Sunteți pe pagina 1din 5

LIT 2331: Masterpieces of World Literature

Course Syllabus Fall 2011 Section 501 T 7:00 pm - 9:45 pm Class location: SLC 1.202A

Kyle Simmons Email: Office Number: TBD Office Hours: TBD Office Phone: TBD

NOTE: All matters associated with this course are subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Any and all changes will be communicated to students in writing and/or by email and/or on eLearning.

Course Description

Literature reflects human ideas, languages, and culture in the medium of writing. Literature is more than a story told for entertainment purposes, or a tale to teach a moral lesson, and it is much more than fiction, as the thoughts and beliefs, as well as the hopes and fears, of a culture are wrapped up in its Literature. Theology, history, philosophy, mythology, politics, social relations, scientific investigations, art, music, drama, poetry, songs (in other words: that which makes us Human) are all contained within the pages of Literature. This course will examine the Literature of numerous cultures and various historical epochs, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, India, Japan, and Renaissance Europe. We will also explore foundational religious texts, including excerpts from The Old and New Testaments, as well as the Koran. This course will demand an open mind and a willingness to hear ideas that are sometimes foreign and antithetical to your own beliefs, which of course is the greatest gift that the written word preserves: the human spirit in all of its differing voices.

Student Learning Objectives

Develop and employ analytical thinking, writing, and reading all of its differing voices. Student Learning Objectives Explore and examine various world belief systems

Explore and examine various world belief systems and cultures via the readings from various literatures spanning two millennia and analytical discussions of these readings in-class and in the writing of four essays.and employ analytical thinking, writing, and reading skills. Contemplate and consider literatures within the context of

Contemplate and consider literatures within the context of their own era, as well as applying the ideas of the past to those of the present, through the application of literary terminology via classroom discussions, writing assignments, and quizzes.these readings in-class and in the writing of four essays. Required Texts Barnet, Sylvan and William

Required Texts

Barnet, Sylvan and William Cain. A Short Guide to Writing About Literature. Eleventh Edition. (ISBN 978-0205602957) A Short Guide to Writing About Literature. Eleventh Edition. (ISBN 978-0205602957)

Lawall, Sarah. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Package 1 (Volumes A, B, C): The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Package 1 (Volumes A, B, C):

Beginnings to 1650. (ISBN 978-0-393-92453-4)

Fall 2011 Assignments and Academic Calendar

WEEK ONE: 8/30/11

Introduction to the Course, discuss syllabus, watch “The Power of

Myth” PART ONE, discussion and application of ideas from “The Power of Myth” to recent films and literature.

WEEK TWO: 9/6/11

Reading Quiz #1. Watch “The Power of Myth” PART TWO (in-class)

and discuss. The Invention of Writing and the Earliest Literatures: Gilgamesh, Ancient Egyptian Poetry, and The Bible: The Old Testament.

WEEK THREE: 9/13/11

Reading Quiz #2. Ancient Greece and the Formation of the Western

Mind: The Odyssey (Books 1-12).

WEEK FOUR: 9/20/11

Reading Quiz #3. Ancient Greece and the Formation of the Western

Mind: The Odyssey (Books 13-24).


WEEK FIVE: 9/27/11

Reading Quiz #4. Ancient Greece and the Formation of the Western

Mind: Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” and “Antigone,” Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates” and Aristotle’s “Poetics.”

WEEK SIX: 10/4/11

Reading Quiz #5. Watch “The Power of Myth” PART THREE (in-class)

and discuss. Poetry and Thought in Early China: “Classic of Poetry,” Confucius, Chuang Chou, and Ssu-Ma Ch’ien.

WEEK SEVEN: 10/11/11

Reading Quiz #6. India’s Heroic Age: The Mahabharata, The Jataka,

The Bhagavad-Gita, and The Tamil Anthologies.

WEEK EIGHT: 10/18/11

Reading Quiz #7. The Roman Empire: Catullus, Virgil’s “The

Aeneid” (Books I, IV, & VI), Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (Books I, II, V, & IX). From Roman Empire to Christian Europe: The Bible: The New Testament and Augustine’s “Confessions.”


WEEK NINE: 10/25/11

Reading Quiz #8. Watch “The Power of Myth” PART FOUR (in-

class) and discuss. India’s Classical Age: Kalidasa’s “Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection.” China’s Middle Period: T’ao Ch’ien, T’ang Poetry: Wang Wei, Han Shan, Li Po, Tu Fu, Li Ho, Po Chu-I, Yuan Chen, Li Ch’ing-Chao.

WEEK TEN: 11/1/11

Reading Quiz #9. The Rise of Islam and Islamic Literature: The Koran,

Abolqasem Ferdowsi’s “Shahname,” Rumi, and “The Thousand and One Nights” (Prologue through The Eighth Night).

WEEK ELEVEN: 11/8/11

Reading Quiz #10. Watch “The Power of Myth” PART FIVE (in-

class) and discuss. The Formation of a Western Literature: “Beowulf,” Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” (General Prologue and The Miller’s Tale), and “Everyman.”

WEEK TWELVE: 11/15/11

Reading Quiz #11. The Golden Age of Japanese Culture: The

Man’YoShu, The Kokinshu, Sei Shonagon’s “The Pillow Book,” “The Tale of the Heike,”

and Kenko’s “Essays in Idleness.”



Reading Quiz #12. The Renaissance in Europe: Francis Petrarch,

Erasmus’ “The Praise of Folly,” Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Rabelais’ “Gargantua and Pantagruel, Montaigne’s “Essays” (Of the Power of the Imagination & Of Cannibals).


