World Literature 1, Spring 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas
20866 ENGL 2111.11 MW 11–12:15 TEB-205 Spring, 2019

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 few 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 change during the course of the semester due to unforeseen circumstances (see Schedule below). 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

Professor 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.


ENGL 2111 is composed of the following components:


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.

Students’ knowledge of the course texts and lecture materials will be tested with a midterm and a final exam. These exams 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 exams 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.[1]


Regular class attendance and active participation in classroom discussion are required. Some assignments will occasionally count for participation: library tasks, reading quizzes, peer editing, the viewing of a film, and similar activities. Your participation in group activities and your preparation for class will be weighed heavily in evaluation: participation, effort, and attitude will count significantly. You should not sit in class like you’re watching TV: learning requires active participation and enthusiasm (see Student Behavior).


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.[2]

Drop Date
March 6, 2019

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

Assignments and Deadlines

Your work represents you. Everything you turn in for evaluation should exemplify the very best of your professional self. 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. Last-minute work submissions are ineligible for revision for a higher grade.


Poor attendance will negatively affect your grade. You must endeavor to attend every class, and it is your responsibility to ask a fellow classmate what you missed; in-class assignments, like quizzes, cannot be made up. Too many absences will constitute class failure. Please read the attendance policy carefully.


Communication is integral to success, no matter what we’re talking about. In a digital world, these literacies are particularly important. Not only should you develop and perfect your communication skills while in college, you need to use those skills everyday with your peers and professors.


Evaluation depends on overall student performance: depending on the successful completion of all requirements, participation, and attitude. Some requirements are weighed heavier in evaluation, but all are essential to successfully complete the class. Letter grades are based upon a traditional ten-point scale. Grades for this class will be based on the point system.


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.


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, a Wikipedia article, or class discussion. 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.


This schedule 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 may not indicate specific class session assignments or activities. Specific assignments are often given in class.

1 01/07
01/09 Class Begins • Introduction
2 01/14 Gilgamesh[3]
01/16 Gilgamesh continued
3 01/21 No class today — MLK Holiday
01/23 Epic Poetry
4 01/28 Homer’s Iliad
01/30 The Iliad continued
5 02/04 Homer’s Odyssey, books 1–4
02/06 The Odyssey, books 1–4 continued
6 02/11 The Odyssey, book 9
02/13 The Odyssey, book 10
7 02/18 Midterm Week
02/20 Midterm Week
8 02/25 The Odyssey, book 11
02/27[4] The Odyssey, book 12
9 03/04 The Odyssey, book 22
03/06 The Odyssey, book 23
10 03/11 Virgil’s Aeneid
03/13 The Aeneid continued
11 03/18 Spring Break
12 03/25 Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex
03/27 OR continued
13 04/01 OR continued
04/03 OR continued
14 04/08 Euripides’ Medea
04/10 Medea continued
15 04/15 Medea continued
04/17 Medea continued
16 04/22 Ovid’s Metamorphoses
04/24 Metamorphoses continued
17 04/29 Study Week


  1. See the various resources available on this web site to help. They should assist in exam prep and provide guidance for your study throughout the semester.
  2. See the MGA website's Syllabus Policy Page the policies linked thereon.
  3. Download. This link will only be here a limited time for students.
  4. Midterm Grades Due