Spring 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Cheney, Adam
Discipline and Number
LIT 2331 Section 001
MWF Time 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
Course Title
Masterpieces of World Literature

Description of Course:

Every culture tells stories, and each has its own myths, fairytales, and legends that help give order and meaning to people's lives, help express values of a particular time and place, and work to act as a repository for memories--all qualities which the poet Horace claims work toward the instruction of the reader. Yet Horace asserts that stories should provide the reader pleasure as well. In this course we will examine what it means for a story to provide instruction and pleasure, or in other words to enlighten as it entertains, and we will investigate how emphasizing one of these qualities at the expense of the other affects story-telling and the reader.

In this course, we will investigate how story-telling works, how we make judgments about what makes a story good or bad, and how different kinds of stories affect our understanding of and participation in the human experience. We will read myths, fairytales, folktales, legends, and fables from a variety of cultures. We will examine how these story types have evolved from their earliest types into the multiple genres and mediums of the present day.

Required Texts:

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 3rd edition. Novato, California: New World Library, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1577315933

Hallett, Martil and Barbara Karasek, eds. Folk and Fairy Tales, fourth edition: An Introductory Anthology. Calgary: Broadview Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1551118987

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. Reprint edition. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2011.

Puchner, Martin, ed. Norton Anthology of Western Literature. Vol 1. 9th edition. New York: Norton, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0393933642

Access to eLearning for supplementary materials.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Participation, Quizzes, Midterm, Final Paper/Project of 6-8 pages.

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