Reading Quiz #13. Watch “The Power of Myth” PART SIX

(in-class) and discuss. Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” (Part I & II).


WEEK SIXTEEN: 12/13/11


Reading Quiz #14. Last Class Meeting, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”


Weekly Reading Quizzes (Best 10 of 14)


Essay #1: Due 9/27/11


Essay #2: Due 10/25/11


Essay #3: Due 11/22/11


Essay #4: Due 12/13/11








(I will make use of the +/- system in grading as stipulated by The University of Texas at Dallas Undergraduate Catalogue, 2010-2012.)

Course Policies

Attendance Attendance in this course is mandatory. Each class period consists of a mixture of weekly quizzes, class discussions, and lectures; thus thoughtful, attentive, and active attendance is essential to academic success. If you sleep, engage in non-class-related activities, interfere with your classmates' ability to learn, or leave class early, you will be counted absent for that day. Please be on time - class starts promptly.

NOTE: This class only meets once a week hence each class meeting is equivalent to two classes for a course that meets twice a week and three classes for a MWF course format. Please keep this class time in mind when making any plans this semester, as this course is a dedicated time commitment that you have already selected. If you miss a class, refer to this syllabus for any and all class assignments and readings (you should also keep up with the readings if you miss class). Each absence will adversely affect your attendance, participation, and weekly quiz grades; three absences (which constitutes 20% of the semester) will likely result in a non-passing course grade.

Punctuality Persistent tardiness to class is disrespectful to both your instructor and your peers. Continually arriving late to class will affect your participation grade in the course, plus arriving late to class is likely to affect your weekly quiz score, as the quizzes will be given at the beginning of each class meeting.

Class Participation Your success in this course is a function of your level of engagement. The quality of your remarks will be more important to course success than the quantity of remarks. Please use thoughtful analysis of the content and context of readings when responding orally in class; respectfully acknowledge and respond to points made by peers during all discussions; and always be prepared to back up any points you make with examples and quotes from our shared readings. It is crucial to your grade in this course that you demonstrate the completion of ALL readings for EACH class meeting. Note that weekly quizzes and in-class discussions of the texts are dependent upon reading assignments, as are the four (4) required essays.

Participation in this course does not include doing work unrelated to this course during class, sleeping in class, or using computers or other personal electronic devices, as they are distracting to everyone involved. Please turn off all cell phones and other personal communication devices before the start of class and do not use such devices during class.

Personal Electronics:

The use of laptop computers, tablet computers, mp3 players, cell phones, and all other personal electronics is prohibited in this course, unless a student has documentation from The Office of Student Access Ability. Students granted exemptions from the personal electronics policy will be seated in the front row of the classroom. Any non-class related use of personal electronics in the classroom will result in a revocation of exemption, and the immediate confiscation of the device. Confiscated devices will be returned at the end of the class period. Repeat offenses will result in a failing grade in the course.

Audio and Video Recording/Intellectual Property:

Audio or video recording of class lectures and other activities without the express written permission of the professor is strictly prohibited. Students with documented accommodations from The Office of Student Access Ability also require written permission from the professor. Additionally, while you are encouraged to take hand-written notes during class, these notes

reflect the intellectual work and property of the professor and may only be used for the notetaker’s personal academic use. Notes may be shared with enrolled members of the class, but may not be distributed outside of the classroom community without the professor’s express written permission. Notes (and/or approved or illicit audio and/or video recordings) may not be posted online or distributed to free or for-profit entities outside of the classroom community. Violation of this policy may result in a failing grade in the class and expose the student to potential legal action.

Late Work Late Essays will not be accepted and Quizzes may not be taken at a later date. Essays submitted after the due date will receive a grade of zero. Quizzes not taken when scheduled will receive a grade of zero.

Written Assignments There are four (4) Essays required in this course: each should be typed, double-spaced, 10-12

point font (Times New Roman), and printed in black ink. Each essay is to be 4-5 pages in length

and should be in MLA format (one-inch margins, appropriate pagination, etc.)

unsure about MLA format, please refer to A Short Guide to Writing About Literature or on-line for multiple resources.

If you are

The quality of your effort and insight in these essays (as well as the readings) is far more important to a successful essay than an exact word count (hence if you are a little short or long in your writing it will be the quality of your work that matters most when it comes to evaluation). Clarity of communication, logical analysis, and supporting evidence/quotes from the work is essential to the success of your essay writing.

The four (4) Essay assignments for this class will utilize various approaches to writing about Literature, as outlined and presented in A Short Guide to Writing About Literature, as well as from concepts presented/discussed in-class. These essays are not intended to be research projects, nor the contextualization of secondary source materials with our assigned readings; instead these essays are your opportunity to discuss your insights and interactions with the texts themselves, revealing your working understanding of literary terms. In each essay you will analyze a reading that interests you in relationship to the literary terms and concepts presented and discussed in-class. In other words, you will apply literary terms to the text and support how you understand the application of the terms, by using supporting quotes and details from the readings. You need to explain what you are seeing in the text and why you are seeing it that way; this may be accomplished by presenting how you understand the operation of concepts like plot, protagonist, symbol, irony, archetype, conflict, metaphor, story structure, theme, voice, narrative, etc. Additional directions & discussions about each essay assignment will be provided.

University Policies

In an effort go green (by cutting back on photocopying) University Policies can now be viewed at the following URL: