GREAT CONVERSATION 113 (The Tradition Beginning: The Greeks and the Hebrews)
Fall, 2001 (MWF 2:00-2:55, Holland Hall 514, 515, 516)
Section A Anne Groton Professor of Classics Old Main 32B x3387 firstname.lastname@example.org
Section B Jonathan Hill Professor of English Library 527D x3200 email@example.com
Section C Ed Langerak Professor of Philosophy Holland 601C x3494 firstname.lastname@example.org
F Sept. 7 Introduction; Cicero, De Officiis 1.132-137 (handout)
THE JOURNEY: EPIC & SAGA
M Sept. 10 Melchert, Ch. 1; Homer, Iliad, Books 3, 24 (handout)
Plenary lecture: Anne Groton, Dept. of Classics (Viking Theater)
W Sept. 12 Homer, Odyssey, Books 1-8
Wednesday night dinner (Valhalla Room), 5:45-7:00 p.m.
F Sept. 14 Homer, Odyssey, Books 9-16
M Sept. 17 Homer, Odyssey, Books 17-24; response paper #1 due
W Sept. 19 Gilgamesh
F Sept. 21 Genesis 1-11; Borg, Ch. 1-4
M Sept. 24 Genesis 12-35; Borg, Ch. 5
W Sept. 26 Exodus 1-20
HISTORY & HISTORIANS: THE USE & ABUSE OF HISTORY
F Sept. 28 Herodotus, The Histories, Book 1, sects.1-91 (Croesus), 178-216
(Cyrus); Book 5, sects. 97-105 (Ionian revolt); Book 6, sects. 101-124 (Marathon)
Essay #1 due: 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29
M Oct. 1 Herodotus, The Histories, Book 7, sects. 1-60 (Xerxes), 202-239
(Thermopylae); Book 8, sects. 51-103 (Salamis)
W Oct. 3 Melchert, Ch. 3; Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War,
selections in Woodruff, pp. 1-37
F Oct. 5 Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, selections in
Woodruff, pp. 39-95; response paper #2 due
Plenary lecture: Ed Santurri, Dept. of Religion (Flaten 01)
M Oct. 8 Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, selections in
Woodruff, pp. 97-160; debate #1
W Oct. 10 Joshua 1-12, 24; Judges 1-2, 6-8, 13-16
F Oct. 12 2 Samuel 5-20; 1 Kings 1-2
M Oct. 15 Midterm Exam
THE SHAPE OF SACRED SPACE: THE ACROPOLIS & THE TEMPLE
W Oct. 17 Rhodes, pp. 8-10, 18-30, 40-49, 53-88
Plenary lecture: Anne Groton, Dept. of Classics (Viking Theater)
Wednesday night dinner (Valhalla Room), 5:45-6:45 p.m. + lecture on
trireme by Jim May, Dept. of Classics (Holland 501), 7-8:00 p.m.
F Oct. 19 Rhodes, pp. 89-93, 166-186; 1 Kings 6, 8; revision of essay #1 due
M Oct. 20-23 FALL BREAK
POLITICAL & SOCIAL MORALITY: CRITICS & PROPHETS
W Oct. 24 Melchert, Ch.4; Plato, Apology (= Melchert, pp. 85-103); Aristophanes,
Recommended reading: Melchert, Ch. 2
F Oct. 26 Plato, Crito (= Melchert, pp. 103-113)
M Oct. 29 Plato, death scene from Phaedo (= Melchert, pp. 113-115); debate #2
W Oct. 31 Amos 1-9; Isaiah 1-12, 36-39, 40-42; Borg, Ch. 6
Plenary lecture: Gary Stansell, Dept. of Religion (Viking Theater)
F Nov. 2 Isaiah 45, 49-50, 52-53; response paper #3 due
HUMAN NATURE & JUSTICE: PHILOSOPHICAL & BIBLICAL WISDOM
M Nov. 5 Proverbs 10-12, 21-29, 30-31; Ecclesiastes 1-12; Borg, pp. 145-170 in Ch. 7
W Nov. 7 Melchert, pp. 117-156; Plato, Republic, Book I
F Nov. 9 Plato, Republic, Books II-IV
M Nov. 12 Plato, Republic, Books VI & VII; summaries of Books V, VIII, IX, X
TELEOLOGY & PROVIDENCE
W Nov. 14 Melchert, pp. 157-178; Aristotle, Introductory Readings, pp. 2-3
(Categories 4), 48-50 (Physics ii 3), 115-117 (Metaphysics i 1), 196-216 (Nicomachean Ethics i 1-10, 13)
Recommended reading: Aristotle, Introductory Readings, pp. 11-15 (De
Interpretatione 9), 117-128 (Metaphysics i 2-4, 6, 9)
Plenary lecture: Ed Langerak, Dept. of Philosophy (Viking Theater)
Wednesday night dinner (Valhalla Room), 5:45-6:45 p.m. + talent show
with 2nd-year Great Conversation group, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
F Nov. 16 Melchert, pp. 178-199; Aristotle, Introductory Readings, pp. 216-228
(Nicomachean Ethics ii 1-7), 277-279 (Nicomachean Ethics x 7), 288-296 (Politics i 1-2, ii 1-5), 302-305, 308-309 (Politics iii 9, 12), 310-318 (Politics vii 1-2, 13, 15)
M Nov. 19 Genesis 37, 39-50
W, F Nov. 21-25 THANKSGIVING BREAK
GREEK TRAGEDY & BIBLICAL DRAMA
M Nov. 26 Sophocles, Oedipus the King; Aristotle, Poetics 6, 9, 13 (pp. 319-325 in
W Nov. 28 Sophocles, Antigone; debate #3
F Nov. 30 Job 1-12, 38-42; Psalm 22; Borg, pp. 170-179 in Ch. 7
M Dec. 3 1 Samuel 8-31; 2 Samuel 1; response paper #4 due
W Dec. 5 Euripides, Medea
Wednesday night dinner (Valhalla Room), 5:45-6:30 p.m. + film
(Dream of Passion) in Holland 501, 6:45-8:30 p.m.
