EN351 Classical Foundations of Literat

for SP 2010

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 351 Foundations of Literature


SP 2010 HO


Dr. Lolly Ockerstrom


Assistant Professor of English


B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English) Northeastern University, Boston
Certificate, Advanced Workshops on Writing (Martha's Vineyard)

Office Location

321 Copley Hall

Office Hours

TR 9:00 - 11:30 and by appointment



Semester Dates

11 January January 2010 - 7 May 2010

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 - 12:50 PM


En 105 and 106 highly recommended. Introductory literature course also recommended.

Credit Hours



  • Alighiere, Dante. Inferno. Elio Zappulla, translator. New York: Vintage Books, 1999.
  • Atwood, Margaret. The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus. Baker and Taylor, 2005.  
  • Homer. The Iliad. Robert Fagles, translator. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2008.
  • Homer. The Odyssey. Robert Fagles, translator. New York: Penguin Group USA, 1996.
  • St. Augustine. The Confessions of St. Augustine. New York: Penguin, 2008.
  • Virgil, The Aeneid. Robert Fagles, translator. New York: Penguin Classics, 2008
  • Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer. 4th edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Park online writing lab. Use pull down menu on the Park website to locate it. You will need your Park password to access it.
Purdue University online writing lab:  www.purdueowl.edu

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
A study of major texts from world literature that form a foundation for later western literature. Special attention to Greek and Roman authors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Reading, writing, and critical thinking are at the heart of learning, and students learn best through collaborative projects. Therefore, my teaching is based on a range of activities that engage students with the making of meaning as they read and study ancient literature.
The reading load for this course is heavy, and initially difficult. But through reading and discussion, we not only enter worlds that differ greatly from our own, we gain insights into the foundations of our literature. At the same time, we can make connections with the ancient past that invigorate our sense of western literary traditions. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze ancient texts in terms of formal elements and literary conventions;
  2. Interpret ancient texts using historical, cultural, and theoretical approaches.
  3. Make connections between ancient stories and later literature.

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core LearningOutcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.

 The rubric for this assignment is published so the student can see the expectations.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

  • Quizzes/short essays
  • Oral presentation with reflective paper
  • Response Paper
  • Proposal for critical paper
  • Critical paper (core assessment)  



Quizzes/short essays 100 points
Oral Presentation/class discussion 50 points
Reflective paper on oral presentation 50 points
Response paper 50 points
Proposal for Critical Paper 25 points
Draft of Critical Paper 25 points
Revised, Final Draft of Critical Paper (Core Assessment) 75 points
NOTE: In addition to the written and oral assignments listed above, class participation may add or subtract from your final grade. Class participation: class attendance; arriving on time prepared with homework; contributing thoughtful, informed commentary to discussions. Attendance will be assessed at the end of the term. See policy on absences.
A 360-400
B 320-359
C 280-319
D 240-279
F Below 240

Oral presentations: Students will work collaboratively with at least one other student on an oral presentation based on the assigned readings from the syllabus. Presentations should include background (relevant biographical, historical, and theoretical perspectives) as well as class discussion of the literary work assigned. This project should take the entire class period, and should include a class exercise as well as extended discussion. Power points should be limited to pertinent information and lead to a fruitful discussion. Over-reliance on power points may result in a lowered grade for this assignment. Students must demonstrate ability to analyze their topic, raise relevant cultural/historical issues, and apply literary theory to promote discussion of the literary work. A rubric and guidelines will be provided. Students will submit individual reflective essays about their oral presentations, due one week following their presentation. 

 Response papers: You will write 1 response paper. These papers will be focused on a single work, a group of works, or an issue relating to the work. Response papers offer personal responses to the readings. Although less formal than a critical paper, the response papers should noneless follow the conventions of essay writing, include a minimum of 2-3 important quotations from the primary work, and conform to Standard Written English. In the papers, you will explore a reading assignment in some depth as you answer the questions about the reading. A series of questions will be provided you. Papers should offer ways to interpret the literature in terms of cultural issues, thematic motifs, literary conventions, etc. and not simply offer summaries of readings or rehash class discussion.

Critical Paper: The critical paper is the Core Assessment for this course. See rubric.
The critical paper will be preceded by a formal proposal with a detailed outline of the proposed topic, including a research and writing schedule and an annotated list of secondary sources. The critical paper must be written on a literary work or works from the list of readings on the syllabus. The paper will be no less than 8 pages of discussion in length, with an additional title page and a Works Cited page. A minimum of five secondary sources are required in addition to the primary source. The paper should include a thesis (an arguable point); be fully developed with detailed discussion and examples from the primary text; be logically organized; and include correctly formatted, relevant sources using MLA documentation style. Papers should follow the conventions of Standard Written English, show that the writer has an understanding of audience and purpose, and be carefully proofread prior to submission. Additional information regarding the critical paper, including a list of topic suggestions, will be distributed in class.
Writing Ability: It is understood that in an advanced English course, students understand and can apply the basics of writing: focus, development, organization, and mechanics (including the use of MLA documentation).  
NOTE: Missed quizzes, in-class essays, exams, and oral presentations may not be made up regardless of reason for absence. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

  • Papers are due on the due date at the beginning of class. Late papers are unprofessional, unfair to other students, and disrespectful to the professor.
  • Penalty for late papers: Ten points will be deducted for the first day late, including non-class days. 25 points will be deductced from papers that are two days late. No paper will be accepted after the third day. No exceptions.
  • Do not ask to leave class to print out your paper on the due date. You are to arrive in class on time with your paper ready to submit. Do not email the paper, and do not ask the professor to print out your paper. 
  • The paper should be stapled together (do not use paper clips). This should be done prior to class. 
  • The final critical paper will be accepted only from students who have attended class and met all preliminary deadlines for the proposal, first draft, etc.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students are expected to:

  • arrive in class on time prepared to participate in meaningful discussions about the readings;
  • show respect for all others in the class by listening actively, and asking relevant, informed questions and comments, and when necessary disagreeing in a discourse and manner appropriate to an academic environment;
  • use positive body language; 
  • turn off all electronic equipment, including computers, cell phones, iPods, etc. while in class. Do not text in class; students who text in class will be counted absent. 
  • bring all required materials to class;
  • follow instructions for turning in homework (provide your own staples when needed for hard copies; print out homework prior to class period), meet deadlines;
  • participate in all activities as outlined in handouts and explained verbally;
  • honor guidelines relating to academic honesty and the avoidance of plagiarism;
  • refrain from eating or drinking soft drinks in class: NO FOOD in the classroom; WATER is allowed.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

WEEK ONE, Jan. 12 & 14: Introductions, writing samples. Discussion of epic. Epic conventions. Homer, The Iliad. Use any translation. Read the following books and be prepared to discuss in detail those followed by an askerisk:
      Book I: The Rage of Achilles*
      Book 6: Hector Returns to Troy*
      Book 8: The Tide of Battle Turns
      Book 9: The Emissaries visit Achilles
Focus: Achilles and Helen of Troy; depiction of war.
WEEK TWO, Jan. 19 & 21: Homer, The Iliad
      Book 16: The Death of Patroclus*
      Book 18: The Shield of Achilles*
      Book 22: The Death of Hector*
      Book 24: Achilles and Priam
Oral presentations: Achilles's shield; community and cultural practices; social hierarchies; war, death, and ritual.
 WEEK THREE, Jan. 26 & 28: Homer, The Odyssey (Fagles translation). Read Introduction and Notes by Bernard Knox.
      Books 1 - 6 (Athena; Telemachus; King Nestor; King and Queen of Sparta; Nausicaa)
      Books 7 - 8 (Phaeacians; games; contests)
      Books 9 -12 (Cyclops; Lotus-eaters; Nobody; Circe; Poseidon; Kingdom of the Dead; the Sirens)
Oral presentations: Greek pantheon; hospitality; Greek geography; Tennyson's "The Lotus-Eaters"
WEEK FOUR, Feb. 2 & 4:  Homer, The Odyssey, cont. 
 Books 13 - 18 (Ithaca; homecoming; the swineherd; the nursemaid, Eurycleia; Penelope; the suitors).
Oral Presentations: Athena; goddesses; women of The Odyssey
WEEK FIVE, Feb. 9 & 11:  The Odyssey, cont. 
      Books 19 - 24, (Athena; the suitors; Odysses' bow; slaugher; the great bed; retelling war stories)
WEEK SIX, Feb. 16 & 18:  Dante, The Inferno. Introduction, Cantos 1 - 10.
Oral Presentations: Dante's life; nine circles of hell; 13th Century Florence.
WEEK SEVEN, Feb. 23 & 25: Dante. Cantos 11 - 21
Oral Presntations: Illustrations by Gustave Dore. The Wood of the Suicides. Politics and the Church.
***Response paper on Dante.***
WEEK EIGHT, Mar. 2 & 4:  Dante. Cantos 22 - 34.
***Discuss Critical Paper Assignment*** 
***SPRING BREAK: March 8-12***
WEEK NINE, Mar. 16 & 18:  The Confessions of St. Augustine.
Books I-V. Discussion of childhood; stealing the  pears; student days; Monica.
Oral Presentation: Autobiography and St. Augustine. Conversion narrative.
***Critical Paper proposals due Tuesday at beginning of class.***
WEEK TEN, Mar. 23 & 25: Tuesday: The Confessions of St. Augustine. Books VI-X. Turmoil, disenchantment, Platonism; conversion to Christianity. Reasons for writing autobiography. Books XI-XIII. Self analysis, meditation on goodness.
Thursday: Begin Virgil, The Aeneid. Read Introduction and Book I.
Oral Presentation: Virgil; the Founding of Rome.
WEEK ELEVEN, Mar. 30 and April 1: Virgil. The Aeneid. Read: Books 2-5
Oral Presentation: The founding of Rome. Intervention of the gods.    

