EN351 Foundations of Literature

for SP 2008

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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 2008 HO


Dr. Lolly Ockerstrom


Assistant Professor of English


B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English)

Office Location

321 Copley Hall

Office Hours

MF 1:40 - 2:40 p.m.; TR 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.



Semester Dates

16 January 2007 - 11 May 2007

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 - 12:50 PM


En 105 and 106 or equivalent

Credit Hours



  • Alighiere, Dante. Inferno. Elio Zappulla, translator. New York: Vintage Books, 1999.
  • Armstrong, Karen. In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis. New York: Random House, 1996.
  • Atwood, Margaret. The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus. Baker and Taylor, 2005.
  • Bible. Any translation.
  • Davis, Paul, et al. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature (Book 1). Boston: Bedford, St. Martin's. 2004.  
  • Homer. The Odyssey. Robert Fagles, translator. New York: Penguin Group USA, 1996.
  • Any good writer's handbook.

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.

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 that form a foundation for modern literature. The course includes texts from around the world which function as models for modern writers and provide hints regarding the origins of 20th Century thought and culture. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

As Paulo Freire argues in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, students are not empty vessels into which professors must pour knowledge. Students bring many experiences and other types of knowing into the classroom. In the spirit of Freire, I try to set up a collaborative classroom environment that allows students to use what they already know to learn more and to teach each other.
I try to present students with more questions than answers, which will help create an atmosphere of exploration with emphasis on student discussion. The reading load for this course is heavy, and initially difficult. This means students must make a commitment to the course, to the other students in the course, and to the literature. Reading literature, particularly ancient texts, involves critical thinking about the texts, which means spending time reading closely. As we read, we will consider the historical and cultural contexts of the ancient and modern texts assigned in this course. Like all good scholars, we will read and write, talk and explore ideas while making connections between texts and contexts. 

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:


  • Class participation (includes: arriving in class on time prepared with all assignments; oral presenations; quizzes) 
  • 2 Response Papers
  • Mid-term examination
  • Critical paper (core assessment)  



Class participation: 20% (50 points)
  • Participation includes arriving in class on time prepared with homework. (30 points). Participation includes daily and weekly activities throughout the term, and volunteering thoughtful commentary. Possibility of pop quizzes. 
  • Oral presentation: (20 points for completing a thoughtful, in-depth report). Oral presentations are considered part of your participation grade. Presentations should last about 15 minutes, and must show evidence of careful preparation; depth and relevance of information; organization; clear links to the literature, with discussion. 
  • Attendance will be assessed at the end of the term. See "Absences," below. 

Response papers: 30% (25 points each)

  • You will write 2 response papers (each worth 25 points) this term. Minimum length: 3 pages. These papers will be personal responses to questions about the readings. Although less formal than a critical paper, the response papers should follow the conventions of essay writing 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.
  • Outside research is NOT required or needed for these short papers. Paper should include personal reactions based on careful close reading of the primary text. (Yes, you should say "I" in these papers!) However, the papers are about the literature, not about your life. 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.
Mid-Term exam:  20% (50 points)
  • A short answer/short essay exam will be given around week 8. 

Critical Paper: 30%  (50 points) [The critical paper is the Core Assessment for this course. See rubric.]

  • The critical paper will consist of the following components: 1) a written proposal; 2) a discovery draft (typed); 3) a short annotated bibliography; 4) a final draft of 10 pages, with a title page, a Works Cited page, and in-text MLA documentation.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio with all components, including drafts and copies of source material will be turned in on the last day of class. Detailed information on the paper will be distributed later in the term.
  • NOTE: Critical paper portfolios will be accepted ONLY from students who have met all preliminary deadlines for each paper component. NO PORTFOLIO will be accepted from any student who has not attended class and participated fully in all class activities.
  • ENGLISH MAJORS: You are required to write your paper using one of the major critical approaches to literature (includes biographical; cultural-historicist; feminist; Marxist; deconstructionist; etc.)
      A: 180 - 200 
      B: 160 - 179
      C: 140 - 159
      D: 120 - 139
      F: Below 120

Late Submission of Course Materials:

  • Students are expected to meet deadlines. Ten points will be deducted for each day a paper is late. No exceptions. 
  • The Mid-term examination will be given in class in week 8. You must be in class to take the exam.  
  • 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.
NOTE: Papers are due on the due date at the beginning of class. Print your own copies ahead of time using your own computer or a computer on campus. Do not ask the professor to print out papers for you.

