Dr. L. Adam Mekler 
Hum211: 2
Fall 2013
Office:  Holmes Hall 228
Office Phone: (443) 885-4032
Email@Morgan: adam.mekler@morgan.edu
Class Homepage: http://l-adam-mekler.com/211links.htm
Any revisions to this syllabus will be posted on our class page. Please check the web page regularly for any announcements, especially if you have missed class.

Go To Assignments For:
August/September October November  December 
Course Requirements

Required Text: Jackson, et. al., eds. Humanities in the Ancient and Pre-Modern World

Students are required to bring all necessary books with them to class. There will be periodic book quizzes, during which anyone who doesn't have the assigned reading with them WILL lose a full point off the final average.  On-line versions are available for most readings, especially at the beginning of the semester, so economic hardship, while certainly a reality for many of us, does not constitute a valid excuse in this context.  Please come speak with me if you have any questions.

In addition to assigned readings and homework questions, which must be completed before coming to class, there will also be one (1) brief (1000 word minimum) critical response paper, one (1) museum response paper (500 word minimum), in addition to one (1) documented research paper (2500 word minimum), using a minimum of six (6) secondary sources. You will also take part in a group presentation of a minimum thirty minutes to be given during the second part of the course.  There will also be a mid-term and a final examination.

All papers will follow MLA format: Typed, double-spaced, using parenthetical citations and a works cited page, including references made to the textbook.  The main point of the response papers is to allow you the opportunity to explore specific aspects of texts that you find interesting in terms of the literary terms we discuss:   metaphor, imagery, symbolism, setting, theme, etc. Basically, you will be exploring the ways in which use of such devices helps to develop the important themes of the works, etc., but the specific focus is largely up to you.  For the research paper ,  you will be required to use secondary sources to help support the argument you develop.

The museum response paper is a little more informal.  You will still follow proper MLA guidelines, but you will focus on a particular piece or exhibit that you saw, explaining in detail what it was that particularly interested you about it. Secondary source discussion is NOT necessary nor desired. Do Not Just Duplicate the Information Provided on the Little Plaque. That is Plagiarism and you WILL FAIL.  Just describe in your own words what YOU saw. A more detailed discussion of requirements can be found here .

Extra Credit:
Homework Q's
  • Each day, you may hand in written responses to either ALL or TEN (whichever is fewer) other discussion questions for the text assigned for THAT day only.
  • Every five (5) sets of questions will give you one (1) bonus point, up to a possible total of five (5) to be added to your final average.


  • Grading:
    Museum Paper  5%
    Critical Response Paper 5%
    Group Presentation  10%
    Homework 10%
    Class Participation/Attendance (See Policy ) 10%
    Research Paper  20%
    Mid-Term Exam  20%
    Final Examination  20%

    Reading List (Subject to Subtle Revision):
    Aug 26 Course Introduction 
    Discussion of Literary Terms 
    "The Humanities Yesterday,"  xxi-xxii 
    "Reading Poetry" 
    Sample Poem 

    28 African Background, 3-4 
    Egyptian Poetry, 7-10 
    Egyptian Gods & Goddesses (Pearson Portal)  (Word File)

    30 Egyptian Poetry, cont.
    Sept 2
    Labor Day:  No Class 

    4
    Asian Background, 529-36 
    Gilgamesh, chs. 1-3, 577-90

    6
    Gilgamesh, chs. 1-3, cont.

    7
    Last Day to Drop Classes with Grade of "W"

    9
    Gilgamesh, chs. 4-7, 590-97

    11
    Gilgamesh, chs. 4-7, cont.

    13
    African Poetry and Proverbs, 5 
    African Tales & Myths, 27-36

    16 African Tales & Myths, cont.

    18 European Background, 133-34 
    Narrative, 151-52 
    Genesis, 169-81

    19
    Matriculation Convocation

    20 Genesis, cont.

    23
    Job, 183-90

    25
    European Background, 135-40 
    Ancient Poetry, 149-50 
    Homer & The Iliad, Bks. 1 & 18, pp. 251-82 
    Greco-Roman Gods and Goddesses (Pearson Portal)  (Word File)
    and Ch. 27 of Bulfinch from this Web Site (alt. links )

    27 The Iliad, cont.

    30
    The Iliad, Bks. 22 & 24, 282-313 
    and Web Site (alt. links )
    Oct 2 The Iliad, concl.

    4
    Greek Theater, 191-92 
    Sophocles, Oedipus Rex,  199-236 
    and Ch. 16 of Bulfinch from this Web Site (alt. link )

    7
    Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, cont.

    9
    Aristotle, Poetics, 193-97 

    10
    Performing Arts Convocation

    11
    Mid-Term Review (See review )

    14
    Mid-Term Examination 

    16 Mid-Term Examination (cont.)
    Last Day to Submit Assignments or Excuses for Absences/Lates for 1st Part of Class

    18
    European Background, 141-42 
    Poetry 149-502 
    Sappho, 237-41 
    Group Presentation 

    21
    Catullus, 367-72 
    Group Presentation 

    23
    Research Paper Discussion
    Critical Response Paper Due (1000 word min.)

    25
    Chinese Poetry, 545-51 
    Group Presentation 

    26 Last Day to Drop Classes

    28
    Japanese Poetry, 537-43 
    Group Presentation 
    Research Paper Topics Due (See Topics )

    30
    Japanese Noh Drama 
    Ikkaku Sennin
    Group Presentation
    Nov 1
    India, The Mahabharata, & Bhagavad-Gita, 553-64 
    Group Presentation

    4
    Islamic Literature, 565-76 
    Group Presentation 

    6
    African Narrative, 53-55 
    The Sundiata, 57-76 (99-102)

    8
    The Sundiata, cont. 
    ** Last Day to Hand in or change Research Paper Topics **
    ** If your topic has not been ACCEPTED, you can NOT submit a research paper.**

    11
    The Sundiata, 77-99 (102-4) 

    13
    Virgil, Aeneid, Bk. 4, 373-94 
    & Bulfinch Chs. 28 & 31(alt. link
    Group Presentation 

    14
    Founders Day Convocation

    15 Dante, The Inferno, 419-45 
    Homework Questions
    Group Presentation 

    18 Inferno, cont.

    20
    Chaucer, “The Prologue,” 447-66 
    Group Presentation 

    22
    "Pardoner's Prologue"  (see pp. 193-95 of pdf) 
    "Pardoner's Tale," 467-77 
    Group Presentation

    25
    European Background, 142-47 
    Medieval Literature, 395 
    Medieval Theater, 397 
    Everyman,  399-418 
    Group Presentation 

    27 Everyman, cont. 
    Research Paper Due

    29 Thanksgiving Break-No Class
    Dec 2 American Perspective, 505-8 
    Pre-Columbian Literature & Poetry, 509-14 
    Aztec Poetry, 515-21 
    Group Presentation 

    4
    Popol Vuh 
    Group Presentation 
    Museum Paper Due (500 word min.)

    5
    Bill of Rights/TransAfrica Day Convocation

    6
    Final Review
    Last Day to Submit Assignments or Excuses for Absences/Lates for 2nd Part of Class

    10
    Final Exam:  Place TBA, Date Subject to Change
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