Class Announcements

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Class Announcement 12/4 & 12/6/17

Today we have Dante Projects due and we will be doing presentations.

Final Exam Schedule

Wed. 12/13 from 8:00-10:30

We will have information about the Final Exam given next class. This final exam will be "comprehensive."

If you miss class today, you will need to contact me to get the topic sheet for the Final Exam.

Preparing for the Final Exam:
Phase I--Review
Take some time (maybe two hours) to review each of the three themes we have used to examine the literature we have read: Campbell's hero monomyth, Epic, and Orality.

Phase II--Zero in on Your Chosen Epic
Then review the epic you will write about. Re-read/skim the epic again, and examine it in terms of each theme. Gather notes of connections you find for each theme in your epic. Then put together the strongest connections you will use for the Final and create your notesheet.

Campbell's Hero Monomyth--The Hero With A Thousand Faces
--other materials I have provided you (see 9/13 Class Announcement)

Definitions of Epic

Orality Resources
--Ong's definition and characteristics of orality
--some examples of orality


Class Announcement 11/29/17

Today we will complete our discussion of some of the contrapasso punishments and then work on The Dante Project

Two important sources you should definitely check in the Reference section of the Library (2nd floor):

The Dante Encyclopedia
PQ4333.D36 2000

The Cambridge Companion to Dante
PQ4335.R49 2006


ALL Dante Projects are due next class.
This final draft needs to be a MLA Documented paper, so be sure that your final essay looks like this example: Example MLA paper.

Please include a copy of your image with the final project.

We will begin doing presentations next class. Each person will have 5-7 minutes to present on their Dante Project.

Class Announcement 11/27/17

Today we will continue to discuss Dante as we get to the deepest reaches of Hell.

Dante Links
The Princeton Dante Project

After some discussion, we will discuss The Dante Project.

Getting turned on to the Dartmouth Dante Project and how you can use it to access commentaries.

Do some work for your Dante Project.
(Wikipedia is NOT a good source; nor are any of the Spark Notes or similar sites.)


Class Announcement 11/15/17

Introduction to Dante's Inferno
--Dante's world view and verse
--what the Inferno sounds like in Italian (experience the terza rima)

What is Contrapasso?
Dante Worlds--a good reading companion.

More in Contrapasso

"What distinguishes its [contrapasso's] appearance in the Comedy is that, in the poem, it does not function merely as a form of divine revenge, but rather as the fulfillment of a destiny freely chosen by each soul during his or her life. ...

There are a number of cases in which the contrapasso appears to function as the tragic fulfillment and realization of a metaphorical discourse, that is to say, as the transposition into everlasting 'reality' of a common metaphor, habitually used to describe an inner, spiritual condition" (78).

from "Introduction to Inferno" by Lino Pertile in The Cambridge Companion to Dante (2007).


1) Inferno Canto VI-XV B409-443

2) Reading Response #12
Pick one sin within Dante's Inferno to write a response on (up through Canto XV).  Write a detailed description of this group of sinner's punishment. Then write your own interpretation of how this punishment is a fitting "contrapasso" for this sin.  Remember, "contrapasso" is more than just reciprocal punishment--it is a re-enactment of their sin for all eternity. 

--should be a minimum of 250 words and include quotes from Dante

Post your response in the “Reading Response #12” discussion forum in Canvas
--due before class time


Class Announcements 11/13/17

About Mayan Codices--really interesting site

1491--an Atlantic article with a glimpse of what the entire book is like

Digital copy of the original manuscript of the Popul Vuh

The Dante Project

Homework for next time:
To read the introduction to Dante's Inferno, and Canto I-V, B387-409.


Class Announcement 11/8/17

Some links about African Griot's and the oral tradition

--modern day griot explains African storytelling
--story from America's tradition of African storytelling

Then we will take some time to find examples of the features of orality within our reading.
Collaborative space to put examples of characteristics of orality
--click here

Read the selection in volume C of the Popul Vuh and write Reading Response #11

Read our selection on the Popul Vuh. Respond to what you think of this story compared to the other ones we have read. Then identify a few features of orality within this text. Cite the exact passages and what feature of orality they illustrate.

--response should be a minimum of 250 words.


Class Announcement 11/6/17

Essay #2s are due today.

