ENG L101-02 Western World Masterpieces I

Spring 2010

Professor Damian Fleming



Class meeting: T R 10:30 am - 11:45 am

Office Hours:  T W R 12 pm –1 pm (or by appointment)

Office: CM 149 (in English Dept.)

Contact information:      Office phone: (260) 481-0192

Email: flemingd@ipfw.edu


Course  Website: http://users.ipfw.edu/flemingd/L101Sp10.html


Course Description:

P:  Placement at or above ENG W131 (or equivalent) and completion of ENG R150 or exemption. 


We will read and discuss a number of “important” works of literature from the earlier half of Western Civilization (primarily the Ancient and Medieval).  We will examine and debate why someone decided that these works are so important, not to mention what exactly the “western world” is.  We will use these texts to practice reading slowly, closely, and careful, and writing clearly and concisely. 


This course fulfills the Area IV General Education requirement (Humanistic Thought)


Required Texts (Available at IPFW Bookstore):

All texts are published by Hackett Publishing Company


·         HOMER: The Essential Homer, Translated and Edited by Stanley Lombardo, Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan, 2000 532 pp. ISBN: (0-87220-540-1)/(978-0-87220-540-6)


·         SOPHOCLES, Antigone, Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Paul Woodruff, 2001 102 pp. ISBN: (0-87220-571-1)/(978-0-87220-571-0)


·         ARISTOPHANES, Lysistrata, Translated, with Introduction, Notes, and Commentaries, by Sarah Ruden 2003 136 pp. ISBN: (0-87220-603-3)/(978-0-87220-603-8)


·         VIRGIL, The Essential Aeneid, Translated and Abridged by Stanley Lombardo, Introduction by W. R. Johnson, 2006 248 pp.ISBN: (0-87220-790-0)/(978-0-87220-790-5)


·         Beowulf, A New Translation for Oral Delivery, Translated, with an Introduction, by Dick Ringler, 2007 304 pp. ISBN:(0-87220-893-1)/(978-0-87220-893-3)


·         DANTE, Inferno, Translated by Stanley Lombardo, Introduction by Steven Botterill, Notes by Anthony Oldcorn, March 2009 512 pp. ISBN(0-87220-917-2)/(978-0-87220-917-6)


Always bring the appropriate texts to class; it is necessary for informed discussion; failure to bring your text to class is equivalent to an absence (and you better check out the attendance policy).


Course Requirements:

1.   Daily attendance and vigorous participation in class fueled by close reading of all assignments

2.   Weekly short response papers, to be posted online; daily participation on class blog 

3.   Attend a performance of IPFW Theatre Dept.’s production of Eurydice (Feb. 19–28)

4.   2 short formal essays

5.   Midterm and Final examination


Attendance policy:

This course is based in active participation; as a result, attendance in class is essential.   More than two unexcused absences will drastically affect your grade:


·         On your third absence: total participation grade becomes 0%

·         On your fourth absence: You are no longer part of this class: final grade: F



·         There are NO excused absences.

·         Excessive lateness will count as an absence.

·         Leaving class early will count as an absence.

·         Sleeping in class will count as an absence.


Regardless of cause, you are responsible for all work missed during absences, including changes to the class schedule announced in class.

Writing Assignments (Short responses and essays):

Engrave the following on your brain:

·         I do not accept any late work

·         Grade for late work: 0%, returned without comment

·         Computer mishaps are not an acceptable excuse.

o   This is the 21st century.  Save frequently.


Give yourself plenty of time and leeway to get your work done and to deal with bumps in the road should they occur.  Pretend, at least for this class, that you are operating in the real world.


Short responses / Class Blog


Each student has been assigned to one of three Groups, A,B, or C.  When your Group is assigned, each student will individually write an informal response to that night’s reading, and post it on our blog before 3am the day it is due.  The restrictions on these are pretty loose: it’s basically a journal entry, except we’ll be sharing them with each other instantaneously.  You can address an issue we’ve raised in class; respond to the prompts on our course website; raise your own questions about the texts we’re reading; make an argument about a text we’re reading; express your opinion about the texts or the characters.  These need not be formal, but must be at least 300 words long.  What I am looking for in these is your own close reading of the text.  NO secondary research is required, and is in fact discouraged.  If you use any resources to supplement your reading, these must be explicitly acknowledged in your response.  Failure to submit 2 of these on time will result in a failing grade for the class.  I will read all of these and grade them on a five point scale.  The weightiest factor in my grading will be evidence of your having read the texts.


These responses are useless if submitted late, and thus will not be accepted late.


Students whose Groups are not assigned that day are required to read through your classmates responses, and briefly comment on at least three of them.  These comments need not be more than a few sentences long.  Failure to comment on more than 3 occasions will result in a failing grade for the class.

