Note: This is a sample syllabus. The real, updated syllabus is located at wu.granneman.com, which is password-protected and is available for students and guests only.
U32 325—Literary Representations of Hell
Washington University University College
Tuesday 6—8:30 p.m.
This course will examine different representations of Hell in Eastern and Western literary and religious texts. By studying closely the concept of Hell, students will investigate artistic influences, compare different religions and literature, and examine individual and cultural value systems. Some of the authors and texts we will read and discuss include Gilgamesh, Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Augustine, The Quran, Dante, Chaucer, Milton, Baudelaire, Wilfred Owen, and "The Far Side".
Readings will consist of epics, poems, prose, religious works, plays, philosophical screeds, cartoons, newspaper stories, and ephemera.
Much of our material is available freely in the public domain, and can either be found here on this site or through links from this site to other Internet resources. Unfortunately, however, due to changes in United States copyright law recently enacted by Congress at the behest of large media companies, some material that was, or should be, available in the public domain is not. This copyrighted material will be available under the rights of fair use, however, to students in this class.
Your grade will be based on the following factors:
- Class attendance and participation in discussion (20%): You are expected to attend class prepared to discuss the readings with your fellow classmates. During class we will also discuss how the readings relate to current news, so you should be prepared to extend the readings to new situations and participate in the discussions. We may also work on in-class exercises, and you are expected to take an active part in those exercises.
- One short paper (20%): You will research and prepare a short (1200 words) paper on a topic related to Hell. The paper can relate to one of the topics that we have discussed in class, or it may instead cover a topic that we have not covered in class, but which happens to interest you. You must clear your paper topic with me at least one week before the paper is due! Please note that your paper will be published on the class Web site (which is only available via a username & password) for the other students to review. The paper must be provided to me electronically in plain text or HTML, not in Microsoft Word or any other binary format.
- One long paper (40%): You will research and prepare a longer (2500 words) paper on a topic related to Hell. Your topic may not be the same topic you covered in your short paper. Once again, I will need to approve your paper topic first, at least one week before the paper is due. Your paper will be published on this Web site (which is only available via a username & password) for the other students to review. Again, this paper must be provided to me electronically in plain text or HTML, not in Microsoft Word or any other binary format.
- Class presentations (10%): Each student must pick one of the class sessions and be prepared to give a 10-15 minute presentation on one or more of the topics that will be covered in that class. A presentation could consist of background information, an analysis of one or more readings, artwork that illustrates the readings, a history of reactions to the readings, or anything else that you can imagine. You may use handouts, computer-based presentations, posters, or just your voice. Your presentation topic must be cleared with me first.
- Online discussion group (10%): The class Web site has a discussion group that we will use for questions, thoughts, and discussions outside of class. Students are expected to comment on class readings prior to, and after, each class. However, students are free to start new discussions related to the topics discussed in class but not necessarily related to our readings. In addition, all of your papers & written work will be posted to the discussion group. In order to assure yourself of the maximum points for this component of your grade, you should post 5 messages a week.
Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:
Policy regarding academic dishonesty: This course will follow Washington University's policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question and/or referral to the college's Academic Integrity Office, which has discretion to impose a stricter penalty. While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else's work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your writing should be your own. The papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.
Accommodation of disabilities: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to complete the required assignments, please contact me during the first week of class to discuss an accommodation.
It is paramount that we respect each other online, in both email and the discussion group. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it's OK to say "That's a bad idea, because …", and it's not OK to say "You're a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …". If you have an issue with a classmate's behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.
Jan. 14 ~ Introductions. Tabloids. Definitions. Personal ideas.
Assignments for 14 January 2003
Jan. 21 ~ Native American & South/Central American.
Assignments for 21 January 2003
Jan. 28 ~ China, Japan, & India.
Assignments for 28 January 2003
Feb. 6 ~ The Ancient Near East.
Assignments for 6 February 2003
Feb. 13 ~ Greece and Rome I.
Assignments for 13 February 2003
Feb. 20 ~ Greece & Rome II.
Assignments for 20 February 2003
Feb. 27 ~ Greece & Rome III. Judaism.
Assignments for 25 February 2003
Mar. 4 ~ Spring Break.
Mar. 11 ~ Christianity.
Assignments for 11 March 2003
PAPER 1 DUE
Mar. 18 ~ Zoroastrianism. Islam.
Assignments for 20 March 2003
Mar. 25 ~ The Middle Ages.
"Assignments for 27 March 2003"
Apr. 1 ~ Dante I.
"Assignments for 1 April 2003"
Apr. 8 ~ Dante II. English Renaissance.
"Assignments for 8 April 2003"
Apr. 15 ~ 17th-19th Centuries.
"Assignments for 15 April 2003"
Apr. 22 ~ 20th Century I.
"Assignments for 22 April 2003"
Apr. 29 ~ 20th Century II.
"Assignments for 29 April 2003"
May 6 ~ Conclusions.
"Assignments for 6 May 2003"
FINAL PAPER DUE