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;
  • 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, please; WATER is allowed.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

      Note: The Bedford Anthology of World Literature is referred to as BAWL in this assignment listing.

WEEK ONE: Introductions, writing samples, Gilgamesh. (BAWL p. 55 - 91).
WEEK TWO: Finish Gilgamesh.
      Biblical texts: Genesis: The Creation Story, Genesis I: 1-31; 2:1-24
      Selections from John Milton, Paradise Lost (handout)
      Karen Armstrong, In the Beginning (roughly first half of book).
WEEK THREE: Biblical texts: (from BAWL or other translation)
      The Ancient Hebrews, intro., (BAWL, p. 127)
      Cain and Abel, Genesis 4: 1-16
      The Flood, Genesis 6:1-22; 7:1-24; 8:1-22; 9:1-14
      Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 21:1-21; 22:1-18;
      Armstrong, In the Beginning (middle to the end of book).
      Joseph and His Brothers, Genesis 37:1-36; 39:1-23; 40:1-23; 41:1-57; 42:1-38; 43:1-34; 44:1-34; 45:1-28; 46:1-7
WEEK FOUR: Moses and The Exodus: Exodus 11:1-10;
      Passover: Exodus 12:1-36;
      The Exodus from Egypt: Exodus 11:37-42; 13:17-22; 14:1-31
      The Ten Commandments: Exodus 19:1-25; 20:1-21
      **First Response paper on Gilgamesh/Biblical texts.**
WEEK FIVE:  Homer, The Iliad. Introduction, BAWL, p. 277.
      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
      Oral report options: Conventions of epic; the Greeks and war; the Trojan horse; role of women; gods and goddesses.
WEEK SIX: Homer, The Iliad, BAWL
      Book 16: The Death of Patroclus
      Book 18: The Shield of Achilles
      Book 22: The Death of Hector
      Book 24: Achilles and Priam
      Oral report options: Achilles's shield; more gods and goddesses; social hierarchies; war, death, and ritual.
WEEK SEVEN: Sophocles. Intro, p. 891 - 898. Oedipus Rex, BAWL, p. 899. 
      Oral report options: Greek theatre; Greek social structure; women in Greece; oracles.
WEEK EIGHT: Greek tragedy: Sophocles, Antigone, BAWL, p. 952.
         **Mid-Term exam** (inclass on Friday).
WEEK NINE: Homer, The Odyssey (Fagles translation). Read over quickly 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 report options: Greek pantheon; hospitality; Greek geography; Tennyson's "The Lotus-Eaters" )
WEEK TEN: The Odyssey
      Books 13 - 18 (Ithaca; homecoming; the swineherd; the nursemaid, Eurycleia; Penelope; the suitors).
      Oral report options: Athena; goddesses; women of The Odyssey)
      **Discussion of Critical Paper assignment**
WEEK ELEVEN: The Odyssey: Books
      Books 19 - 24, (Athena; the suitors; Odysses' bow; slaugher; the great bed; retelling war stories)
      **Typed proposal for critical paper on The Odyssey due.**
WEEK TWELVE: Dante, The Inferno. Introduction, Cantos 1 - 14.
      Oral report options: Dante's life; nine circles of hell; 13th Century Florence
      **Response Paper on The Inferno due.**
WEEK THIRTEEN: Dante, The Inferno. Cantos 15 - 34.
      **Draft of critical paper due.**
WEEK FOURTEEN: Atwood, The Penelopiad (entire book).
WEEK FIFTEEN: Critical paper due Friday. (Portfolio: include proposal; drafts; Work Cited; copies of source material)
FINALS WEEK: Catch up. Return papers.

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86
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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

1-2 absences: No Penalty.

2-4 absences: Final grade will be downgraded by one full letter (an "A" will become a "B").

5-6 absences: Final grade will be downgraded by 2 full letter grades (an "A" will become a "C").

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. Please do this PRIOR to class--do not 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:12/27/2007 1:57:00 PM