Effective Date of this Description/Syllabus: Spring 2019

Prepared by: Dr. Rhonda Wilcox

Office: Honors House 104

Phone: (678) 359-5296

email: rhonda_w@gordonstate.edu

Office hours: T 11:00-12:20, 2:00-3:15, 5:00-5:30;

W 11:00-12:20, 4:30-5:30; R 11:-12:20, 2:00-3:15





Course Designation: English 2111H

Course Title: World Literature I

Class hours per week: 3

Credit hours: 3

Division offering course: Humanities

Prerequisite for the course: A grade of B or better in English 1101 and English 1102 or permission of Honors Coordinator or Chair of the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts.


Course description for college bulletin: A survey of important works of world literature from ancient times to the seventeenth century with special emphasis on translation, both linguistic and cultural.


Teacher’s Course objectives:

To acquaint students with seminal works of world literature and the cultural milieux in which they were produced;

To give students a background for appreciating the values and concerns of modern literature by studying the traditions which preceded it;

To awaken in students an interest in literatures and cultures different from their own and an awareness of literary/cultural richness and diversity; in short—

To have fun.


Honors Objectives for World Literature I:

To acquaint students with the implications of translation from one language to another;

To acquaint students with the implications of translation from one culture to another;

To acquaint students with the implications of translation from one time to another.


Humanities Department Literature Course Objectives


Course Objectives: Upon completion of ENGL 2111, World Literature I, the student will have:

        gained awareness of major writers and literary periods in the canon of world literature;

        demonstrated competence in literary analysis;

        demonstrated an understanding of fundamental literary and critical terminology;

        developed an awareness of aesthetic experiences as a dimension of life by demonstrating competence in literary studies.


            ADA and 504

            If you have a documented disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and/or physical accessibility.  The Counseling and Accessibility Services office located in the Student Center, Room 212 can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GSC programs and facilities.  Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements.  For documentation requirements and for additional information, contact Counseling and Accessibility Services at 678-359-5585. 

            Title IX

            Gordon State College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.  If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone. All faculty members at Gordon State College are mandated reporters.  Any student reporting any type of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking must be made aware that any report made to a faculty member under the provisions of Title IX will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.  If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, you must contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services office, Room 212, Student Life Center.  The licensed counselors in the Counseling Office are able to provide confidential support.

            Gordon State College does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions.  Students seeking accommodations on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services regarding the process of documenting pregnancy related issues and being approved for accommodations, including pregnancy related absences as defined under Title IX.

            Religious Holidays: Gordon State College acknowledges that the academic calendar can sometimes conflict with major holidays from among our diverse religious traditions.  If a student must miss class due to the observance of a religious holiday, that absence may be excused.  To be excused, the student must inform his/her instructors before the absence and make alternate arrangements for any work due at the time of the absence.  An excused absence for the observance of a religious holiday does not excuse a student from responsibility for required course work. If you are going to be absent for a religious holiday, tell me by the end of week 2.


Course Content:

The course plan is to focus on the following works/authors; others may also be assigned:

Gilgamesh; the Hebrew Bible; Homer; Sappho of Lesbos; Sophocles; Confucius; the Bhaghavad Gita; Virgil; Ovid; the Qur’an; Marie de France; Lady Murasaki; Dante; The Thousand and One Nights; Cervantes; Shakespeare; and others. We will be reading world-famous stories, poems, and plays. People have enjoyed them for centuries. However, if you do not budget enough time for your reading, you may start to view them as a burden rather than a pleasure. Instead, expect to take a great deal of time—then relax and enjoy yourself. The best pleasures cannot be hurried.


Required Text: The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Shorter Third Edition, Vol. 1, edited by Martin Puchner, et al. Norton, 2013. Print.     ISBN 0-393-91960-8


Grading:              Class participation/pop quizzes:                                 15%

First Paper:                                                           15%

Second Paper:                                                      20%

Midterm Exam:                                                    25%

Final Exam:                                                          25%

Standards: A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69;(B+=88; B=85; B-=82, etc.)

Your failure to do any assignment listed above (except a limited number of pop quizzes) will result in your failing the course. If you believe you have a good reason for being excused from a pop quiz or other in-class work, discuss it with me promptly; I will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to keep the zero, excuse the quiz, or give a make-up with or without grade penalty.

Your first paper should compare and contrast two different translations of a short work of literature or a short section of a longer work of literature. The paper does not have to have secondary sources: it should represent your own response to the differences in the translations, supported by copious specific evidence, including multiple quotations from the primary sources. In most cases, one of the translations should be the version in our textbook. The subject should be one of the pieces of literature selected for our text; the more specific subject choice (for example, Sensory Detail in Sappho’s “He Seems to Me Equal to Gods”) must be approved by me beforehand. A planning conference is required.

Your second paper will be a researched assignment--a traditional term paper. Again, the specific subject must be approved. Again, you will express your opinions about a piece of literature, but for this assignment you will also include the views of scholars on the subject. In this paper, you must discuss the implications of the time and culture of the author of the work of literature as you discuss the themes or structure of the literature. The paper must be a minimum of 1500 words long (excluding apparatus such as bibliography and notes) EXCEPT that if you choose to write on a work of literature not assigned to the class and you tell the class about this work of literature (in a format specified by me), you may write a minimum of 1000 words instead. MLA form for quotation, bibliography, etc., should be used for both these assignments. I will give further details when the assignments approach.

Your class participation/pop quiz grade will be based in part on an oral presentation to the class; the presentation should last eight to ten minutes and be focused on a specific work of literature, explaining its content and recognizing cultural connections and distinctions. Class members will be provided with the opportunity to sign up for particular works of literature. A separate assignment handout will be provided.

                Your exams will include some “objective” questions (e.g. identifying quotations); they will also include some discussion questions. Each will cover approximately half the course work.


Attendance policy: Without class discussions and lectures, you might as well read this literature on your own. You will find that experiencing a group’s reaction to a piece of writing is something that cannot be recreated through merely reading class notes. This is not just a lecture class. Furthermore, you can contribute to the class: thoughtful questions can be just as valuable as insightful comments (though they should be the questions of a person who has read the material). Missing classes will reduce your ability to contribute and will therefore lower your class participation grade. (Significant tardiness will do the same.) Furthermore, specific in-class activities will be used to help establish your participation grade, and in most cases these activities must be carried out during a particular class period. People that miss more than three weeks of classes normally cannot keep up and fail the course as a result. If you must miss a class, let me know beforehand if you can (or leave a phone or email message as soon as possible); ask me or a classmate about assignments so you can prepare in case there is a pop quiz when you return to class. My home phone number is (404) 373-5328; this is a landline I have maintained for students’ convenience. Leave a voicemail if I do not answer immediately. If you cannot contact me or a classmate, then read the next assignment on the syllabus.


Student Evaluation of Instruction: Near the end of this course, you will be asked to evaluate the instruction of the course. Your honest responses will help make this a better course. Also, please feel free to make suggestions during the course. Remember, I want to hear from you.


Plagiarism, Cheating:

                The English faculty of Gordon College views any form of cheating as a serious violation of commonly accepted standards of honesty. All student work must be solely that of the person submitting the work. Any giving or receiving of unauthorized help from others or from notes or other materials during the course of taking a quiz, test, or exam or in writing a paper will result in an F on the work; any use of forbidden materials such as rough drafts during the course of in-class writing will also result in an F for the assignment. Note that an F on the work involved in cheating is the minimum punishment; a zero on the work is another possible consequence; if justified by aggravating circumstances, the matter may be referred to the Dean of Students. See the Academic Dishonesty Policy in the Academic Catalog.

                Moreover, when source materials are used in the writing of papers, the student must document such use of sources both by clearly indicating material being used as quotation and by giving proper recognition when ideas or information has been paraphrased or summarized; the following principles enunciated in the section on avoiding plagiarism in James D. Lester's Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, 8th edition, should be scrupulously observed:

1. Acknowledge borrowed material by introducing the quotation or paraphrase with the name of the authority. This practice serves to indicate where borrowed materials begin.

