LIT 203: Origins of Literature
Spring 2007

Section 01: Mon/Fri, 12:30-1:50;
                 ACADEMIC 120

Ancient of Days (William Blake)

Brian T. Murphy
Parker 319-V
Ext. 1318
Office Hours
e-mail: bmurphy@Brian-T-Murphy.com

Important Announcements and Updates

Thursday, August 2, 2007
This page will be updated when I teach Origins of Literature again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007:
Final grades for Spring 2007 are below, by Student ID number. Students who left pre-addressed stamped envelopes can expect their work to be returned soon. Enjoy your summer break.

Student ID Final Exam

Raw Average

Adjusted Average* Assigned Grade
0122045 73 89.21 90.20 A
0132984 49 78.38 79.24 C+
1046747 97 94.14 95.18 A
1101664 58 81.77 82.67 B
1036369 49 71.82 72.62 C
0209220 85 92.59 93.61 A
1094136 100 95.69 96.75 A
1121470 58 77.17 78.02 C+
1095006 67 86.06 87.00 B+
1038233 73 84.88 85.82 B+
1073753 88 91.58 92.59 A
1093194       W
0207351 67 78.55 79.42 C+
1079950 88 94.02 96.06 A
1090194 67 85.88 86.83 B+
1049790 100 82.25 84.16 B
1089891       W
1060068 85 64.76 65.48 D
1089232 85 92.49 93.51 A
1087302 76 77.25 79.10 C+
1088160 73 87.33 88.29 B+
1035389       NA
1094625 76 90.03 92.02 A
1073902 64 79.82 80.70 B
1096130 97 97.21 99.28 A
0140396 94 97.92 100.00 A
1070034 70 84.71 85.65 B+
1097246 70 88.55 90.52 A
0134201 76 88.07 90.04 A
1098623 94 94.96 96.01 A
1091047 85 86.13 87.08 B+
1086749 0 9.25 9.35 F
0212764 58 87.91 90.87 A
0171861 67 84.45 85.38 B+

*Adjusted Average: The highest score in the class is
 rounded up to 100%, to two decimal places. All
 other scores are then scaled proportionately.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007:
Friday, May 4, is the last day of class. Please be certain you have read the following:

Medea (VII, pp.144-56)
Aeneas (XIII, pp.314-17; XIV, pp. 327-32, 338-44)
Romulus (XIV, pp. 349-51)
Julius Caesar (XV, pp. 374-78)
Epilogue (XV, p. 379)

In addition, I will require at least one week to grade your essays; do not even ask me on Friday if I have finished reading them!

Friday, April 27, 2007:
As announced in class, we will focus on the following next week:

Tereus, Procne, and Philomela (Book VI, pp.134-42)
Medea (VII, pp.144-56)
The Minotaur; Daedalus and Icarus (VIII, pp. 175-78)
Orpheus and Eurydice (X, pp. 225-28; XI, pp.249-52)
Pygmalion (X, pp. 232-34)
Aeneas (XIII, pp.314-17; XIV, pp. 327-32, 338-44)
Romulus (XIV, pp. 349-51)
Julius Caesar (XV, pp. 374-79)
Epilogue (XV, pp.)

In addition, please see the following possibly useful documents:

Research Paper checklist
Works Cited page (Instructions & Sample)
Cover Page for Research Essays (Sample)
How to Incorporate Sources
Revision and Editing Checklist.

Useful online sources for your essays might be found here. (Please note, these links have not been updated since January, and may be changed or broken.)

Finally, An additional "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunity has been added to the schedule, this one a local event:

Children of Eden: The Musical at the Bridge Players Theatre Company (Broad Street Methodist Church, 36 East Broad Street, Burlington, NJ)
The only shows that will count for extra credit (i.e., before the Final Exam!) are May 4th at 8:00pm, May 5th at 8:00pm, May 6th at 3:00pm
Tickets are $18.00 for adults, $9.00 children 12 and under (general seating only)
For more information: thebridgeplayers@aol.com, www.bridgeplayerstheatre.com, or 856-303-7620.

Monday, April 23, 2007:
We will pick up with the story of Perseus on Friday, and then move on to Medea, Daedalus and Icarus, Hercules, Orpheus and Eurydice, Troy, Aeneas, and whatever other stories we feel like discussing. In addition, the due date for your essays has been pushed back yet again, due to popular demand: you have until Monday, April 30.

Saturday, April 21, 2007:
Since we only got as far as the Creation and the Origin(s) of Humanity (Book I), on Monday, April 23, we will pick up with the story of The Flood, Phaethon, Narcissus and Echo, and Perseus, and then see how far we get. In addition, some of the presentations have been pushed back yet again:

Session 25:
Mon. 23 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Perseus (IV-V)
    
      Cory P.     

