Prof. Jeffery W. Vail
HU 101, Fall 2003
Office # 309 C; office phone 353-2856
web page: http://people.bu.edu/jwvail/index.html
Office hours: Thursday 2-4
Tutorial Friday 1-2
Traditions in the Humanities
from Ancient Greece to the Enlightenment
Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, 7th
Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, 7th edition
Adventures in the Human Spirit, by Bishop
Paradise Lost, by John Milton
Welcome to our class! This syllabus will list the readings, papers, films, and exams for the semester.
After the reading list, you will find a list of course expectations. BRING YOUR NORTON ANTHOLOGY TO ALL DISCUSSION GROUP MEETINGS.
Unit 1: Ancient Greek Literature and Art
Week 1 (9/3-9/5): Intro to course, syllabus.
· Get started on your reading for next week as soon as you can.
Week 2 (9/8-9/12): Lecture on Homer and epic poetry
· For lecture, read “Ancient Greece: The Classical Spirit” in Bishop.
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Homer’s Iliad Books I-IX
Film: Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, Tues. 9/9 or Wed. 9/10
Week 3 (9/15-9/19): Lecture on Ancient Greek cultural achievements
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Iliad Books XVI-XXII
Unit 2: Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages
Week 4 (9/22-9/26): Lecture on Roman culture
· For lecture, read “Ancient Rome: the Spirit of Empire” in Bishop.
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Ovid’s Metamorphoses (page #s to be announced.)
Film: Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, Tues. 9/23 or Wed. 9/24
Week 5 (9/29-10/3): ***NO CLASS FRIDAY***
Lecture on the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity
· For lecture, read “The Judeo-Christian Spirit” in Bishop
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Old Testament, Genesis 1-12
and Jonah; and all of the New Testament excerpts
Unit 3: The Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Week 6 (10/6-10/10): Lecture on Dante & the Middle Ages
· For lecture, read “The Late Middle Ages: The Gothic Awakening” in
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, cantos I-IX, XII-XV, XXXI-XXXIV
Film: Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, Tues. 10/7 or Wed. 10/8
Week 7 (10/13-10/17): NO CLASSES--MIDTERM EXAMS
Week 8 (10/ 20-10/24): Lecture on Renaissance in Italy
· For lecture, read “The Renaissance Spirit in Italy,” in Bishop
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read selections from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso
Week 9 (10/27-10/31): Lecture on Cervantes and Medieval Romance
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Part 1, Prologue and Chapters 1 to 52 (pp. 1964-2020)
Film: Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, Tues. 10/28 or Wed. 10/29
Week 10 (11/3-11/7): Lecture on Northern Renaissance
· For lecture, read “The Northern and Late Renaissance” in Bishop
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Part 2,
Chapters 3-74 (pp. 2020-2072)
Unit 4: The Seventeenth Century and the Enlightenment
Week 11 (11/10-11/14): Lecture on 17th Century and the English Civil War
· For lecture, read “The Spirit of Baroque” in Bishop
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Books I-IV
Film: Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, Tues. 11/11 or Wed. 11/12
Week 12 (11/17-11/21): Lecture on Satire
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read 1st half of Voltaire’s Candide
· For discussion
(THURS/FRI) read 2nd half
· For discussion (THURS/FRI) read 2nd half
Week 13 (11/24-11/28): Lecture on the Enlightenment
· For lecture, read “The Spirit of Enlightenment” in Bishop
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Gulliver’s Travels, Book III
FALL RECESS BEGINS WEDNESDAY 11/26—NO CLASSES ON
THURSDAY OR FRIDAY
Week 14 (12/1-12/5): Lecture on Swift and eighteenth-century England
· For discussion (TUESDAY), read Gulliver’s Travels, Book IV
Film: Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, Tues. 12/2 or Wed. 12/3
Week 15: (12/8-12/12): Lecture on the Late 18th Century
INSTRUCTION ENDS ON THURSDAY 12/11—NO CLASSES ON THURSDAY OR FRIDAY. FINALS BEGIN 12/15.
Paper 1, paper 2, the midterm, and the final are each worth 20% of your final grade. The other 20% is attendance + preparation + quizzes (see below).
The midterm and final will have the same format: 25% will be on my Monday lectures and your Bishop readings; 75% will be on our discussions of the Norton readings.
Attendance, Preparation, Lateness:
Students who are absent more than once without an excuse, arrive late to class, or are not
prepared will have their course grades lowered. I begin class on time and students who
are more than a minute late will be penalized unless they have a special excuse. 2
latenesses will equal 1 absence. If another class of professor routinely makes you late
for my class, then that’s not your fault—come talk to me about it as soon as possible so
that I won’t mark it against you.
20% of your final grade will be a combination of attendance, participation, and quizzes.
The attendance part of this grade will be calculated as follows: 0-1 absences=A; 2-3
absences=B; 4-5= C; 6-7=D, 8 or more=F. Any student with 10 or more absences will
automatically fail the course. If you have a serious health problem or hospitalization or
are abducted by aliens or whatever I must know IMMEDIATELY, not after you have
missed two weeks of classes. Likewise, if you know you are going to be legitimately
absent on a certain day, you MUST let me know beforehand or it will be counted as an
absence, no matter what you tell me later. Things like “I’m going to a concert”
are not legitimate absences, by the way; if you miss class for things like that you’ll just
have to take the penalty.
Notify me of any upcoming absences VIA E-MAIL ONLY. Do not tell me about it in
class, because I won’t remember.
All work that is completed out of class must be word-processed. Assigned written work must be handed in in class on its due date. Work handed in later than that (even if it is handed in later on the same day) will be penalized. ***Keep one copy of each paper that you hand in—this is a requirement.***
Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas and presenting them as if they were your own. So whether you copy out of a book or off of a web page or let another student write a paragraph for you, it is plagiarism and will be considered so. Anyone who plagiarizes anything will fail the assignment and suffer academic probation, or worse.
One grade off per day late, unless I have a legitimate, written excuse (like a doctor’s note, for instance).