2. Enclose within quotation marks all quoted materials.

3. Make certain that paraphrased material has been rewritten into your own style and language. The simple rearrangement of sentence patterns is unacceptable. [To illustrate: It is unacceptable to simply rearrange sentence patterns.]

4. Provide specific in-text documentation for each borrowed item. For example, MLA [Modern Language Association] style requires name and page for all in-text references. Requirements differ for other fields . . . .

5. Provide a bibliographic entry on the Works Cited page for every source cited in the paper.

6. Omit [from the bibliography] sources consulted but not cited in the text. This point is important.You do not want your instructor leafing back through the paper trying to find your use of a source that, in truth, was not cited. (140-41)

Furthermore, you must avoid collusion. Here is a definition from the Humanities Chair: Collusion is defined as receiving excessive help to the point that a work can no longer be considered the product of a single author and therefore cannot be accurately assessed an individual grade. If I suspect a submitted work to be the result of collusion, I reserve the right to refuse credit for that work if the claimed author is unable to demonstrate sole authorship. A good way to avoid this problem is to get help from the Student Success Center rather than from family or friends.

I may decide to have you submit some of your work to Turnitin.com. Terms and Conditions of Use may be found at http://www.turnitin.com/static/usage.html.


In general, if you have a question, feel free to ask it. My goal is for you to learn and to enjoy learning.



P.S. re Harry’s House:

The mission of Harry’s House is to distribute food and toiletries to students to alleviate stress associated with short-term food insecurity and other financial constraints in order to effectively reduce hunger and support educational success.








Read the material before the class period in which it is listed below; it will be discussed during the class period in which it is listed. If you miss class, keep up with the reading listed below. When a specific section is not listed, then read all the material in the book under a given title; e.g., read all of Sappho’s lyrics that are included in our book.


Week One (1/10) Introduction; The Epic of Gilgamesh


Week Two (1/15) Gilgamesh, continued; Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1-4, 6-9, 25 (pages 94-103, 106-110) (some of these are excerpts) ; (1/17) Homer: The Odyssey, Books 1-4


Week Three (1/22) The Odyssey, Books 5-8; (1/24) Books 9-12


Week Four (1/29) The Odyssey, Books 13-16; (1/31) Books 17-20


Week Five (2/5) The Odyssey, Books 21-24; (2/7) Sophocles: Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King)


Week Six (2/12) Sappho of Lesbos: Lyrics; (2/14) Virgil: The Aeneid, Books 1-2


Week Seven (2/19) The Aeneid, Book 4; (2/21) China’s Classic of Poetry; Confucius: Analects [Sayings]; PAPER ONE DUE


Week Eight (2/26) Ovid: Metamorphoses (pages 652-670); (2/28) MIDTERM EXAM

Monday March 4: Last day to drop classes without WF


Week Nine (3/5) Laozi, Daodeching (sometimes called the Tao); India’s Bhagavad Gita; (3/7) The Qur’an (pages 861-69); The Thousand and One Nights (pages 1176-87)


Week Ten (3/11-15) SPRING BREAK


Week Eleven (3/19) The Thousand and One Nights (pages 1187-98); (3/21) Tang Poetry (by Li Bo and Du Fu)


Week Twelve (3/26) Murasaki Shikibu: The Tale of Genji, Chapters 1-2; (3/28) The Tale of Genji, Ch. 5; The New Testament, Matthew: “The Sermon on the Mount” (pages 821-24);


Week Thirteen (4/2) Dante: The Inferno, Cantos 1-8; (4/4) The Inferno, Cantos 9-18;


Week Fourteen (4/9)) The Inferno, Cantos 19-28; (4/11) The Inferno, Cantos 29-34


Week Fifteen (4/16) Marie de France: Lanval ; Cervantes: Don Quixote (pages 1676-1703); (4/18) Don Quixote  (pages 1703-1749)


Week Sixteen (4/23) Shakespeare: Hamlet, Acts 1-2; (4/25) Hamlet, Acts 3-4


Week Seventeen (4/30) Hamlet, Act 5; PAPER TWO DUE


FINAL EXAM:  FRIDAY MAY 3: 10:15 AM—12:15 PM


Additional work may be assigned. Any variation in syllabus policy is at the instructor’s discretion.