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EH 250: Honors World Literature I


Honors World Literature I


EH 250 aims to expose you to the literature from the writings of ancient culture to the eighteenth century. For this Honors Seminar, we will focus primarily on Western and Islamic literature. As an Honors Seminar this course will also focus on literary analysis and written argument, asking you to compose three substantial essays in which you engage critically with our course texts. Rather than immersing ourselves in hundreds of excerpts of works in an anthology, we will look primarily at six representative texts spanning nearly two thousand years of literary history. We will also look at textual analogues and textual progenies, at contextual readings and scholarly essays by critics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


Course Syllabus

Course Assignments

Course Links

Course Notes



Calendar

Texts

BW= Beowulf

OT= Oedipus Tyrannus

M= The Metamorphoses

TC= Troilus and Criseyde

G= The Epic of Gilgamesh

AN= The Arabian Nights

 

Date      In-class activity (homework [HW] listed below date)

Aug. 22 Review syllabus, dates, books

 

Aug. 24 Anglo-Saxon England, “Caedmon’s Hymn

HW: Read BW pp.138-141 “The Wanderer”, pp. 146-148“The Ruin”, pp. 163-166 “The Fortunes of Men,” and (handout) “Dream of the Rood”

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Aug. 27 “Dream of the Rood”, “The Wanderer,” “The Ruin,” and “The Fortunes of Men”

HW: Read BW Beowulf poem lines 1-870; pp. 91-95 excerpts from The Bible and Tacitus

 

Aug. 29 Beowulf

HW: Read BW poem (lines 870-1456) and pp. 126-128 “The Manuscript Context”, pp. 183-191 “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle excerpts and Anglo-Saxon Law excerpts”

 

Aug. 31 Beowulf

Hw: Read BW finish poem; pp. 200-216 “From Grettir’s Saga

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Sept. 3 No class-Labor Day

 

Sept. 5 Beowulf

HW: Read BW pp. 192-196 “Old English Religious Prose”, pp. 217-227 “Old Norse Prose excerpts”

 

Sept. 7 finish Beowulf discussion

HW: complete Reading Response Essay; Read OT pp. 35-52 “Passages from Ancient Authors”  and “Religion and Psychology: Some Studies”

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Sept 10 Reading Response Essay Due, Ancient Authors

HW: Read OT text of Oedipus Tyrranus

 

Sept. 12 Oedipus Tyrranus

HW: Read OT pp. 75-82 “Aristotle’s Poetics excerpts” and pp. 135-136 “Nietzsche” and pp. 178-187 “Oedipus and the Absurd Life” and “The Tragic Rhythm of Action”

 

Sept. 14 Oedipus Tyrranus

HW: Read OT pp. 191-204 “The Innocence of Oedipus”

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Sept. 17 finish Oedipus Tyrranus discussion

HW: Read M pp. 439-467 Ovid “Contexts”

 

Sept. 19 introduce Ovid and his literary contexts

HW: Read M Book I: The Shaping of Changes

 

Sept. 21 Ovid’s Metamorphoses

HW: Complete First Essay; begin reading M Book VI: “Of Praise and Punishment”

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Sept. 24 ; Ovid’s Metamorphoses

HW: Read M Book VIII: “Impious Acts and Exemplary Lives”

 

Sept. 26 Ovid’s Metamorphoses

HW: Read M Book X: “The Songs of Orpheus”

 

Sept. 28 Ovid’s Metamorphoses

HW: Finish Essay 1

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Oct. 1 First Essay Due; Ovid’s Metamorphoses

 

Oct. 3-5 no class

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Oct. 8 film The Seventh Seal

 

Oct. 10 film cont. The Seventh Seal

HW: Read Boccaccio’s Prologue to the Decameron

 

Oct. 12 Italian Renaissance and Plague

HW: Read Petrarch excerpts (ANGEL); Boethius excerpt (ANGEL); Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato “Prefatory Letter” (ANGEL)

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Oct. 15 Chaucer and the Troilus

HW: Read TC Books

 

Oct. 17 Troilus and Criseyde

HW: Read TC Book II

 

Oct. 19 Troilus and Criseyde

HW: Read TC Book III

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Oct. 22 Troilus and Criseyde

HW: Read and comment on Sample Essay

 

Oct. 24 Essay evaluations

HW: Read TC Book IV


Oct. 26 Troilus and Criseyde

HW: Read TC Book V

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Oct. 29  finish Troilus and Criseyde

HW: Read G pp. 3-37 (Tablets I-IV)

 

Oct. 31 Gilgamesh

HW: Read G 38-60 (Tablets V-VII)

 

Nov. 2 Gilgamesh

HW: Read G 61-83 (Tablets VIII-X)

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Nov. 5 Second Essay Due; Gilgamesh

HW: Finish G text (Tablet XI)


Nov. 7 Gilgamesh

Hw: Read Genesis Chapters 1 and 11, 6-9 and Koran Suras 1-2, 71

 

Nov. 9 Bible and Koran on Language

HW:  Read AN “Prologue” to “Merchant and the Demon” (p. 23)

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Nov. 12 Arabian Nights

HW:  Read AN “First Old Man’s Tale” to “Fisherman and the Demon” (p. 36)

 

Nov. 14 Arabian Nights

HW:  Read AN “Tale of King Yunan” to “Husband and the Parrot” (p. 42); ; pp. 426-433 (“A Thousand and One Nights in European Culture”)

 

Nov. 16 Arabian Nights and translation

HW: Read AN “The Story of the Three Apples” and “The Story of the Hunchback”

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Nov. 19 Arabian Nights

HW: Read AN pp. 356-372 (Poe’s “The Thousand and Second Tale”)

 

Nov. 21-23 No class

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Nov. 26 Arabian Nights in America

HW: Read AN “The Story of Sinbad the Sailor” pp. 303-316

 

Nov. 28 “Sinbad the Sailor”

HW: Read AN “The Story of Sinbad the Sailor” pp. 316 -332

 

Nov. 30 Sinbad the Sailor”

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Dec. 3 Exam review, wrap-up

 

Dec. 5 Final Paper Due

 

Dec. 12 11:30am-2pm Final Exam



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