Materials in English translation will illustrate the progression of Arabic Literary culture from the earliest recorded sources to the present. Lectures and discussion, along with audio-visual materials, will introduce the essentials of the history of the Arabs and the cultural context expressed in their writings. Examination of pre-Islamic poetry will lead to discussion of the religious and historical texts of Islam. The literary legacy of the Caliphal period will be presented. The Arabian Nights will be seen to illustrate the popular culture of the times. Bell-lettrist works and those of the Arab explorers, scientists, and philosophers will be sampled. The contacts between the Arab world and the West in the modern era will be seen to have resulted in new departures in Arabic Literature, with the rise of the play, the short story, and the novel. Particular attention will be given to the works of Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Students will write a series of short papers commenting upon aspects of the works assigned. Credit will also be given for attendance and for class discussion. A professor of Arabic literature, the instructor is a much-published translator and commentator on Arabic literature.