World Literature 1, Spring 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas
Revision as of 07:11, 26 December 2018 by Grlucas (talk | contribs) (Tweaked.)
20866 ENGL 2111.11 TR 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 TBA
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. Whichever you choose, your book should always accompany you to class, as we will make heavy use of it 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.

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. You should not sit in class like you’re watching TV: learning requires active participation and enthusiasm.

All other materials, like cell phones, food, magazines, headphones, etc., should be left in your car. They are not needed for our class and should, therefore, not accompany you. I understand our contemporary need to be in contact with everyone all the time, but I cannot let this personal need distract the class. Therefore: cell phones should be put on vibrate or preferably turned off and put in your bag for the duration of class. In addition, I do not allow class discussions to be taped, so do not bring any voice recording devices into the classroom.

Please eat meals and snacks before or after class; while a drink is fine, please do not eat in class.

Finally, since class lecture and discussion will often touch on the controversial, this college classroom is not an appropriate place for children. Please leave them at home.


ENGL 2111 is composed of the following components:

Exams (50%)

Students' knowledge of the course texts and lecture materials will be tested with a midterm and a final exam. We will discuss the particulars of these exams as the time approaches. 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. Here’s my usual statement about this exam:

A cumulative midterm and final 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 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.

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 (50%)

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.


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: March 6, 2019. After midterm, students who withdraw will receive a grade of “WF.” Students are encouraged to read the withdrawal policy before dropping/withdrawing from class.



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.


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.


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 »


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 »


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 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.

1 01/07
01/09 Class Begins • Introduction
2 01/14 Gilgamesh
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[1] 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. Midterm Grades Due