ENG 112: World Literature

Course Objectives
This course develops ideas and practices central to the Concept: “Spring Arbor University is a community of learners distinguished by our lifelong involvement in the study and application of the liberal arts, total commitment to Jesus Christ as the perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world.” In reading important literary works from a span of almost three thousand years, we will open up our community of learners to include the wisdom of what G. K. Chesterton terms “the democracy of the dead.” Some of the authors we’ll be studying were committed Christians, but one lived long before Christ was born. So one of the questions we’ll ask is how Christ’s coming altered the human imagination. Hang on, because it’s a chaotic and fascinating transformation.

Yet some of the fundamental questions to which all of these authors addressed themselves remain constant: What is a home? How do we get there? What virtues are required to sustain our homes? These questions raise issues of community, virtue, and human telos that recur through the millennia. And because we are reading authors who wrote works of imaginative literature to respond to these issues, they each believe that literature is one of the fundamental means that humans have to work out answers to such questions. By the end of the semester, I hope that you’ll understand why.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Grading Scale: A 100-93; A- 92-90; B+ 89-87; B 86-83; B- 82-80; . . . F 59-0.

Required Texts:

  • The Odyssey, by Homer. ISBN: 014026886
  • The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri. ISBN: 0679433139
  • Paradise Lost, by John Milton. ISBN: 0375757961
  • Remembering, by Wendell Berry. ISBN: 9781582434155

Recommended Text:

  • The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay, by Scott Crider. ISBN: 978-1932236453

Course Calendar:

Section 1 meets MWF from 8:55-9:55 in SDH 209.

This schedule is subject to change.

Week 1

  • Wednesday 1/30: Introduction
  • Friday 2/1: Odyssey Books 1-2 (77-106)

Week 2

  • Monday 2/4: Odyssey Books 3, 5 (107-123, 152-167)
  • Wednesday 2/6: Odyssey Books 7, 9 (179-190, 211-229)
  • Friday 2/8: Odyssey Books 10-12 (230-285)

Week 3

  • Monday 2/11: Odyssey Books 13-14 (286-318)
  • Wednesday 2/13: Odyssey Books 16-17 (338-374)
  • Friday 2/15: Odyssey Books 18-19 (375-409)

Week 4

  • Monday 2/18: Odyssey Books 21-22 (424-454)
  • Wednesday 2/20: Odyssey Books 23-24 (455-485); Virtue Reflection 1 due
  • Friday 2/22: Inferno Cantos 1-5

Week 5

  • Monday 2/25: Inferno Cantos 6-10
  • Wednesday 2/27: Inferno Cantos 11, 13-15, 26; Short Essay 1 due
  • Friday 3/1: Inferno Cantos 31-34

Week 6

  • Monday 3/11: Purgatory Cantos 1-4
  • Wednesday 3/13: Purgatory Cantos 5, 6, 9-11
  • Friday 3/15: Purgatory Cantos 17, 18, 25-27

Week 7

  • Monday 3/18: Purgatory Cantos 30-33
  • Wednesday 3/20: Midterm (essay questions)
  • Friday 3/22: Paradise Cantos 1-3, 6

Week 8

  • Monday 3/25: Paradise Cantos 11, 17, 19, 20, 22
  • Wednesday 3/27: Paradise Cantos 26-29
  • Friday 3/29: Paradise Cantos 30-33; Virtue Reflection 2 due

Week 9

  • Monday 4/1: Paradise Lost Book 1; These reading questions I’ve prepared may help you follow Milton’s argument.
  • Wednesday 4/3: Paradise Lost Book 2
  • Friday 4/5: Paradise Lost Book 3; Short Essay 2 due

Week 10

  • Monday 4/8: Paradise Lost Book 4
  • Wednesday 4/10: Paradise Lost Book 5
  • Friday 4/12: Paradise Lost Book 6

Week 11

  • Monday 4/15: Paradise Lost Book 8
  • Wednesday 4/17: Paradise Lost Book 9
  • Friday 4/19: Good Friday

Week 12

  • Monday 4/22: Easter Monday
  • Wednesday 4/24: Paradise Lost Book 10
  • Friday 4/26: Paradise Lost Book 11.1-125

Week 13

  • Monday 4/29: No class
  • Wednesday 5/1: Paradise Lost Book 12.285-649; Virtue Reflection 3 due
  • Friday 5/3: No class, conferences

Week 14

  • Monday 5/6: No class, conferences
  • Wednesday 5/8: Remembering 1-34
  • Friday 5/10: Remembering 35-76; Short Essay 3 due

Week 15

  • Monday 5/13: Remembering 77-103
  • Final for Section 1 on Wednesday 5/9, 8:00-10:00; Final Essay due

To study for the final, review this list of terms and these essay questions (I got lazy and only wrote three, so you just need to study two of them now).