F Dec. 7 Judges 4 & 5; Ruth; Esther; Judith; revision of essay #2 due
M Dec. 10 Conclusion
W Dec. 12 Reading Day
Final Exam: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2001, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
GRADING: class and course participation = 10%; 4 response papers = 10%; 2 essays = 40% (20% each); midterm exam = 15%; final exam = 25%
FIELD TRIP FEE: Every first-year student in the Great Conversation program must pay $15 (cash or check made payable to St. Olaf College) toward the cost of two field trips, the first on Wednesday, January 9, 2002, to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the second on Sunday, February 24, 2002, to St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. The Great Conversation budget subsidizes the field trips but is not large enough to cover the full amount. The $15 fee takes care of about half the total cost of the trips. Please pay your fee directly to Jennifer Schultz, Academic Administrative Assistant for the Great Conversation, in Boe Chapel 103, by October 1, 2001.
STUDENT ASSISTANTS: Maren Flynn '02 x6276 email@example.com
Rob Grace '02 x6499 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Greene '02 x6614 email@example.com
Susanna Murley '02 x6612 firstname.lastname@example.org
Duong (John) Phan '02 x2665 email@example.com
Sarah Schuurman '02 x2983 firstname.lastname@example.org
REQuIRED PRIMARY TEXTs:
Aristophanes, Clouds, translated by Peter Meineck (Hackett, 2000) 0-87220-516-9
Aristotle, Introductory Readings, translated by Terence Irwin and Gail Fine (Hackett, 1996)
Euripides, Medea, translated by Anthony J. Podlecki (Focus, 1991) 0-941051-10-2
Herodotus, The Histories, translated by Robin A. Waterfield (Oxford, 1999) 0-19-282425-2
Homer, Odyssey, translated by Stanley Lombardo (Hackett, 2000) 0-87220-484-7
Plato, Republic, translated by G. M. A. Grube, revised by C. D. C. Reeve (Hackett, 2nd ed.,
Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays, translated by Robert Fagles (Penguin, 1984)
Thucydides, On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War, translated by Paul Woodruff (Hackett, 1993) 0-87220-168-6
The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Danny P. Jackson (Bolchazy-Carducci, 2nd ed., 1997)
The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, College Edition (Oxford, 2001) 0-19-528485-2
REQUIRED Secondary Texts:
Barnet, Sylvan, A Short Guide to Writing about Art (Allyn & Bacon/Longman, 6th ed., 2000) 0-321-04605-6
Borg, Marcus, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (Harper, 2001) 0-06-060918-4
Hacker, Diana, A Pocket Style Manual (Bedford/St. Martin's, 3rd ed., 2000) 0-312-20488-4
Melchert, Norman, The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy
(Mayfield, 4th ed., 2002) 0-7674-2038-1
Rhodes, Robin Francis, Architecture and Meaning on the Athenian Acropolis (Cambridge,
WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: You are required to do two kinds of writing this semester, four response papers and two essays. They should be handed in on the dates specified. To earn a grade for the course, you must complete all the assignments. The late delivery of any written assignment may lower your final grade.
Both the response papers and the essays should be examples of critical writing (see below for an exception in the case of response papers). That is, they should be based on an interpretive or evaluative argument about the text or topic upon which you are writing.
Critical writing is most effective when its main thesis is neither too simple or obvious, nor too elaborate or idiosyncratic; when its language is clear and concise; when its supporting evidence is accurate, economic and properly cited; and when its overall structure is logical, continuous and connected.
In your assignments, try to avoid merely descriptive writing, that is, writing which passively summarizes the contents of a work. Rather, engage works more actively. Form an opinion, and then try to get your reader to agree with it by stating, explaining, elaborating and supporting it as convincingly as possible.
In all your writing, aim for correct spelling, coherent grammar, and idiomatic vocabulary. Submit every assignment in hard copy and number the pages. In the top right-hand corner of the first page, give the course name and number (Great Conversation 113), the name of the professor, the date, and the number of the assignment. And give your assignment a title. Use a double-spaced, 10-point (or larger) font.
Due Sept 17, Oct 5, Nov 2, and Dec 3
--Response papers should be about 500 words in length (two pages at 250 words per page). Give the number of words at the end.
--In style, while observing the normal rules of correct grammar, spelling, and so forth, response papers may be written less formally than essays.
--If you wish, you may on occasion employ a creative rather than a critical approach to your chosen topic or text.
#1 First draft due 5:00 p.m., Sept 29; final draft Oct 19
#2 First draft due 5:00 p.m. Nov 17; final draft Dec 7
--Essays should be about 1250 words in length (five pages at 250 words per page). Give the number of words at the end.
--Instructors will schedule individual conferences on the essays between the delivery dates for the first and final drafts.
At intervals in the course of the semester, writing workshops will be scheduled to give help and answer questions about the writing assignments.
Remember also that the Academic Support Center provides valuable tutoring assistance throughout the academic year at the Writing Place.
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