The Western Tradition, Continuity
Spring 2001 Syllabus
Course: Hum 211-05,
MWF 12:30-1:20, Hum 211-06, MWF 1:30-2:20
Credit Hours: 3
Professor: Dr Kevin Binfield
Office: Faculty Hall 7B7
Office Hours: MWF 0900-0930, 1030-1200; MW 1430-1630 (and by appt.)
Office Phone: 762-4541
AOL Instant Messenger: ksbinfield (during workday)
ICQ: 46941900 (during workday)
The Western Tradition, Continuity
An exploration of humanistic themes as reflected in literary and philosophical works prior to the twentieth century.
English 101, 102; CIV 101, 102; an open mind and a desire to be an educated rather than a merely trained person.
Texts and Resources:
1) Davis, Paul, et al. Western Literature in a World Context. Vol. 1. New York: St. Martin's, 1995. (WLWC).
2) Dickinson, Emily. Selected Poems. New York: Dover, 1990.
3) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Dover, 1992.
4) Voltaire. Candide. New York: Dover, 1991.
5) HUM 211 Supplementary Text (Supp).
6) Texts available via internet and the Humanities Program website.
1) To examine specific human themes from a variety of perspectives;
2) To improve students' ability to read, analyze, and compare literary and philosophical works and to discuss and write about the questions they suggest;
3) To introduce students to significant literary and philosophical works and the historical and cultural traditions from which they emerged.
1) Identify some important issues in western thought prior to the twentieth century;
2) Understand and compare the diverse positions expressed in the works read in the course;
3) Communicate that understanding effectively.
The course readings are divided into three units--the Ancient World, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the Enlightenment and
Romantic Period. The course as a whole will trace the development of three themes--self, other, and community.
Class activities include guided and collaborative discussion of readings, some background lectures, writing, and participation in some outside activities. Students can expect to bear some of the responsibility for guiding discussions. Students should also participate in the Hum 211 forum. Please also refer to the Humanities Program website, where you can find all Hum 211 readings and a wide variety of ancillary readings. This course is an invitation into a world of literature and culture that can provide you with opportunities to think in ways that you will miss once you graduate from college. Treat this as the rare opportunity that it is, an opportunity that people around the world wish they could have. Learn and enjoy.
There will be two in-term examinations and a final examination. There will be two original 1000 word papers on interpretive, analytic, or comparative topics. Assignment sheets are posted online. Begin early; late papers, no matter how late, will be penalized in proportion to their lateness period by period (beginning at ten percentage points). Your papers will be evaluated for adherence to the assignment, clarity of expression and organization, grammar, logic of argument, originality, and evidence of careful and deep thought. There will also be frequent pop quizzes over the readings. You might like to refer to advice that I have posted online on studying for quizzes. No missed quizzes can be made up. Work on review sessions and other projects (to be announced) may replace the lowest quiz grades. Missing the in-term exams will result in the replacement of the grade-weight for each exam by an increased grade-weight for the quiz average. Missing the final examination will result in a grade of "X," provided that all other work for the course (including both term exams and papers) has been satisfactorily completed; if not, then an "E" will be assigned. A sample exam has been posted to the web so that you can see early in the semester what sort of questions you should prepare for in your reading. I have also posted some advice on writing essay exams to help you.
1) Examinations One and Two, 15% each
2) Final Examination, 30%
3) Essay Writing, 15% each
4) Quizzes and other, 10%
5) Participation, +/- effect upon borderline final course grades
A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, E=0-59
Attendance Policy and Other
By University and College policies, you are expected to attend every class meeting. Your course grade will be lowered three percentage points for each absence over three. Every absence counts, except for activities (such as extramural sporting events and musical performances) that are officially sponsored by the University and approved in writing by the Provost's office according to the Provost's written policy on absences and for absences due to personal illness or a death in the immediate family that are documented by the appropriate professional and can be verified by that professional in writing and by a telephone call. It is up to the student to make sure that all documentation and verifications are made available to me. For those absences, additional outside work will be assigned, since students who miss class for University-sponsored activities are missing in-class lessons and assignments and are depriving their classmates of their contributions. Do not take a free day thinking that you have some to spare. If for any reason you miss one-fourth or more of the class meetings (that is, 10 classes), you will not receive a passing grade for the course. Stay in touch about the course. Minor adjustments to this syllabus may be made with notice throughout the course of the semester.
Academic dishonesty will result in failure of the course and other sanctions. See the College policy posted outside my office.