatre  
14 Modern Drama – The adoption and adaptation of western forms

(Summary Assignment Due)

19 Modern Drama – The adoption and adaptation of western forms

 (Peer Comment for Summary Assignment Due)

21 Contemporary Drama and Performance

(Paper 2 due)

26 Contemporary Drama and Performance  
28 Test 3  
May 3 Presentations  
5 Presentations (final exam)  

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