English 107: Reinterpreting Ancient World Literature for Modern Times
In this survey course we will be exploring the oral literary traditions from three ancient and early medieval cultures: Greece, India, and the Middle East. We will examine each of our assigned texts through three critical lenses:
a) debating the kinds of values that these foundational works were meant to instill in their immediate audiences;
b) mapping the changing modes and media of their transmissions;
and c) the politics of their modern-day translations and trans-media interpretations.
The course will focus primarily on the interaction of texts and histories. We will examine what makes certain texts qualify as “World Literature,” with an eye on the multilingual and multicultural evolution of the terms “text” and “context.” We will think about these questions in relation to literary history, intellectual and aesthetic history, political history, and the history of different cultural formations and categories such as gender, race, sexuality, psychology, and religion.
In this class, you will develop the ability to appreciate and analyze literary texts from a variety of cultural and linguistic traditions in the ancient world. You will be asked to demonstrate this ability in both written and spoken foundational texts from three ancient and very different cultures, will boost your “intercultural competence.”
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Multicultural, International Cultures (IC) courses study world cultures in critical perspective. They either treat an international culture in view of the issues raised in AC and IP courses (i.e., race and ethnicity, pluralism and mono-culturalism, prejudice and tolerance) or they analyze worldviews that differ substantially from those that prevail in the present-day United States.
Global Perspectives courses study world cultures in critical perspective, or analyze worldviews that differ substantially from those that prevail in the present-day United States.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.