Foundations of Western Lit 2016 - CCSJ · PDF file•...

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  • 2400 NEW YORK AVE. ! WHITING, IN 46394 ! TEL. 219-473-7770 ! 773-721-0202 ! FAX 219-473-4259

    COURSE SYLLABUS Term: Spring 2016

    Course: Foundations of Western Literature

    Instructor Information: Instructor Name Ginger G. Rodriguez Office Number: 609 Phone Number: 473-4307 Email: Hours Available: by appointment Instructor Background: Ph.D. in Humanities from Union Institute and University; Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago, and B.A. in History from Lawrence University

    Course Information:

    Course Time: Thursdays, 3:30 6:30

    Classroom: To be determined Prerequisites: English 103 and English 104 Required Books and Materials:

    Homer, The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. Link to the full text on Blackboard. Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad. Ovid, Metamorphoses. Posted under Course Documents on Blackboard. The Bible. Authorized King James Version. Excerpts posted under Course Documents on Blackboard. The Grimm Brothers, Childrens and Household Tales. Key stories posted under Course Documents on Blackboard. Bruno Bettelheim, Introduction, The Uses of Enchantment. Link on Blackboard. Linda Holmes, A Girl, a Shoe, a Prince: The Endlessly Evolving Cinderella, NPR. Link on Blackboard

    Learning Outcomes/ Competencies: Students will: 1. Know and understand the plot, characters, and themes of Homers The Odyssey. 2. Know and understand the characters, stories, and themes of the Greco-Roman myths collected in Ovids Metamorphoses. 3. Know and understand characters, stories, and themes in the Bible. 4. Know and understand characters, stories, and themes in selected fairy tales. 4. Appreciate the way in which these foundational texts are rewritten and reinterpreted in the art and literature of the Western world. 5. Apply the insights of great literature to their personal and social lives.

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    Course Description: This course introduces students to key narratives in the Western literary tradition, providing them with the background knowledge needed to understand and appreciate Western literature. Students read a selection of Greek and Roman epic and myth, Biblical and religious stories central to the Judeo-Christian tradition, and European tales. Learning Strategies: This is a reading, writing, and discussion class, in which quizzes test your reading, individual readings and presentations share information with the class, short papers indicate your understanding of foundational texts, and class participation indicates your ability to apply your knowledge of these texts to other cultural contexts and to an overall understanding of Western literature and culture. Reading: You must keep up with the weekly assigned reading and writing and contribute to class discussions based on assignments. For each assigned reading, you will be responsible to know what occurs in the text and to define all unfamiliar words. Quizzes: Because you are expected to complete all assigned reading and to understand what you read, in-class quizzes will test your knowledge of a text. Writing Short Papers: Another way to ensure that you read carefully and think about what you read is through required short papers, utilizing the standard five-paragraph format, on the major texts. Readings/Presentations: In order to cover as much material as possible, students will present key stories individually and in pairs to the class as a whole. The class will be responsible for knowing the stories presented by their peers. Discussion Participation: Your grade for participation will be based on being present for the whole class (you cant participate if youre not here!) and taking part in class discussion in a way that demonstrates that you have done the reading. Discussion involves

    Being able to identify what the text in question says. Backing up claims with direct references to the text. Listening attentively and respectively to the ideas of others and responding to them

    appropriately. See the Participation Rubric in the Responsibilities section below for more information. Final: The final exam will test both the knowledge and the understanding you have gained from reading, writing, and discussion. Experiential Learning Opportunities: This course promotes active learning through close reading of primary texts in Western literature and application of key ideas in these texts to contemporary settings. Learning occurs through discussion and debate with peers in a structured classroom setting.