Session 25:
Mon. 23 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Medea (VII)
    
      Joshua R.     

Session 26:
Fri. 27 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Hercules (IX)
    
      Lyudmila S.     

Session 28:
Fri. 4 May

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Contemporary Uses/Allusions
    
      Chris W.         

Wednesday, April 18, 2007:

Survey results (what format you want for the final exam) are as follows (numbers are inexact due to rounding and multiple votes by some individuals):
Objective Only (Multiple Choice, et cetera):         11 (42.31%)
Objective plus two or three short essays:                5 (19.23%)
Objective plus one regular essay:                            4 (15.38%)
Objective plus Identifications (like the Midterm):     3 (11.54%)
No opinion/no preference:                                      2 (7.69%)
Interpretive dance using puppets:                            1 (3.84%)

So, here's my thought: I am leaning toward an all-objective exam, but with an optional short essay section: something like "pick any two–out of five or ten topic choices–and answer each in short essay form (circa four or five paragraphs)." Students who choose to do the essays get (up to) 25% per essay, plus 50% for the Multiple Choice questions; students who choose not to do the essays get 100% for the Multiple Choice (each question counts for twice as much). Thoughts?

Monday, April 16, 2007:
Classes are being held as scheduled today, at least right now! However, as the (acting) governor has declared a state of emergency for all of New Jersey and asked people to stay off the roads, anyone unable to attend class today will receive an X (excused absence), rather than an A (Absent).

Saturday, April 14, 2007:
We will finish The Aeneid on Monday, April 16; focus especially on Aeneas' voyage to the Underworld (Book VI), the Arming of Aeneas (Book VIII), and how the text glorifies Rome. This means that discussion of Ovid and some of the presentations have also been pushed back:

Session 23:
Fri. 20 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Text, Author, and History
           Lauren C.     

Session 23:
Fri. 20 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Creation and the Origin(s) of Humanity (Book I)
    
     Shannon C.     

Session 24:
Fri. 20 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Perseus (IV-V)
    
      Cory P.     

Session 25:
Mon. 23 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Medea (VII)
    
      Joshua R.     

Session 26:
Fri. 27 Apr.

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Hercules (IX)
    
      Lyudmila S.     

Session 28:
Fri. 4 May

Ovid, Metamorphoses: Contemporary Uses/Allusions
    
      Chris Wa.     

When we begin looking at Ovid, we will focus on some of the tales more than others; For example, for Friday, April 20 (Ovid, Metamorphoses, at least Books I-VI), read the following especially carefully:

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

In addition, some more news about one of the "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities: operagoers who purchase orchestra tickets to Handel's Giulio Cesare at The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for $137.50 (normally $205) can receive free VIP passes to the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I know, you don't care, but if you were going to be in New York anyhow, it would be worth it....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007:
You thought extra credit for going to New York was a stretch? Yet another "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities has been added:

Stories in Stone: Conserving Mosaics of Roman Africa, through April 30
Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA
310-440-7300 or getty.edu

Monday, April 9, 2007:
As announced in class, the new due date for Essay 2 is Friday, April 27, not Friday, April 20 as previously posted.

Thursday, April 5, 2007:
Yet another "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities has been added to the schedule:

Handel's Giulio Cesare at The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York.
Starring David Daniels and Ruth Ann Swenson. Directed by Harry Bicket.
Seven performances only: April 6, 10, 13, 17, 21 at 8:00; matinees April 24 and 27.
Tickets range from $15 (Family Circle) to $295 (Orchestra Premium). Visit the Met Box Office, MetOpera.org, order online, or call 212-362-6000.
Also broadcast live on Sirius Radio.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007:
We will continue to discuss The Odyssey on Friday, March 30; ideally, this will be the last day we spend on it, so the following people should be ready to present

Homer, The Odyssey: Male and Female Roles                  Meghan P.            

Homer, The Odyssey: Penelope (XV-XXIV)                    Kay H.                 

Homer, The Odyssey: Contemporary Uses/Allusions         Kaitlin D.              

