World Literature

Course Readings

  • Genesis Chs 1-3
  • Paradise Lost, books 1 and 9
  • Film Troy
  • The Odyssey, books 1, 9, 11, 21, 29
  • Film 300
  • Hamlet
  • Film The Banquet
  • Selection of Romantic Poetry
  • Frankenstein
  • Selection of short stories
  • Selection of folk tales
  • Selection of Angela Carter stories

Course Description

Readings in world literatures from ancient times to the present. Emphasis will be placed upon cultural diversity, selected themes, and literary genres. Development of aesthetic and ethical values and critical reading, thinking and writing.

Course Introduction

Civilization is a complex social formation in which people and people groups join together for a common good, namely self-preservation and perpetuation. A civilization is generally comprised of various human systems and institutions: economic, political, educational, religious, familial, martial, and artistic. But what makes a civilization great? What makes it enduring? What holds its people together? Culture. What is a primary means by which this culture develops, is codified, and then passed on? Storytelling. Civilizations are grand communities of people, usually of a common ethnicity but also including other minority groups, all held together by communication. The histories, concepts, ideas, beliefs, and expressions of this grand community are contained within its greatest literary works. In this class, we will survey some examples of great literature that was produced by great civilizations, which the literature also helped shape.