World Literature 1, Fall 2018

From Gerald R. Lucas

Fall, 2018 | ENGL 2111.03 and .04 | CoAS 206

Thomas Moran, Ulysses and the Sirens, 1900

World Literature I will focus on textual studies of the major genres of this period, epic and tragedy, how those genres influenced later literary works, and how they portray “humanist” issues throughout the Greek and Roman national literary traditions and beyond.

ENGL 2111 will show the continued relevance of just why ancient works are still paramount to knowing ourselves as “humans.” Major works covered will include Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, and works by Sophocles, Euripides, and Ovid. Since any survey course has much more literature than one semester-long class can cover, we will attempt to cover only a couple works in as much detail as time allows, rather than many works only cursorily.

The following document is your syllabus. Please read it and the links it contains carefully. While you may certainly choose to print it — we will do our best to follow the schedule below—it may chage during the course of the semester due to unforeseen circumstances. Should this occur, I will let you know in class, but ultimately, this online document has the final say.

Course Information

Prerequisite ENGL 1102 or ENGL 1102H
Description This is a survey of important works of world literature from the beginning through the 17th century.
Classroom Hours Three per week.

Instructor Information

Instructor Information

Gerald R. Lucas
Office CoAS-117 (Macon campus)
Office Hours See Contact
Email gerald.lucas [at] mga [dot] edu

I try to make myself as available as much as possible during the first couple weeks of a semester, including evenings and weekends. If you need to chat with me, email me and we’ll arrange a video conference via Skype (or similar service), if necessary. Please do not expect a response after 5pm on weekdays or anytime during the weekend. I may be available, but I also need some down time. Thanks for your understanding.

Required Materials

Our study of World Literature this semester will use either of the following:

Both of these books are out-of-print, but you should have no problem acquiring one of them, either through the links above or the campus bookstore. You may use any book you want, but be warned: these contain the specific translations that I will be referencing in-class and on exams. Other translations will just be confusing and cause you unnecessary difficulty. 

Your course book(s) or readings should always accompany you to class, as we will make heavy use of them in our daily discussions. Please do not come to class without it: we need the book for class activities, in-class writing, and all aspects of our study. PDFs must be printed if they are used in class. Failure to do so will earn you an absence (see Attendance).

You should also bring an ink interface of some sort, as well as dead trees on which to take notes. Notes should not only reflect good listening skills, but individual interest in every topic discussed in class.

Requirements

ENGL 2111 is composed of the following components:

Responses (40%)

Students will respond in writing about every text; ideally, every day we meet for class. These responses will take the form of discussion (or forum) posts, where each participant will

  1. In 100-200 words, make an initial post about tells us something we do not know about the text; or something interesting that you noticed; or something that affected you in some way; etc. You might choose to use a reader-response approach to this post. Once posted, you will see the rest of the class' responses. Then:
  2. Read the other posts and vote up or down as you read. Then:
  3. Comment on at least one other post.

Grades for these posts will be S/U (satisfactory or unsatisfactory). Satisfactory (and higher) posts will:

  • Make a focused, clear point about the text;
  • Support ideas with textual (primary and/or secondary) evidence;
  • Use correct conventions for “Writing in the Liberal Arts”;
  • Adds to the conversation;
  • Be proofread and revised to eliminate most errors;
  • Be popular by being upvoted.

I have posted World Literature Resources to get you thinking, or you could do some research.

Final Exam (20%)

Some sort of final exam will be administered during the university’s scheduled time. We will discuss the particulars of this exam as the time approaches. See sample exams I have made available on D2L (under “01. Introduction” to the left). These resources should help you not only prepare for the exam, but provide guidance for your study throughout the semester. Here’s my usual statement about this exam:

A final cumulative exam will be given that will test your knowledge of the subject matter (texts, lecture material, and vocabulary), your ability to synthesize this material, and your creativity in going beyond the discussion and lecture materials. The final exam will include vocabulary, identification, and interpretation. All exam grades will be based upon objective knowledge of the material, thoroughness, depth of insight, precision, and originality.

Pro Tip: Share a Google Doc with every member of the class. Use it to collaborate on class notes each day we meet. Consider it a master study document.