In addition, yet more "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities have been added to the schedule:

Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound at the Classic Stage Company, through April 14
136 East 13th Street,  New York, NY (East Village)
212-352-3101
Directed by James Kerr
Starring David Oyelowo

A special staged reading: The Iliad, Parts I, II and III by Homer
Presented by the Aquila Theatre Company
at the Classic Stage Company
136 East 13th Street,  New York, NY (East Village)
212-352-3101
Translated by Stanley Lombardo
Created by Peter Meineck and Robert Richmond
 April 17 & 18, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007:
I am canceling class for Monday, March 19, due to illness. This means we will again be forced to adjust the schedule somewhat. Please continue to read The Odyssey through at least Book XII (Scylla and Charybdis) by Friday. The following people should be ready to present on Friday (the remaining topics will be for next Monday):

Homer, The Odyssey: Text, Author, and History          Matthew V.          

Homer, The Odyssey: Gods and Monsters (Books I-XII)       Brandi L.   

Homer, The Odyssey: Hospitality and Conduct (I-XII)            Shanna T.  

Homer, The Odyssey: Telemachus (I-IV, XV-XXIV)              Barry H.    

Saturday, March 17, 2007:
I have completed Part I of your midterm; the results are as follows (out of 50 points):

Maximum:

50 points
Minimum: 29 points
Median: 46 points
Mode: 46 points
Average: 43.39 points

Note: These numbers do not include the four students who have not yet taken the test.

Thursday, March 15, 2007:
Yet another "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities has been added to the schedule:

Richard Strauss' Die Ägyptische Helena at The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York.
Starring Deborah Voigt. Directed and designed by David Fielding. Conducted by Fabio Luisi.
Seven performances only: March 15, 19, 23, 27, 31 at 8:00; matinees April 4 and 7.
Tickets range from $26 (Family Circle) to $275 (Orchestra Premium). Visit the Met Box Office, MetOpera.org, order online, or call 212-362-6000.
Also broadcast live on Sirius Radio.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007:
Reminder: the midterm exam will be Friday, March 16. It includes two parts, as follows:

Part I: Multiple Choice. For each of the questions, choose the best answer, and write the letter of your choice on the blank to the right of the question. (50%)

Part II: Identification. Select any five (5) of the passages provided. In a short, well-developed paragraph, identify each passage and its significance. Include as much of the following as possible: author, title, approximate date, speaker and/or auditor or character described, situation, and how the passage is significant to the plot or to the work as a whole or what it demonstrates about a particular culture, belief system, or ideology. Responses will be evaluated according to the quality of the writing and ideas, not for the ability to regurgitate the instructor’s comments. (50%)

And in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh does not "eat the forbidden fruit" (but you knew that already, right?).

Sunday, March 11, 2007:
Although I have returned from my vacation, I am unable to access my email from home. No doubt (1) the server is temporarily down; (2) an email has been sent to faculty and staff notifying us of this situation (as if we could read it); and (3) email will be working again by Monday morning. In the meantime, if you have emailed me and not received a response, please be patient. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, March 2, 2007:
Next week is Spring Break, so I will not be checking email and voice-mail with any regularity for the next ten days.
On Monday,  March 12, we will finish Euripides' Medea. Essay 1 will be due on your return from break, on Monday, March 12, as well, and the midterm exam will be the following Friday, March 16. Enjoy your time off.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007:
Even more additional "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunities have been added to the schedule:

Art After Five Tour: Mythology from the Renaissance to 1850 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Friday, March 9, 5:00 PM
Free after Museum admission

Spotlight on the Museum's Collections: Moses Striking the Rock by Jan Steen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Thursday & Friday, March 8 and 9 at 11:00 AM; Sunday, March 1 at 12:30 PM

The Oresteia by Aeschylus at the Access Theater, 380 Broadway, 4th Floor, at White Street, New York, New York.
The show runs February 14 through March 10; all shows are at 8:00, and tickets are $18 general admission
See Access Theater Information, Buy Tickets, or call (212) 868-4444 for more information.
*See also, Jason Zinoman's New York Times review here.

Monday, February 26, 2007:
As discussed in class today, we will make the following changes to the schedule:

We will begin Medea on Friday, March 2 (Desiree M. and Stephanie P. should be prepared to present).
Next week is Spring Break, so we will finish Medea on Monday, March 12 (Megan V., Emily M. and Cory P. should be prepared to present).
Essay 1 will be due on your return from break, on Monday, March 12, and the midterm exam will be the following Friday, March 16.

Both the main page and syllabus will be corrected (yet again!) to reflect these changes.

Monday, February 26, 2007:
Obviously, school is neither canceled nor delayed. Class will be held as scheduled (see announcement for Friday, February 23, below).

Sunday, February 25, 2007:
If school is canceled or delayed due to inclement weather on Monday, February 26, I will place an announcement on this page explaining what changes will be made to the schedule. You may also check for official school closing information (from WKYW, 1060 AM) here.

