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Instructor Class Description

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Rene J Boullet
ENGL 111
Seattle Campus

Composition: Literature

Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

Greek Mythology in Modern Literature and Thought – ENGL 111J Spring 2012

-With the triumph of the new gods, spirit’s mastery of the titanic powers of the natural world is virtually complete. The Titans are returned to the depths of the earth out of which they came or are sent to brood in banishment on the dark edges of the bright inhabitable world.- – G.W.F. Hegel, 1820-21

The questions that will animate this course arise out of the curiously modern (18th – 20th Centuries) efforts to rejuvenate and re-appropriate the literature, mythology, and art of Classical Greece (5th Century B.C.E.) for thinking today. The heritage of Classical Greece is so fundamental to the formulation of Western culture – it proves pivotal to our modern and contemporary notions of art, mind and body, law, family, death, grief, fate and freedom – that its art and literature, specifically Tragedy, has a special significance for the cultural questions of the present age.

This course will follow a rigorous series of readings from the 5th Century B.C.E. to the 20th Century. The material we consider will not be limited to literature but art and philosophy as well. Reading selections will include but not be limited to Aeschylus’ Oresteia, selections from Euripides, Goethe, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. In conjunction with these authors will also examine art and architecture from the Parthenon of Athens, the Pergamon Altar, to Franz Stuck and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

As this is a composition course we will be learning and developing college-level writing skills. Critical analysis will be our primary tool for both the course reading and writing assignments. This will be a rigorous and fast-paced course as we will begin in Classical antiquity and continue through to modernity in a ten-week period. Overall, you will be expected to write approximately six short 2-4 page papers and two longer 6-8 page papers. After a selective revision process of at least 4 of the 6 short papers and 1 of the longer papers you will be asked to compile a final writing portfolio that reflects the learning goals and outcomes of the course.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Rene J Boullet
Date: 02/23/2012