WEEK TWELVE, April 6 & 8:
 The Aeneid. Books 6-9. Comparison of shield of Achilles in The Iliad
 ***First Drafts of Critical Paper due Tuesday at beginning of class: mininum of 4 full pages of text. 
 WEEK THIRTEEN, April 13 & 15: The Aeneid, Books 10-12
WEEK FOURTEEN, April 20 & 22: Atwood, The Penelopiad (entire book). Retelling of Odysseus' homecoming from Penelope's perspective.
WEEK FIFTEEN, April 27 & 29:  Overview and connections.
***Critical papers due Tuesday at beginning of class.***

EXAM WEEK May 3-7.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Do your own work.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Do your own work at all times. Use MLA documentation style for any ideas you have gotten from someone else, whether you quote directly or not.

Any instance of plagiarism will result in an F for the assignment, an F for the class and possible explusion from the university.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

1-2 absences: No Penalty.

2 absences: Loss of 25 points.

3 absences: Loss of 50 points.

4 absences: Loss of 75 points.

5 absences: Loss of 100 points.

6 or more absences: Failure to pass the course.

NOTE: Homework is due on time regardless of reason for absence. It is up to you to find out what happened in class if you are absent. Please do not approach the professor and ask, "Did I miss anything?" Even worse, do not ask, "Did I miss anything IMPORTANT?" The answer is always yes!

If you experience extenuating circumstances, it is up to you to initiate a conversation with the professor about your situation during the professor's office hours. Do not approach the professor at the beginning of a class or expect to use class time to discuss your personal issues. Be prepared to provide documentation for absences.

Keep in mind that exceptions are rarely granted for additional absences. I will always be sympathetic, but I will not bend the rules for you.


You are to provide written documentation from your coach for EACH athletic event that prevents you from attending class. Such documentation should be submitted PRIOR to any absence in order for you to be officially excused. You must meet all deadlines and turn in any homework before you leave for your athletic event.

Excessive absences regardless of reason will negatively affect your final grade.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
If you have a documented disability that interferes with your ability to attend class, it is your responsibility to provide me with appropriate documentation. It is also your responsibility to initiate conversations regarding your situation and any questions you have regarding assignments. Please note that excessive absences, regardless of reason, will have a negative effect on your grade, and in some cases may prevent you from successfully completing the course.


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
2, 3, 4, 6-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA Documentation Style perceptively and creatively in ways that contribute to fresh insights and new knowledge, while still retaining personal voice. Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA Documentation Style adequately without particularly fresh insights while still retaining personal voice. Primary and secondary sources used rarely if at all, without adequate MLA Documentation. Insights are predictable and do not contribute to new knowledge. Voice lacks appropriate personal component. Neither primary nor secondary sources are documented. 
-2, 3, 4, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Provides convincing connections between texts and offers clear and creative critiques through close readings to illustrate main point of essay. Provides connections between texts that are obvious but nonetheless interesting. Writer adequately critiques the primary text through close readings, though does not offer critical insight. Connections between texts remain vague and undeveloped. Presents a critique not supported by close readings. No clear connections are made between texts. The writer does not offer a critique of the reading, or attempt a close reading. 
2, 3, 4, 6-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Offers personal insights to interpretation of readings throughout the essay by making clear statements of personal assessment. Makes some personal insights which are relevant and interpretive. The writer offers only plot summary without personal or critical interpretation. Texts are not evaluated critically or personally. 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Literary and critical terminology used appropriately throughout the paper with ease and style. Employs some literary and critical terminology in some parts of the paper. Rarely uses literary and critical terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. No evidence of literary or critical terms. 
Critical concepts are presented within the context of literary analysis throughout the paper. Critical concepts are presented in some parts of the paper. Critical concepts are misused or omitted altogether. No evidence of critical concepts. 
Literary theory is thoroughly embedded throughout the paper and informs the argument and the analysis. Literary theory is often referred to in the paper and helps refine the analysis. Literary theory is mentioned rarely and does not contribute to the analysis. No evidence of literary theory. 
The paper is well focused on a clear and convincing argument and offers fresh, perceptive insight. No problems with Standard Written English. The paper is focused on a clear argument but lacks consistently high delivery of ideas and concepts. Writer shows competency in using Standard Written English, with only occasional, minor lapses. Lacks focus and clarity. Purpose is unclear; details are irrelevant or too undeveloped to be useful to reader. Problems with Standard Written English detract from author's ideas. The focus and purpose is confusing to the reader and lacks direction and detail. No competency in using Standard Written English. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
The paper presents each point in a logical sequence with artfully constructed examples that support the central argument and present fresh perspectives. The paper presents each point in a logical sequence with well developed examples that support the central argument. Some of the examples seem puzzling and do not contribute to a central idea. Complete lack of appropriate and clear examples. Lacks development. 


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Last Updated:12/31/2009 4:20:52 PM