NMC256H1: 1001 Nights Around the World


The 1001 Nights has had many lives, in many languages, and across many media. This course starts off with a detailed reading, in translation, of one of the oldest surviving Arabic versions of the text, with consideration of its literary and social context, and its sources. We then move forward in time to examine how the 1001 Nights was expanded, adapted, and disseminated from then until today. A key transformation moment occurred between 1704-1717 with the publication of Antoine Galland’s French version, composed with the input of Syrian storyteller Hanna Diab. This version was widely disseminated and became a basis for most subsequent modern adaptations. We consider adaptations both before and after this turning point, including manuscripts, translations, novels, ballets, short stories, and films produced around the world. Throughout, we consider the politics and aesthetics of these historical translations, adaptations, and transformations.

Creative and Cultural Representations (1)