Difference between revisions of "World Literature 1, Fall 2019"

From Gerald R. Lucas
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| Catch-up / TBA
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Revision as of 08:00, 4 November 2019

85513 engl 2111.03 mw 11–12:15 coas-216 Fall, 2019

World Literature I focuses 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.

Ulysses Derides Polyphemus, J.M.W. Turner (1829)

ENGL 2111 demonstrates the continued relevance of ancient works in understanding 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 document you’re reading is your syllabus. Everything you need for this class is on this page and linked off of it. Bookmark it now and return here if you get lost or confused.[1] Use the tabs above to navigate to the various sections of the syllabus.[2]

Relevant Links
For a head start on how to approach all work in this course, see “How to Do Well in My Class” and “Research & Response.”

Before you begin, take a moment and familiarize yourself with the general resources I have for students. All of these may be found in the “For Students” menu at the top of the page, or you can just begin on the student start page. These pages are designed to help you succeed in this class. While you may not read everything, you should know what’s available if you need it.

Please read this document and those it links to carefully at the beginning of the semester. There is much information to process, and it can be somewhat daunting — especially if you read cursorily. If you are confused, do your best to work through it by (re)reading this document carefully and completely, searching this site, or consulting the FAQ. I promise, there is an answer to your question. If all else fails, you may contact me. Trust yourself to follow directions and find the answers. Be careful and deliberate.

Instructor Information

Gerald R. Lucas
Office CoAS-117 (Macon campus), Department of Media, Culture & the Arts
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.

Course Information

Student Learning Outcomes

Students of any ENGL 2000-level literature survey (ENGL 2111, 2112, 2121, 2122, 2131, 2132, 2141 or 2142) will:

  • interpret and critically analyze texts (MGA General Education Learning Goal C),
  • communicate effectively, in a professional manner, in discussing or writing about works of literature in the given area/time period,
  • acquire knowledge of genres, literary and historical periods, and at least implicitly, basic approaches to literary theory,
  • engage in effective library research processes,
  • appreciate how literary works reflect the aesthetic qualities and cultural values inherent in literary works.

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. These books contain the specific translations that I will be referencing in-class and on exams, so one of the two texts above is required.[3] While readily available, 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 texts for class activities, in-class writing, and all aspects of our study. PDFs must be printed if they are used in class—this includes exams. 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.[4]

Participation / Daily Work

Regular class attendance and active participation in the classroom are required. Your daily work represents your participation, like: online discussions, training, exercises, library tasks, short writing responses, 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 count significantly. You should not sit in class like you’re watching TV: learning requires active participation and enthusiasm (see Student Behavior).

Reading quizzes and in-class assignments cannot be made up for any reason.


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.[5]

Drop Date
October 14, 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: on the successful completion of all requirements, regular participation, and positive 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.


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 08/12
08/14 Class Begins • Introduction[6]
2 08/19 Epic Poetry
08/21 Gilgamesh, chapters 1–3
3 08/26 Gilgamesh, chapters 4–7
08/28 Homer’s Iliad, book 1
4 09/02 Labor Day - No class
09/04 The Iliad, book 22
5 09/09 Homer’s Odyssey, “The Telemachiad,” books 1–4
09/11 The Odyssey, books 1–4 continued
6 09/16 The Odyssey, book 9
09/18 The Odyssey, book 10
7 09/23 The Odyssey, book 11
09/25 The Odyssey, book 12
8 09/30 In-class Midterm[7]
10/02 Midterm Week: no class today
9 10/07[8] Short Lit Crit Response on the Odyssey. No class this week: Dr. Lucas out of town.
10 10/14[9] The Odyssey, book 22
10/16 The Odyssey, book 23
11 10/21 Introduction to Tragedy; Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex
10/23 OR continued
12 10/28 OR continued
10/30 OR continued
13 11/04 Euripides’ Medea
11/06 Medea continued
14 11/11 Medea continued
11/13 Medea continued
15 11/18 Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Prologue; “Apollo and Daphne”; “Io and Jove“; “Europa and Jove”
11/20 Metamorphoses continued: “Iphis and Ianthe”; “Pygmalion”
16 11/25 Thanksgiving Holiday (No class)
17 12/02 Study Week — No classes
18 TBA Final Exam


  1. While you may certainly choose to print it—we will do our best to follow the schedule hereon—it may change during the course of the semester due to unforeseen circumstances. Should this occur, I will let you know in class and via an announcement on the class forum, but ultimately, this online document has the final say—not a printed one.
  2. You might, too, follow links by opening them in browser tabs—click the link by holding the ⌘ Command on a Mac or Ctrl on a PC—so you can easily return to where you left off.
  3. Get the cheapest one, as one is no better or worse than the other.
  4. 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.
  5. See the MGA website's Syllabus Policy Page the policies linked thereon.
  6. Be sure to order your book today.
  7. Some of these study guides and writings could help in your preparation.
  8. Midterm grades due.
  9. Drop date: last day to withdraw with a “W.”