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ASIAN 207 A: Special Topics in Literature and Culture of Asia

Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
LOW 105
Jennifer Dubrow
Jennifer Dubrow

Syllabus Description:

Asian 207A: Fairies, Genies, and Monsters:

The Romance in India

Spring 2018

Amar Ayyar slays a dragon


Instructor: Prof. Jennifer Dubrow,

Office: 229 Gowen Hall

Office hours: TTh 4:30-5 PM and by appointment

Class meetings: TTh 2:30-4:20, Loew 105

Course Description:

This course introduces the romance in India, a literary genre of fantastic adventures, supernatural encounters, and brave heroes. Major readings comprise The Arabian NightsThe Adventures of Amir Hamza, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. We will explore the development of the genre by reading one of the most famous and beloved examples of romance from India. Toward the end of the course we will study a modern example of the romance genre to compare it with The Adventures of Amir Hamza. All works will be read in English translation, and no prior knowledge is assumed.

Course Goals:

  • To analyze and appreciate the major texts covered in this course (The Arabian Nights, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, The Hobbit);
  • To become familiar with the romance genre;
  • To use the analytical skills developed in class and apply them to modern examples of the romance genre.

Required Books:

You are required to purchase the following three books, available at the University Bookstore and online.

1) The Arabian Nights. Norton critical edition. Selected and edited by Daniel Heller-Roazen. Translated by Husain Haddawy. W.W. Norton, 2010. To buy on Amazon

2) Ghalib Lakhnavi and Abdullah Bilgrami. The Adventures of Amir Hamza. Special abridged edition. Translated by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. Modern Library, 2012. To buy on Amazon

3) J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin, 2012. To buy on Amazon

Note: If you are buying books online, please check VERY CAREFULLY that you are buying the correct editions of the book for The Arabian Nights and The Adventures of Amir Hamza. For The Arabian Nights, you must buy the Norton Critical Editionedited by Daniel Heller-Roazen. For The Adventures of Amir Hamza, check that you buy the special abridged edition of 560 pages, published by Modern Library Classics. Links to the correct edition on Amazon are included above. 

Paper copies are strongly preferred to digital editions. Please buy the paper copy if at all possible.

Other readings will be made available on the "Files" page of the course website (UW log-in required).

Books on Reserve: All required books for this course are available on 24-hour reserve at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. 

Assignments and Grading:

The final grade for Asian 207A will be based on the following factors:

  • 3 homework assignments to help you complete The Arabian Nights reading; due on Fridays, Mar. 30, Apr. 6, and Apr. 12 by noon, on Canvas. Each assignment will be graded on a 5-point scale. Late assignments will lose 1 point per 24-hour period; homework assignments can be no more than 2 days late. (15%)
  • 2 short responses, of 1-2 pages each (double-spaced), on The Arabian Nights and The Adventures of Amir Hamza; due on Monday, April 16 by 5 PM (for The Arabian Nights) and Monday, May 14 by 5 PM (for The Adventures of Amir Hamza) on Canvas. Short Responses will be graded on a 20-point scale. (30%)
  • A final essay of 3-4 pages (double-spaced), that relates some aspects of The Hobbit to our work on the romance genre; due Tuesday, June 5 by 4 PM on Canvas. Will be graded on a 20-point scale. (20%)
  • An outline and 1-paragraph abstract of your final essay, due Friday, May 25 by 5 PM on Canvas. The abstract is worth 10 points. You will also complete 2 peer reviews for your classmates' outline and abstract, due by Tuesday, May 29 by 10 AM on Canvas. You will discuss your feedback with your classmates in class on May 29. Each peer review is worth 5 points, for a total of 10 points. (15%)
  • Participation in class, which includes asking questions in class, bringing passages for discussion, and thoughtful engagement in class discussions. (20%)

Student Responsibilities:

Students are responsible for carrying out assigned readings by the dates specified. Copies of the assigned readings should always be brought to class on the days on which they are to be discussed.

Students are expected to abide by all University of Washington regulations concerning plagiarism and academic honesty. Cheating and plagiarism (submitting someone else's words or ideas as your own work) are serious academic offenses. Cases of suspected cheating and plagiarism will be referred to the Committee on Academic Conduct for adjudication. Possible penalties range from disciplinary warnings to dismissal from the university. It is your responsibility to be aware of the university's standards for academic conduct. A good summary can be found at:

Electronics Policy:

To maximize student learning and participation in the course, students are asked to not use electronics while in class. If you require the use of a laptop or other electronics to take notes or for other reasons, please speak with the instructor. 

Students are expected to observe the following rules in class:

  • Arrive in class on time so that other students are not disturbed;
  • Refrain from conversing with fellow students while class is in progress;
  • Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices;
  • Do not use personal computers to cruise the Internet, read email, or engage in activities unrelated to class.

Disability Accommodations:

If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disability Resources for Students, 448 Schmitz Hall, (206) 543-8924. If you have a letter from DSO indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor during the first week of the term so that we can discuss appropriate arrangements.

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the literature of one or more Asian traditions considered in its cultural context. Content varies depending on the specialization and interest of instructor. Texts in English translation.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:30pm