Please turn in your paper electronically to Canvas if you have not yet done so and turn in a PRINT copy to me.
--if you are absent today, I will expect you to turn in the essay unless I hear from your otherwise.
--late essays lose -10 points and must be turned in within a week or the grade is a zero

We will do something with these essays in class.

Then we will discuss Orality and the characteristics of Orality identified by Walter Ong.

Homework for next class:
1) Read the introduction to Sunjata pgs. C12-15, and the actual epic only through 28. Try reading some of it aloud. Experience this raw form of oral poetry. (It is not an easy read.)

2) After you complete reading the portion of the epic, reskim the poem and see if you can identify some of Ong's characteristics of orality in this poem. Be ready to share these in class next time.

Class Announcements 11/1/17

Today we will be in the computer classroom.

Please post your draft into the peer response forum. Your goal is to do three peer responses and you can do a fourth for extra-credit. I will conference with people who have questions while we are doing peer response.

Whatever peer response you do not complete in-class is due by the end of today.

If you are absent, I expect the draft to be in and peer response to be complete no later than the end of today unless I hear from you.

Recommendation: If you are struggling, I recommend that you come see me for a conference for help OR you can set up an appointment in the Writing Center.

My office hours:
MW 9-11, T 10-12, R 1-3 (I should be available this Friday by appointment in the morning.)


The final draft of Essay #2 is due at the beginning of next class. Please come to class with a PRINT copy of your essay to turn into me and an electronic copy to be turned in to Canvas.

--Evaluation Rubric for Essay

Class Announcement 10/30/17

Today we will talk about the amazing ending of the Ramayana

Event: Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights 2017 is Sat. 11/4!

Then we will discuss Essay #2 and what each task is about. Then we will do some brainstorming together.

Essay Question: Is this definition of epic a good definition I agree with or disagree with?

Thesis: This definition of epic is a good definition I agree with.


Epic #1
Epic #2
Epic #3
Epic #4?



1) FIRST do some brainstorming following my suggestioned table above. Search within the Epics for specific quotes that support the connection between a feature and an epic.

2) Then draft your essay
--This should be a substantial draft that at least has a completed BODY of the essay where you discuss all the epics you will discuss. It does not have to be 100% developed, but you should be at least 700 words and should be using quotes.
KEY--taking the time to do the brainstorming sheet will help your drafting immensely!

Drafts are due in the "Essay #2-draft 1" assignment in Canvas.
--late drafts count off -5pts from the final grade of the essay

I strongly recommend that you visit me or the Writing Center for assistance with your drafting.

Class Announcement 10/25/17

Today we will continue discussing the Ramayana.

Then we will get the Essay #2 topic sheet
--we will discuss epic and your three options for topics for this essay
--Epic Conventions

(NOTE: Here is the link to the Cowan article if you are interested in that topic.)

1) Complete reading the Ramayana if you have not finished it. The ending is really important.

2) Write Response #10 on the ending of The Ramayana.

3) Do some thinking about Essay #2 and what topic you will choose. Be prepared to do some brainstorming on your topic in class next time.

Class Announcement 10/23/17

Today we discuss the Ramayana and Epic

Topic for class discussion

Discussion Question for in-class:

Based upon what we have learned about "dharma," work with a group to discuss the moral dilemmas in the first part of this story (1177-1180)
—the King must decide if he will follow dharma and keep his promise to Kaykeyi (even though doing so will mean his son Rama who rightfully should be king next will be supplanted by his brother)
--Rama must decide if he will do what his father says and go away to the forest for 14 years (even when he knows Kaykeyi has gotten the King to do a wicked thing) or will he take Laksmanas advice and go into open rebellion with arms
--Rama must also decide if he will go against his mother who says he must follow her and not his father's wishes

What might you have done in Rama's place?  Write about the seeming place of "dharma" in the story and how it guides Rama's decisions in these early dilemmas.   (Look again at the definition of dharma).  Find a number of quotes from the story to support your thinking.   (length roughly 150-250)



Please complete reading The Ramayana A1203-A1234

Class Announcement 10/18/17

Today we will write our mid-term essay in-class!

1) Read the first half of the Ramayana (see calendar of assignments for pages)

2) Write a response to this reading in Reading Response #9.

