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Thomas J. Farrell's Homepage
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Cultural Studies 1004: From Classical Antiquity to Medieval Culture

Instructor: Professor Thomas Farrell (e-mail address: <>)

Office: H437 (enter through H420)

Office Hours: TBA; and by appointment.

Office Tel.: 726-7292 (please leave a message)

Home Tel.: 525-1940

Liberal Education Program. From Classical Antiquity to Medieval Culture is a course in the Liberal Education Program in Category 7. In general, courses in the Liberal Education Program are intended to add breadth to your education. More specifically, they are intended to promote certain educational objectives: (a) to encourage you to think critically about significant ideas; (b) to provide experience in learning analytic methods of interpretation and criticism; (c) to provide an awareness of historical intellectual traditions; and (d) to provide practice in written communication. This course in particular, CSt 1004, does deal with significant ideas, the critical methods for studying ancient texts, and the historical and cultural context of various texts. In addition, this course provides students with practice in written communication through essay exams.

Student Accommodation: Students needing special accommodation are to see the instructor about this at the beginning of the semester. Test accommodation and other special services are to be requested through the Access Center.

Required Texts:

(1) The Norton Anthology of Western Literature: Volume One (8th ed.). Abbreviated below as Norton.

(2) Sources of the Western Tradition: Volume One (6th ed.). Abbreviated below as Sources.

Bring both textbooks to class each day, unless I tell you that we will be using only one of them on a given class day.

Components of the Final Grade:

There will be three essay exams:

First mid-term exam: TBA (25% of final grade)

Second mid-term exam: TBA (25% of final grade)

Final exam: TBA (50% of final grade)

Blue books will be supplied. These will be open-book exams, and you may use not only the textbooks but also your classnotes. You are responsible not only for the reading assignments in the textbook but also for the instructor's presentations and for the films. The final exam will be a cumulative exam.

Attendance Policy

The students are expected to attend every class session and be present at the scheduled final exam time. When students happen to miss a class, they are responsible for keeping up with the class. The absent student is expected to find out and keep up with new assignments for the next class, either by contacting the instructor or a classmate.

All students are expected to be present at the scheduled beginning of the class period and to be present during the entire class period until the class is dismissed. A student who arrives late for class or who leaves early will be counted absent unless excused in advance by the instructor. If a student is marked absent from three regular class sessions, this will be grounds for failing the student in this course. Should illness lead to a third absence, the student will be expected to present a doctor's statement that he or she was unable to attend class because of illness. If something else should come up that would prevent a student from attending class and it would be the student's third absence, the student is expected to contact the teacher before the class meeting to discuss the situation.

Class Decorum

You are expected to maintain a certain level of decorum in class. You are expected to listen when someone else is speaking, and you are expected to raise your hand and wait until you are called upon by the instructor before speaking out. Only one person should be speaking at a time. You should not speak out unless the instructor calls upon you to speak. When you do speak in class, you are expected to maintain an appropriate level of expression and respect in the things that you say.

You are not to be eating food during class meetings. Please do not bring food with you to class. You may bring drinks to class provided that they can be opened and closed. In other words, no pop-top cans.

Take Notes

(i) Out-of-class note-taking. When you read the assigned selections, you should mark passages that strike you as significant. In addition, you might want to add notes in the margin to guide your attention back to certain points or to certain characters mentioned in the readings, and you might want to write out notes in a notebook highlighting the selection.

(ii) In-class note-taking. You should bring the appropriate book or books with you for each class. You should also bring a notebook with you and take notes in class. You should put the date of each class meeting at the beginning of your notes for that class period. When we go over selections in class, you should mark the passages that we go over, and you should take notes in a notebook concerning those passages (and be sure to key your notes to the page of each selection that we are going over by recording the page in your notes). In addition, you should take notes on any presentation that I make in class, and you should also take notes on the films that we watch in class. From time to time, I will discuss note-taking and try to indicate to you how to proceed to take notes during class.

TENTATIVE Schedule for CSt 1004

Week 1:

Take roll.

Introductory lecture.

Week 2:

Norton : Selections from Homer, The Iliad, pp. 100-205.

Sources : "Homer: The Educator of Greece," pp. 48.

Sources : “Humanism,” pp. 57-58.

Week 3:

Norton : Selections from Homer, The Iliad, pp. 100-205 (continued).

Sources : "The Expansion of Reason," pp. 53-57.

Week 4:

Norton : Aeschylus, The Oresteia, pp. 502-606.

Sources : "The Persian Wars," pp. 58-61.

Week 5:

Norton : Sophocles, Oedipus the King, pp. 607-652.

Sources : "Athenian Greatness," pp. 66-68.

First mid-term exam (25% of final grade).

Week 6:

Norton : Plato, The Apology of Socrates, pp. 756-779.

Sources : "Plato: The Philosopher-King," pp. 81-87.

Sources : "Greek Culture and the Jews in the Hellenistic Age," pp. 95-99.

Week 7:

Sources : "The Roman Republic," chapter 4, pp. 100-107.

Sources : "The Decline of the Republic," pp. 119-123.

Sources : "The Roman Empire,” chapter 5, pp. 124-129.

Week 8 (the end of Week 8 is the last day for dropping a course without penalty):

Norton : Selections from Virgil, The Aeneid, pp. 926-1023.

Sources : "The Roman Peace," pp. 143-148.

Week 9:

Norton : Selections from St. Augustine, Confessions, pp. 1113-1141.

Sources : "Monastic Life," pp. 168-174.

Sources : "The Christian World-View," pp. 185-188.

Week 10:

Norton : Beowulf, pp. 1174-1247.

Sources : "Converting the Germanic Peoples to Christianity," pp. 201-204.

Sources : “Islam” (headnote) and Muhammad (headnote), pp. 195-196.

Second mid-term exam (25% of final grade).

Week 11:

Norton : Selections from Dante, The Divine Comedy, pp. 1456-1597.

The Inferno : Cantos 1-8 (pp. 1465-1490); Cantos 12-13 (pp. 1499-1506); and Cantos 32-34 (pp. 1566-1576).

The Purgatorio : Canto 30 (pp. 1592-1594).

The Paradiso : Canto 33 (pp. 1594-1597).

Sources : "The First Crusade," pp. 226-230.

Sources : “Massacre of the Jews of Mainz,” pp. 241-242.

Week 12:

Norton : Selections from Dante, The Divine Comedy, pp. 1456-1597 (continued).

Sources : "The Medieval World-View," pp. 267-269.

Handout: “How Islam Won, and Lost, the Lead in Science.”

Week 13:

Norton : Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, pp. 1642-1695.

Sources : "Medieval Contributions to the Tradition of Liberty," pp. 255-258.

Week 14:

Norton : Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, pp. 1696-1769.

Sources : "The Fourteenth-Century: The Black Death," pp. 258-261.

Week 15:

Norton : Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, pp. 1696-1769 (continued).

Review for the final exam.

Final Exam Period: TBA (50% of final grade).