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    Course Schedule Week 1, Jan. 14: INTRODUCTION

    Overview of the course The story of Orpheus and Eurydice Ovid and later Introduction to Ovid, The Odyssey, and the Bible

    Week 2, Jan. 21: Creation Myths Assignments:

    Read Genesis, The Bible, Chapters 1 13 Read Ovid, Creation and Flood stories, pp. 1 13 SHORT PAPER 1: Compare and contrast Genesis and Ovid

    Class: QUIZ 1 Discussion: Compare and contrast Genesis and Ovid Discussion: Shaping Western culture men and women in creation stories

    Week 3, Jan. 28: Ovid Assignments:

    SHORT PAPER 2: Ovids story of does/does not remain relevant today. PRESENTATION 1: Prepare your tale from Ovid to present to the class:

    Class: Ovid presentations Discussion: Ovids impact on Western literature and culture

    Week 4, Feb. 4: The Odyssey Social Mores in Greek culture Assignments:

    Homer, the Odyssey, Books 1 7 READING 1: Choose a selection from the reading that surprises, intrigues, excites, or

    confuses you. Be prepared to read the selection aloud and explain why it interests you. Class:

    QUIZ 2: The stories of Ovid Student readings Discussion:

    o The Odysseys insights into Greek society o Family dynamics at the foundations of Western culture

    Week 5, Feb. 11: The mythology of the Odyssey Assignments:

    PRESENTATION 2: In pairs, prepare your chapter from the Odyssey to present to the class Class:

    QUIZ 3: The first seven books of the Odyssey Odyssey presentations Discussion: Homers impact on Western literature and culture

    Week 6, Feb. 18: The end of the Odyssey and its impact Assignment:

    Read Books 17 24

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    READING 2: Choose a selection from the reading that surprises, intrigues, excites, or confuses you. Be prepared to read the section aloud and explain why it interests you

    Class: QUIZ 4: The ending of the Odyssey Student readings Class discussion:

    o Odysseus return o Odysseus and violence: the suitors, the slave girls o Odysseus and family: Telemachus, Penelope, and his father o The impact of the Odyssey

    Week 7, Feb. 25: Another view of the Odyssey: The Penelopaid Assignments:

    Read Margaret Atwoods The Penelopaid SHORT PAPER 3: Is Atwoods retelling of the Odyssey in The Penelopaid justified by the

    original text? Class:

    Discussion: o Compare and contrast this current-day view with the Odyssey: How does The

    Penelopaid speak back to the original text? o Identify the types of story-telling represented in the novel and how they function. o Alfred, Lord Tennysons Ulysses

    Week 8, Mar. 3: SPRING BREAK Week 9, Mar. 10: The Stories of the Old Testament Assignments:

    Read The Book of Exodus and the Book of Job Class:

    QUIZ 5 Discussion: Gods Covenant; when bad things happen to good people

    Week 10, Mar. 17: The Poetry of the Old Testament Assignments:

    READING 3: Choose a psalm AND a proverb that appeal to you. Be prepared to read them to the class and explain why you find them to be important or appealing

    Read The Song of Solomon Class:

    Student readings Discussion The Old Testament, Elizabethan England, and poetry

    Week 11, Mar. 24: The New Testament Assignments:

    Read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John READING 4: Choose a parable that appeals to you. Be prepared to read it to the class and to

    explain why you believe it is important Class:

    QUIZ 6 Parables: Student readings

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    Discussion: o The God of the New Testament vs. the God of the Old Testament o Different views of Jesus o Student readings

    Week 12, Mar. 31 Assignments:

    SHORT PAPER 4: Choose one later depiction of a Biblical story in art, poetry, film, or music. How does the original story apply to the later time period in which it appeared?

    PRESENTATION 3: A later depiction of a Biblical story Class:

    Discussion: Student presentations

    Week 13, Apr. 7: Grimms Fairy Tales Assignments:

    Read Linda Holmess NPR article, A Girl, a Shoe, a Prince: The Endlessly Evolving Cinderella

    Read the introduction to Bruno Bettelheims The Uses of Enchantment Read the Grimm Brothers version of Cinderella Cinderella

    Class: QUIZ 7 Discussion: The fairy story The Disney version Discussion: The Disneyfication of the Grimms

    Week 14, Apr. 14: Fairy Tales Assignments:

    PRESENTATION 4: In pairs, prepare an assigned fairy tale to present to the class Class:

    Student presentations Discussion: The role of fairy tales

    Week 15, Apr. 21 Assignments:

    SHORT PAPER 5: Identify another foundational trope in Western literature (the King Arthur story, Frankenstein, the marriage plot, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Superman). Describe this major theme and indicate what it contributes to Western culture

    PRESENTATION 5: The foundations of Western literature Class:

    Student presentations Discussion: The foundations of Western literature Final exam study guide

    Final exam week: April 28 I reserve the right to change this schedule to meet the needs of the class.

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