Calendar of Readings and
Assignments (may be adjusted with notice):
Unit One: The Ancient World
Jan 17 Introduction to Course
Jan 19 Homer, Odyssey Bks 1, 3-4 (WLWC 8-14, 156-205). Question -- How do the various characters view fate? Visit Mythography and another site for a list of Greek gods.
Jan 22 Homer, Odyssey Bks 5, 9-10 (WLWC 205-46); question -- Is Odysseus really all that clever?
Jan 24 Homer, Odyssey Bks 11-12, 19 (WLWC 246-90); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- DESCRIBE YOUR DAY IN HOMER'S STYLE.
Jan 26 Homer, Odyssey Bks 21-24 (WLWC 290-326); question -- How does Homer understand community?
Jan 29 Sappho (WLWC 326-334); also, Explication of a Poem (Helen Vendler), How to make sense of a poem (Stephen C. Behrendt), and the section on Techniques and Devices from Literary Genres and Techniques (Kevin Binfield)
Jan 31 Sappho continued; BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- WRITE A POEM IMITATING SAPPHO'S STYLE.
Feb 02 Euripides, Medea (WLWC 445-480); question -- Why does Medea act against x instead of against y?
Feb 05 Euripides, Medea continued
Feb 07 Aristophanes, Lysistrata (WLWC 481-512); question -- Can individual needs be suppressed for a social good?
Feb 09 Plato, "Allegory of the Cave" (WLWC 534-39); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- DRAW A PICTURE DEPICTING THE ALLEGORY.
Feb 12 Plato, Apology and Phaedo (WLWC 516-34); question -- Why is Socrates such a threat?; visit this website (http://www.selectsmart.com/religion/), fill out the survey, print out your results and bring them to class
Feb 14 Matthew, "Sermon on the Mount" (WLWC 765-68); Confucius, Analects (WLWC 870-74); question -- How are these philosophies different?
Feb 16 Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching (WLWC 828-833); question -- What is "the way"?
Feb 19 Epicurus, "Letter to Herodotus" and "Letter to Menoeceus" (Supp 18-26); question -- Is Epicurus telling people to party?
Feb 21 Epictetus, Discourses and Manual (Supp 27-36); question -- How close are Epictetus's ideas to Matthew's?
Feb 23 TERM EXAM ONE (see the sample exam for an idea of the likely exam format)
Unit Two: The Middle Ages and Renaissance
Feb 26 Anon., Bhagavad Gita (WLWC 841-58); question -- What is Krishna's view of the individual's obligations to others?
Feb 28 Dante, The Inferno (WLWC 968-1048); question -- What kind of sins are implied by Dante's categorization to be the worst?
Mar 02 Anon., Beowulf (WLWC 1123-85); question -- What is the basis for a person's being an outsider in Beowulf?
Mar 05 Anon., Beowulf (WLWC 1123-85); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- COMPARE BEOWULF'S AND ODYSSEUS'S VIEWS OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO THEIR COMMUNITIES.
Mar 07 Boccaccio, The Decameron (WLWC 1265-67, 1282-87); question -- How does love introduce individualism and redefine "the other"?
Mar 09 Chaucer, "General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales" (WLWC 1304-24); question -- What behaviors does Chaucer satirize and what does this tell you about how he sees the balance between the individual and the community?
Mar 12 Chaucer, "The Wife of Bath's Prologue" and "The Wife of Bath's Tale" (WLWC 1324-48); question -- Why might Chaucer have the Wife of Bath tell the tale that she tells?
Mar 14 Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale" (WLWC 1348-1360); PAPER ONE DUE
Mar 16 Shakespeare, The Tempest (WLWC 1822-59); question -- In terms of the relationship between self and community, what was Prospero's failing?
Mar 19 SPRING BREAK
Mar 21 SPRING BREAK
Mar 23 SPRING BREAK
Mar 26 Shakespeare, The Tempest (WLWC 1859-98); questions -- (1) Who benefits most from love in the play? (2) Why does Caliban have to be excluded from the "good society" that forms at the end?
Mar 28 Machiavelli, The Prince (WLWC 1627-43); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- ADAPT MACHIAVELLI TO THE FORM OF A CURRENT ADVICE COLUMN.
Mar 30 Lyric Sampler (WLWC 2043-63); question -- What do the evident purposes for the poetry tell you about what the culture values?
Apr 02 Lyric Sampler (WLWC 2043-63) continued
Apr 04 TERM EXAM TWO
Unit Three: The Enlightenment and Romantic Periods
Apr 06 Hobbes, Leviathan (Supp 59-69); question -- Supposing you're part of a group of castaways, will events proceed as Hobbes believes?
Apr 09 Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Supp 70-83); question -- With whose view of human nature do you agree, Hobbes's or Locke's?
Apr 11 Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (Supp 84-87); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- REWRITE THE PREAMBLE TO REFLECT YOUR POLITICAL VALUES.
Apr 13 Voltaire, Candide Chaps. 1-18 (pp. 1-47); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- USE PANGLOS'S METHOD OF REASONING TO JUSTIFY SOMETHING OUTRAGEOUS.
Apr 16 Voltaire, Candide Chaps. 19-30 (pp. 48-87); question -- What does it mean to cultivate one's own garden and how does Candide arrive at the conclusion that that is what a person ought to do?
Apr 18 British Romantic Poetry (Web or Library Reserve); question -- Can you trace out increasing steps toward individualism?
Apr 20 British Romantic Poetry (Web or Library Reserve)
Apr 23 Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1-72); see Study Aid
Apr 25 Austen, Pride and Prejudice (73-132); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- DRAW UP A TABLE THAT CHARTS THE ATTRACTIVE AND REPULSIVE TRAITS OF THE VARIOUS UNMARRIED MALE AND FEMALE CHARACTERS.
Apr 27 Austen, Pride and Prejudice (133-88); BRIEF ASSIGNMENT -- CREATE AN INSTALLMENT OF THE "LADY CATHERINE ADVICE COLUMN."
Apr 30 Austen, Pride and Prejudice (188-262); question -- How does Austen see the balance between social pressure and individualism?; PAPER TWO DUE
May 02 Dickinson, Selected Poems; question -- Does Dickinson's poetry identify more with self, other, or community?
May 04 Student-led Review
May 09 12:30 Section's Final Exam (10:30)
May 10 1:30 Section's Final Exam (1:30)