Participation (40%)

Regular class attendance, question posing, and active participation in classroom discussion are required. Some assignments will occasionally count for participation: reading quizzes, peer editing, the viewing of a film, and similar activities. Additional assistance may be obtained from me during my office hours or by appointment. Your participation in group activities and your preparation for class will be weighed heavily in evaluation: participation, effort, and attitude will count significantly. Quizzes, other class activities, and homework assignments not explicitly outlined on this document will be factored into your final class participation grade.

Your participation grade will be negatively affected by:

  • Coming to class without your assigned readings —in book form, printed, or on a tablet (not a phone) ;
  • Texting or otherwise engaging in activities that distract you or your classmates;
  • Arriving late or being unprepared to begin promptly (see attendance policy); and
  • Sitting passively with an empty desk. If you make me ask you to take your materials out, you’re demonstrating your lack of engagement in the course and suggesting that you do not take it seriously.

Policies

Students are held accountable for knowing and practicing each of the following course policies. Consider them like the law: the excuse “I didn’t know” will carry no weight. In addition, students are responsible for reading, understanding, and adhering to all Middle Georgia State University student policies, including those linked on the Syllabus Policy page.

Students may withdraw from the course and earn a grade of “W” up to and including the midterm date: October 10, 2018. After midterm, students who withdraw will receive a grade of “WF.” Students are encouraged to read the withdrawal policy before dropping/withdrawing from class.

Attendance

Attendance will be taken at every class meeting, either orally or with an attendance sheet. If you come in late, it is your responsibility to ask me for the attendance sheet so that you may sign in. If you fail to do so, you are absent.

Two tardies count as one absence. Merely being in the classroom does not count as attending; you must be prepared and ready to participate. Not having your required materials — especially the daily reading — will count as an absence.

Students whose number of absences is more than twice the number of class meetings per week may be assigned a failing grade for the course at the discretion of the instructor; the highest grade this student could earn would be a C. Students who have more absences than the number of class meetings per week but less than twice the number of class meetings per week may be penalized at the discretion of the instructor. Students who have absences which are less than or equal to the number of class meetings per week will not be penalized beyond missing crucial class discussion and lecture content.

Remember: what counts here is the physical presence of a body with materials in class; excuses will not help this measurable fact at all. It is your responsibility to discover what was missed in class and any assignments. Quizzes and in-class activities cannot be made up for any reason.

Deadlines

Late work is unacceptable and will receive a zero. Technical problems do not excuse late work. Plan ahead and turn in your work on time; if you do your work in a timely fashion, computer problems will not be an issue. Please be aware of the D2L maintenance schedule and plan accordingly. Last-minute work submissions are ineligible for revision for a higher grade.

Plagiarism

Willful or accidental plagiarism will result in automatic failure of this class (with a grade of an “F”) and will be pursued to incite the utmost penalty for such dishonesty. Academic falsehood, in any form, will constitute class failure. Read More »

Research

All writing in this course should be supported with both primary (readings I assign you) and secondary (sources you find yourself) texts.  All suppositions must be supported with evidence, whether they appear on a forum post, a blog post, or a Wikipedia article. In other words: research is an integral component of everything you do in this course. Any ideas that are not supported might as well not be written. Read More »

For this course we use Digital Citation to cite all of our sources when blogging. Read More »

Schedule

This schedule, beginning with “01. Introduction” on the left, represents the ideal outline for our study this semester. Yet, like all best-laid plans, we may not be able to keep up with our agenda. Please be flexible and try to look and read ahead whenever possible. We will do our best to stick by this schedule, but I will inform you verbally whenever there is a change in or an addition to an assignment. Getting these updates is solely your responsibility. Therefore, this schedule is tentative and subject to change contingent upon the needs of the students and the professor, and dictated by time and other constraints which may affect the course.

This schedule reflects only an overview of the assigned reading and other major course assignments. It does not indicate specific class session assignments or activities. Specific reading assignments will be given in class. This is especially important, since two sections of this course share this single syllabus.

  • 08/13–08/15 — Introduction
  • 08/20–08/23 — Gilgamesh
  • 08/27–08/30 — Iliad 
  • 09/03–09/20 — Odyssey
  • 09/24–10/04 — Oedipus Rex
  • 10/08–10/18 — Medea
  • 10/29–11/01 — Aeneid
  • 11/05–11/15 — Metamorphoses
  • 11/26–11/29 — TBA