Play Performance:

Each student is required to attend a performance of IPFW Dept of Theatre’s production of Eurydice.  Tickets are FREE with IPFW student ID.  More information is available HERE

Performances take place at the following times:


Feb. 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8 p.m.

Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.



Each student will also write two short (2–3 page) formal essays on topics assigned by me or developed on their own in consultation with me.  Due dates are noted in the schedule below.  Late papers are not accepted.  Failure to submit either paper will result in a failing grade for the course.



        Participation:                                              10%

          Blog Responses:                                         20%

          Essays                                                         30%

          Midterm and Final                                      40%



A          95–100            Highest passing grade                        4.0

A-         90–94                                                              3.7

B+        87–89                                                              3.3

B          84–86              Above-average passing grade 3.0

B-        80–83                                                              2.7

C+        77–79                                                              2.3

C          74–76              Average passing grade            2.0

C-        70–73                                                              1.7

D+        65–69                                                              1.3

D          60–64              Lowest passing grade              1.0


F          below 60          Failure or unauthorized discontinuance of class

attendance; no credit.




Students with disabilities:


In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability, you may be eligible to request accommodations from the office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations and should have equal access to learning.  If you have any questions or you believe you need accommodations, contact the SSD office, Walb Union 113, Phone/TTD: 260 - 481 - 6657 http://www.ipfw.edu/ssd/


Keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive so it is best to register as soon as possible so that timely arrangements can be made.


For all Students:


No retroactive accommodations can be made.  If you feel that you have an issue which may affect your ability to succeed in this class, you must come see me before you’ve defaulted on the class.  Hopefully, any issue can be resolved, but no issue can be resolved after the fact. 



Academic honesty:



Plagiarism will earn you an F for the course, and possible expulsion from the University.  If you borrow an idea or quote from another author, you must cite where you found the material. If you have any questions about citing sources, please **ASK** before your turn in an assignment.  I am happy to help, or visit the Writing Center. http://www.ipfw.edu/casa/writing/)


Concerning Text-Messaging in Class

       Text-messaging during the class period will result in a failing grade for the course




**note: This schedule is subject to change; missing class is NOT an excuse for not knowing about changes to the schedule (see above: attendance).


The Bold Capital letters refer to who is required to submit an informal response on our blog before midnight the day before it is due.

Reading Assignments should be completed by the class date


JAN   T        12      Intro to class


R       14      Close reading practice

                   Request access to our class blog by clicking this link:




T        19      Homer, The Iliad, Group A

Bk 1 (p. 1–19), Bk 6 (p. 69–82)


R       21      Homer, The Iliad, Group B

Bk 9 (p. 92–106), Bk 16 (p. 153–175), from Bk 18, lines 504–661 (p. 183–187)


          T        26      Homer, The Iliad, Group C

Bk 22 (p. 205–221), Bk 24 (p. 230–240)


          R       28      Homer, The Odyssey, Group A

Bk 1 (p. 241–254), Bk 5 (p. 269–284), Bk 8 (p. 294–298)


FEB   T        2        Homer, The Odyssey, Group B

Bk 9 (p. 298–314), Bk 10 (p. 314–331), Bk 11 (p. 332–351), Bk 12 (p. 352–365)


R       4        Homer, The Odyssey, Group C

Bk 18 (p. 399– 402), Bk 19 (p. 403–422), Bk 21 (423–436), Bk 22 (p. 437–453), Bk 23 (p. 454–465)


T        9        Sophocles, Antigone Group A


R       11      Sophocles, Antigone Group B


T        16      Aristophanes, Lysistrata Group C


R       18      Virgil, Aeneid, Group A

Bk 1 (p. 1–25), Bk 2 (p. 26–51)


          T        23      Eurydice discussion ALL Groups

                                      First Thesis Due


R       25      Virgil, Aeneid, Group B

Bk 4 (52–74), Bk 6 (75–104)




MAR  T        2        Virgil, Aeneid, Group C

from Bk 8 lines 702–844 (p. 131–135), Bk 12 (p. 180–197)


R       4        MIDTERM EXAM  First Essay Due




T        16      Thorstein the Staff-Struck; Beowulf, p. 3–12 Group A


R       18      Beowulf, p. 13–64 Group B


T        23      Beowulf, p. 64–117 Group C


          R       25      Beowulf, p. 117–166 Group A


T        30      Marie de France, Lais Group B


APRIL R      1        Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Groups A,B,C


T        6        Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, cont’d


R       8        Dante, Inferno, Cantos 1–5, 9–11 Group C


T        13      Dante, Inferno, Cantos, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 Group A


R       15      Dante, Inferno, Cantos, 24, 25, 26, 28, 32–34 Group B


T        20      Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Fitt 1 Group C

Second Thesis Due


R       22      Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Fitts 2 and 3 Group A


T        27      Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Fitt 4 Group B


R       29      Boccaccio, Decameron Group C

Second Essay Due


Final Exam:  Tuesday, May 4, 10:30am–12:30pm