Spring 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Western Literary Tradition is designed to introduce students to some major texts of the western canon and to explore the continuities that make a tradition. We will read works from the ancient, the medieval, and the early modern periods. Our focus will be twofold: first, what does this literary work tell us about its culture? How does it reflect and shape the values, beliefs, and customs of its time? Second, what are the text's qualities as a "poiesis" or "made thing"? What characterizes its language? What literary conventions does it utilize? How does it adapt and alter the literary tradition?
Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays, trans. Fagles (Penguin Classics)
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, trans. Vellacott (Penguin Classics)
Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Fagles (Penguin Classics)
Dante, The Inferno, trans. Pinsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. Kerrigan (Modern Library)
Goethe, Faust, Part One, trans. Luke (Oxford)
Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin Classics)
Note: It is essential to use the designated translations.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Regular class participation, 25%
Weekly quizzes, 25%
Formal writing: a reading journal and a series of papers on a text of your choosing (subject to faculty approval), 50%