Extra-credit Opportunity
What is "epic?" Do some research and include different definitions you find of what "epic" means and what defines a work of literature as "epic." Be sure to cite your sources so others can find them, and if you quote something be sure to enclose those words inside quotation marks.

Due by next class

Class Announcement 10/16/17

Today we will discuss Beowulf.

--Beowulf in hypertext (a site with a lot of good stuff on Beowulf)

We will also talk about the mid-term that is next class.

Information on the Mid-Term
Our mid-term exam will be an in-class essay exam on the Wed. 10/18. The essay exam will ask you write about the four epics we have read so far: Gilgamesh, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Iliad, and Beowulf.

How do you prepare?
I suggest that you do two activities to prepare yourself for the mid-term:
1) Review each of our epics in terms of Campbell's hero cycle. What features of the hero monomyth stand out in each epic?
2) Review each epic and its hero's quests in terms of fame and honor. How does the quest for fame and honor play out in each epic?

I recommend that you spend some time reviewing and writing notes on each epic in terms of these two questions.

You will get the actual topic in-class today, and then be able to prepare a "notesheet" you can use to write from during the mid-term. Notesheets should have few if any full sentences or paragraphs--nothing draft-like. It should be an outline of what you will write. You will write the mid-term in-class on Wednesday.

If you will be absent on 10/18, you must make arrangements with me ahead of time for an alternate time to take the test.
I strongly recommend you gather with a study group to review together and share notes.
Notebook Check Also!

Wednesday, please bring in your notebook for a notebook check grade. Your notebook should comprise
--your classroom notes (I even look for notes when you were absent)
--your response to readings (if you printed them out) and any other notes you have taken
--your essay
--any handouts I have given out

I grade the notebooks on completeness and items being in chronological order.


Class Announcement 10/11/17

Today we will bury Hector and the Iliad and move on to Beowulf.

Hearing Beowulf in Old English --see original text
--hear it in translation from Francis Barton Gummer
--view Gummer's text

More on the Beowulf manuscript

The world of Beowulf depicted in "The Wanderer," Anglo-Saxo

n poem.
--sort of what the ancient mead-hall would have been like...

Reading Response for next class
Complete reading Beowulf and write on the last section where Beowulf fights the Dragon. What sorts of connections can you make in this section with Campbell and the hero monomyth? What is the relationship between this third section and the first two sections of Beowulf? Can you see a larger "movement" in the hero character of Beowulf?


Anyone doing a rewrite on Essay #1 must have this rewrite to me by the end of today!
--I need both the original graded essay and the new print copy.

Class Announcement 10/4/17

Today Mrs. Focht-Hansen will be talking about the Iliad and guiding us on an exercise about the Shield of Achilles.

The homework is to read Books XXII and XXIV of the Iliad pp. 299-312. Then do the Reading Response #7 found in Canvas.


Class Announcements 10/2/17

Today we will return Essay #1s.
--Essay #1 Topic Sheet

EVERYONE has the opportunity to rewrite this essay. All rewrites are due in 1 week--by Mon. 10/9
--Most of you need to review "essay basics" about writing a "critical essay."
--The Characteristics of a Critical Essay (links to each of the criteria for evaluation)
--Using Quotes and the Yet More on the Art of Integrating Quotes
--Example MLA paper
Complete Irvin Writing Guides

I strongly recommend that if you need help with this essay that you get it, but fundamentally the essay is grounded in
a) a good understanding of Gilgamesh
b) a fair reading and understanding of Campbell based upon reading his book
Your writing is based upon your reading, so a very important foundation of your essay must be your reading. Guide on Close, Critical Reading.

EACH Body paragraph should develop ONE phase of Campbell's Hero Cycle (e.g. Call to Adventure or Crossing the First Threshold).
--be sure that you have the divisions within Gilgamesh between Departure, Initiation, and Return clear.

EACH Body paragraph needs a transition that links to the thesis.

EACH Body paragraph needs to be developed with two to three quotes from Campbell that define and characterize the phase and two or three quotes from Gilgamesh that support your thesis--that Campbell's ideas of the hero monomyth ARE found in Gilgamesh.

