Survey of Literary History – ENGL 300

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A survey of selected world masterpieces from ancient times to the present.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

In Romans 1:19–20, Paul establishes the theological basis for St. Augustine’s claim that “all truth is God’s truth.” Since all human beings are made in the image of God, “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Although such “general revelation” is not sufficient for salvation, it does explain why all ancient cultures have laid claim to fragments of truth and understanding about the human condition, often expressing those insights powerfully in their artistic and literary productions. This course will aim to explore texts from the earliest Greek epics to 20th century world literature.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the major characteristics of applicable historical/literary periods, genres, and traditions and to locate specific world literature texts within those periods, genres and traditions
  2. Situate key authors and literary works from antiquity to the present within their historical and cultural contexts and compare works from different cultural traditions and historical eras in terms of genre, style, and content or theme
  3. Demonstrate skills in close reading and analysis of world literature texts in a variety of periods, genres, and traditions
  4. Integrate a Christian worldview with the practice of literary reading and interpretation of world literature

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (8)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300–400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–200 words.

Dialogue Essay

Imagine that any 3 characters from our reading during the first half of the term (one character from each work) are sharing a meal together. Re-create in the form of a dialogue in which they exchange ideas. A strong dialogue will ensure that the characters truly listen to each other and respond accordingly. It will also include their varying ideas on such topics as authority, societal expectations and roles, and personal concerns (i.e. power, family, individual identity) as well as appropriate quotes from the text to support ideas. No need for a formal thesis statement or introduction with this essay, as the entire piece will be a creative dialogue, written like a play. Just launch right into the conversation between the three characters. These papers should be between 1,000–1,500 words in length (3–4 double-spaced pages) and should use no outside sources. Ensure that you cite textual detail from the stories using appropriate MLA format and that you include a properly formatted Works Cited page at the end of your essay.

Research Paper

The student will select 1 work which we have covered this semester and write a 1,500–2,000-word (4–6 double-spaced pages) research paper exploring the ways in which an understanding of the culture that produced the work informs a clearer interpretation of a particular theme. Some examples of such themes might include attitudes toward nature, death, social class, gender, or the inevitability of religious conflict. The student must integrate at least 4 different, credible, scholarly sources (in addition to your primary text) cited according to appropriate MLA formatting standards and including a properly formatted Works Cited page at the end. The paper must be thesis-driven, making a coherent and original argument regarding the chosen work.

Quizzes

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain 5–10 short answer, true/false, and multiple-choice questions based on the reading and contextual information for that week. Each quiz will have a 20-minute time limit.