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Course Syllabus

Course: ENGL 2150

Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Honors Intellectual Traditions of the West I

Semester Approved: Fall 2015
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2020
End Semester: Fall 2021

Catalog Description: This course is an integrative exploration of the intellectual traditions of the ancient and medieval Western world. The emphasis of the course is on reading seminal literary works, but introduces other interdisciplinary approaches such as art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and mathematics. It fulfills an HU general education requirement. This class is open to all students and fills an honors program requirement.

General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Clock/Hour Requirements: 0

Justification: Students in this class will learn about the advancements of intellectual thought in ancient Greece, Rome, Europe as well as other selected areas. This course is designed for students in letters and sciences who intend to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a BA or BS degree.This course is a lower-division course in most colleges and universities and is needed at Snow College to fulfill our mission as a transfer institution with an emphasis on excellence in teaching. Although not a majors class, the class prepares students for BA and BS degrees as well as for honors programs in Utah's four-year universities.The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component; languages, literature, and philosophy. The method by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness.  Students will be able to address key movements in the ancient and medieval western world from a variety of perspectives. While students will access these movements primarily through representative texts, students will also examine art, philosophy, economics, and science in order to achieve a fuller understanding of each period and their associated movements. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these concepts through class discussion, written responses, exams, and possible special projects, such as group presentations.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. Students will be able to craft an original arguments centered on an idea presented through a class text and then conduct quality, academically rigorous research in order to support their claim. Students will demonstrate their ability to respond critically to a text with an original claim through the completion of at least one academic essay that is analytical, interpretive, and argumentative in nature. Students will also have opportunities for critical thinking and information delivery through written responses such as journaling, short essays, and essay questions on exams.

3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team. Students will be able to contribute to the overall understanding of the time periods by participating in class discussion and a variety of written responses. Students will have the opportunity for instructor feedback to written responses. Students will demonstrate their understanding of both writing as a process and collaborative group work through at least one group project or assignments.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. Students will critically evaluate the presence of key ideas and philosophies from representative texts, placing these ideas and philosophies in the context of the time period(s) and key movement(s) in order to better understand the connection between movements, time periods, and the related field. Students will examine the various ways these ideas and philosophies are presented in the text, better understanding literary craft. Students will demonstrate their ability to make these cross-discipline connections through close-text reading and analysis, class discussions, written responses, and exams.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Ask and explore a variety of philosophical and theoretical questions about human thought and experience. Through the interdisciplinary examination of key movements from ancient Greece to the early Renaissance, students will engage in big-picture questions concerning issues like culture, social reform, class, race, and gender. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these key movements and their effects on the human experience through class discussions, written responses, and exams. 

Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy. Through close-text reading of representative texts, as well as various interdisciplinary representations, students will understand how knowledge is created, as well as the ways in which knowledge is accepted, challenged, and altered. Students will articulate their understanding of the production and progression of knowledge in the ancient and medieval worlds through class discussions, written responses, and exams. They will also articulate their understanding and address questions via opportunities for peer-to-peer discussion in small groups. 

Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present. Students will understand the production and progression of cultural traditions in the western world, particularly within an historical context, as presented through representative texts and a variety of other fields such as philosophy, art, and economics. Students will demonstrate their ability to identify and critically analyze these cultural traditions through class discussions, written responses, and exams. 

Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities' perspective. Representative texts will provide the foundation for understanding the historical periods considered in the class. Students will read and critically analyze primary texts representative of each period, and will demonstrate this ability via a variety of written responses, class discussion, and exams. 

Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgements. Students will be able to read, interpret, and analyze representative texts in order to articulate the nuances of the various periods. Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze and form critical aesthetic judgements through a variety of written assignments, including at least one formal academic essay that incorporates interpretation, analysis, and argument. Students will be taught the writing process and will demonstrate their proficiency through planning, drafting, and revising their writing. 

While precise content in ENGL 2150 may vary based on the texts adopted and the individual preferences of the instructor, the course would include entire seminal works of the representative periods. Through lecture and discussion based formats students will examine such themes as homecoming stories, descents into the underworld, epic and lyric art, beauty, and philosophy, and they will read the literature in the context of these themes. Students will also explore the implications of themes during class discussions and in a variety of assignments, some of which might include oral presentations, written responses, and reading-response journals. The course will emphasize close reading, historical influences, and contextual and textual analysis, synthesis, interpretation, critical thinking, and application.

Key Performance Indicators:
Reading measurements. This could include quizzes, journals, and/or prompt-based responses (20-30%) 

Examinations (30-40%) 

Formal writing assignments (30-40%) 

Class presentation (10-20%) 







Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Precise context may vary based on the texts adopted and the individual preferences of the instructor, but would include entire seminal works of this period. Instructors may choose to utilize an anthology, such as the Norton Anthology of Wester Literature,and supplement with other texts as needed. Instructors may also choose to select a group of texts representative of the key movements. Works of the sort that are likely to be assigned or that have been previously utilized are as follows:

Homer, The Illiad

Virgil, The Aeneid

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Dante, The Divine Comedy

Milton, Paradise Lost

Machiavelli, The Prince

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Old and New Testaments

Plato, The Republic

Pedagogy Statement:

Maximum Class Size: 22
Optimum Class Size: 15