Courses in GREAT BOOKS (DIVISION 382)

191. Great Books. Open to Honors freshmen only. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 201 or Classical Civ. 101. (4). (HU).

Great Books 191 will survey the classical works of ancient Greece. Among the readings will be Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; a number of the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes; Herodotus' Histories; Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War; and several of Plato's dialogues. The course format is two lectures and two discussion meetings a week. Six to eight short papers will be assigned; there will be midterm and final examinations. Great Books 191 is open to freshmen in the Honors Program, and to other students with the permission of the Director of the Great Books Program. Cost:2 WL:3 (Cameron)

201. Great Books of the Ancient World. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (4). (HU).

We are, perhaps more than we suspect, shaped in our habits of thought and action, by our Western heritage. Our roots lie in Greece, Rome, and Israel, and our knowledge of who we are depends in large part on our knowledge of those forces which have helped form us. What meaning does it have for my life, for example, that I know I have to die? With this question we approach Homer's Iliad and the Exodus of the Hebrew Bible. Whether in Thucydides' portrayal of the struggle between Athens and Sparta or in the tragic drama of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, or in Plato's investigation of the meaning of life in the Socratic dialogues, or in Rome's struggle for eternal peace, it is always the dark mystery of human existence which fuels man's desire to know who he is. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, two or three short papers, midterm, and final exam. (Paslick)

221. Great Books of the Far East. (4). (HU).
Section 001 Great Books of Japan.
An introduction to the great works of literature that have exerted a major influence on the lives and culture of the Japanese from ancient times to the present. Readings will include selections from women's writing, from Lady Murasaki's great classic of male-female relations, The Tale of Genji, to various stories about the female condition in the modern world; philosophical and religious essays from the medieval period; a fascinating tract on the way of the samurai; unique poetic forms like renga (linked sequences composed by a group) and popular forms like Basho's haiku; and modern fiction from Soseki, Ibuse, and Nobel-prize winners Kawabata and Oe. Discussions will focus on the human and cultural values inscribed in the works, particularly as seen from a comparative East/West perspective. Required work consists of brief written assignments and two longer papers. Cost:3 WL:1 (E. Ramirez-Christensen)

291. Great Books of Modern Literature. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the College Honors Program. (4). (HU).

This course is designed to be a continuation of Great Books 192 for Honors sophomores primarily, and deals with books from the Renaissance to the present. Great Books 192 dealt thematically with the integration of the individual into larger institutions and traditions, and the sequel, Great Books 291, will deal with the subsequent resistance, repudiation, and withdrawal from such traditional communities. There will be two lectures and two recitations each week. The texts will be: Cervantes, Don Quixote; Goethe, Faust; Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; Flaubert, Madame Bovary; and Twain, Huckleberry Finn. Non-honor students and Honor freshpersons need permission of the Great Books Director. (Cameron, Amrine, Makin, Siebers).

393. Great Books in Literature, Philosophy, and the Arts. (1). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 3 credits under different topics.
Section 001 The Tragedies of Aeschylus.
This course will meet at noon hour September 5 through October 19 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Student grades will be based upon class attendance/participation, a short paper (4-5 pages), and an exam to be given in the last class meeting. We will read (in the best available paperback English translations), discuss, interpret, and criticize the seven extant tragedies (Persians, Prometheus Bound, Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliant Women, and The Oresteian Trilogy of the first of the three surviving Greek tragedians. We will consider how Aeschylus shapes his dramas from inherited myth or history and adapts these characters and stories to address pressing political, social, and religious issues of his own time and place (5th-century BC democratic Athens). Cost:1 WL:1 (Wallin)

Section 002 The Tragedies of Sophocles. This course will meet at noon hour October 24 through December 7 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Student grades will be based on class attendance/participation, a short paper (4-5 pages), and an exam to be given in the last class meeting. We will read (in the best available paperback English translations), discuss, interpret, and criticize the seven extant tragedies of the central figure among the three surviving Greek tragedians. The English poet Matthew Arnold described Sophocles as a man who "saw life steadily and saw it whole" but also as one who heard "the eternal note of sadness" and was preeminently sensitive to "the turbid ebb and flow of human misery." We will explore the pervasive theme of the justice of the universe in the plays, and such other themes as nature, human responsibility, necessity, and freedom. We will explore connections between these themes and such typical concerns of fifth-century BC Athens (where these plays were written and first produced) as democratic political thinking and the social institution of the family. Ajax, Antigone, Creon, Electra, Oedipus, Philoctetes, and others and their choices will hold our attention as we try to understand the nature of tragedy as Sophocles wrote it. Cost:1 WL:1 (Wallin)


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.