Saturday, February 24, 2007:
An additional "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunity has been added to the schedule:
Children of Eden: The Musical at the Narberth Community Theatre (United Methodist Church, at the corner of Essex and Price Avenues, Narberth, PA 19072)
The show runs March 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17 at 8pm; March 4 & 11 at 2pm; Tickets are $17 Adults / $14 Seniors (62+) and Juniors (under 18).
For more information: Webmaster@narberthcommunitytheatre.org, or (610) 352-4823 .

Friday, February 23, 2007:
As classes between 11:00 and 2:00 were canceled today due to the (admittedly brief) power outage, we will push everything back one day.
That means we will continue our discussion of Oedipus on Monday, February 26, and begin Medea on Friday, March 2.
We will also talk about Essay 1 and the Midterm Exam on Monday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007:
As a follow-up to our discussion of last Friday ("Male and Female Roles" in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, especially the discussion of adultery, concubines, wives, et cetera), see Diamond, Jared. "The Science of Adultery." The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993. 85-98. For example, Diamond states,

Adultery laws provide a clear example of how men have dealt with these dilemmas [adultery and fears of cuckolding]. Until recently, essentially all such lawsHebraic, Egyptian, Roman, Aztec, Moslem, African, Chinese, Japanese, and otherswere asymmetrical. They existed to secure a married man's confidence in the paternity of his children, and for no other purpose. (94)

Also,

Until the formation of centralized political states provided soldiers with loftier motives, sexual jealousy also loomed large in human history as a cause of war. It was Paris's seduction (abduction, rape) of Menelaus's wife Helen that provoked the Trojan War. (96)

I just happen to be reading The Third Chimpanzee, and thought this chapter an interesting explanation and discussion, given the way our class discussion went last week. It is, I suppose, synchronicity, or a coincidence; if, that is, one believes in such things.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007:
On Wednesday, February 21, I will be participating in the Interdisciplinary Symposium, 19th-Century Romanticism: Art, Literature, and Influence. (12:30, Library Reading Room, Pemberton Campus). This cross-disciplinary symposium will introduce selected art and poetry, and explore its influence on men's fashion of the period. And, there will be refreshments! Additional information is available here. Please attend and lend your support to this celebration of teaching and learning at BCC. Students in my classes who attend and sign up with me at the event to establish their presence can receive one point extra credit.

Sunday, February 18, 2007:
Just so we are all on the same page: we start Oedipus on Monday, February 19.

In addition, more recommended readings and a recommended listening have been added to the schedule. I especially enjoyed Eric Shanower's  Age of Bronze, and Pictures of The Odyssey from The Liebig Extract of Meat Company, c. 1914.

Finally, an additional "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunity has been added to the schedule: tempOdyssey at the New Jersey Repertory Company "fuses the epic drudgery of temp work with the epic mythology of The Odyssey. It's a comedy. It's a love story. It's a horror story. And much, much more." Previews are February 22, 23 at 2pm and 8pm; the show runs through March 18, 2007. Additional information is available at www.newjerseyrep.org.

Oh, and just in case you're interested: In The Simpsons episode DABF08, "Tales from the Public Domain," when Lisa explains that Hamlet begins with the title character's father being murdered, Bart replies, "Cool! Does he get to marry his mom?" Homer answers, "I don't know, but that would be hot!"

Wednesday, February 7, 2007:
The class seems to be on schedule, for a change: we will begin (and finish?) Job on Friday, February 9, and start the section on Greek Tragedy on Monday, February 12.

Friday, January 26, 2007:
The main page and syllabus have been corrected (yet again!) to reflect the progress of the class today: we will begin (and finish?) Genesis on Monday, January 29. In addition, more recommended readings and a recommended listening have been added to the schedule. Please remember, recommended additional readings/listenings/viewings are not required; however, they provide alternative readings, historical and cultural backgrounds, criticism, personal literary responses, or entertaining (irreverent, possibly sacrilegious) revisions. Students who find themselves becoming deeply interested in one or more of the required readings may find these interesting and/or useful.

Monday, January 22, 2007:
As announced in class today, an additional "Recommended Fieldtrip"/Extra Credit opportunity has been added to the schedule:
from January 25 through February 12, Seamus Heaney's The Burial at Thebes (based on Sophocles' Antigone) is showing at LaMaMa.
See Extra Credit on the main page for additional information.

Sunday, January 21, 2007:
The main page and syllabus have been corrected; the versions now posted include the correct dates for each session and for presentations.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007:
The main page and syllabus have been updated for the Spring 2007 semester, including specific assignments and dates. I have not yet verified all links, however, so please notify me of any missing, broken or outdated links by email.

 

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