ALL quotes need to be properly handled and integrated in the text as well as properly documented following MLA Documentation Style--Guide on MLA


In our discussion today, we will finish talking about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and begin talking about The Iliad. It is important if you miss class to get a copy of the notes from a class mate.

Reading for next time: The Iliad Bks IX, XVI, XVIII pp. 256-299.
Assignment Calendar

Class Announcement 9/20/17

Today we turn in our Essay #1 over Gilgamesh!

We will have a detailed discussion in-class, and it will be important to take notes.

--read this post about the meaning of the flood in Gilgamesh

1) Read the first part of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and do the Reading Response for 9/25 (found in Canvas). The post is due electronically, but I encourage you to bring a paper copy of it to take notes on in class.

Class Announcement 9/18/17

Today we have a draft of Essay #1 due.

We will spend some time doing peer response and helping each other with our drafts.

Then I will review some "essay basics" about writing a "critical essay."
--The Characteristics of a Critical Essay
--Example MLA paper

Complete Irvin Writing Guides


Homework for 9/20

Final Drafts of Essay #1 are due by the beginning of class.
--see the Essay #1 Assignment Sheet for details of the essay requirements

Class Announcement 9/13/17

click for larger image

See this website for a pretty good guide to the different parts of Campbell's heromonomyth
Another pretty good summary of Campbell's hero monomyth

Essay #1 Topic Sheet


1) Review the Essay #1 topic sheet above and follow recommendations for working on the essay to produce a 1st draft of the Essay due by class time next time. Please bring in a print copy of your draft, whether it is handwritten or typed.

Late drafts lose -5 pts from the final essay grade.

Class Announcement 9/11

Museum Artifact assignment is not due until 9/18
--free admission on Tues 4-9 and Sun 10-12

Joseph Campbell and the hero monomyth in the movies

Campbell Hero w/ 1000 faces

Luke Meets Obi Wan Kenobi (you must go to alderon)

Rafiki and Lion King—Remember who you are

Yoda Training Luke, entering the dark cave
(wisdom of the underworld journey)


call to adventure scene 3:25

awakens to toa of light 51:00

trial with Makuta (father) 57:30

Class Announcement 8/30/17

2nd Day Discussion Questions for Groups on Gilgamesh, Pt. 1

Homework for 9/4:

No class Monday because of Labor Day, but we have homework due.

Reading Response for 9/4/17 over the remainder of Gilgamesh A124-151
Write a 1-2 page informal response 250-500 words addressing these questions. This work is due by class time on Monday (even though we don't have class). Then, do four short 25-50 word replies to the thoughts of your peers by midnight on 9/4. Post response and reply inside Canvas.

Reading Response Questions to Gilgamesh A124-151
1. Summarize what happens in the remainder of the text in no more than three sentences.
2. What do you think is the meaning of the story of the flood?
3. Is Gilgamesh's quest a success or a failure? Why? What does he return with?
4. Identify two key passages: give the location in the text and discuss why you think the passage is important.


Homework for 9/6 Reading Response to Hero with a Thousand Faces--prologue and departure
(3-4, 10-96)

Write an informal 1-2 page response of 250-500 words addressing the following questions. Post into Canvas. Bring a print copy to class.

1. Write a five sentence narrative describing the Departure phase of the hero path.
2. What aspects of Campbell's ideas from the Departure phase of the hero cycle can you identify within the first half of Gilgamesh (up to when Enkidu dies).
3. Connect three key quotes from Campbell defining a part of the Departure phase with three passages in Gilgamesh (quote to quote). You don't have to recopy all of the quotes but can identify where they come from and summarize them.
4. What questions do you have about the Departure phase? What thoughts?

--250-500 words, post in Canvas and bring print copy to class. No replies.

Class Announcements 8/28/17

Welcome to English 2332.013--World Literature I

What is this announcements page for?
Within this class announcements page, I will periodically post pertinent information regarding our course and assignments. It is NOT a daily log of our homework. If you are absent, contact me or a classmate to find out what we did in class (and check our assignment calendar).

Homework for next class-- 8/30

Read “Invention of Writing”—Introduction, pages A3-8 (i.e. in Book A) and the first half of Gilgamesh pages A95-124. (Expect this reading to take you two to three hours.)

Write 1-2 pages responding to the readings.  Open response. What do you think it means? What confuses you? Response can be handwritten this time.