The Arabian Nights (The 1001 Nights) is a masterpiece of world literature. However, its reception and popularity are fraught with challenges and problems. By tracing its journey from its Persian origins, through its Arabic adaptations, and finally its entry into Europe, this class will consider how the Nights were used to construct imaginings about the Self and the Other in these different contexts. We will cover topics such as orientalism, gender and sexuality, and narrative theory as they relate to the Nights’ most famous story cycles and look at the influence of the Nights on modern authors and filmmakers. All readings will be in English.