Humanities 110

Introduction to the Humanities

Syllabus - Fall 2024

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Coming Up

Week 1

Wed 4 Sep

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11 (pp. 1-100, trans. George)
  • Students should read the whole of Gilgamesh prior to the first day of class. 

Lecture: “The Epic Caring of Gilgamesh (and Others)”
Christian Kroll

Fri 6 Sep

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11, pp. 1-100

Lecture: “Gilgamesh: When Terrified by Death…”
Nathalia King

Week 2

Mon 9 Sep

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11, pp. 1-100

Lecture: “The Forest and the Flood: Environmental Approaches to the Gilgamesh Epic”
Naomi Caffee

Fri 13 Sep

Assignment

Lecture: “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: THE GREAT PYRAMID IN AND OUT OF CONTEXT”
Tom Landvatter

Mon 16 Sep

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • “The Tale of Sinuhe,” in The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, ed. Parkinson, pp. 21-53

Lecture: "Egypt and its Others: Death as Return in the Tale of Sinuhe"
Kritish Rajbhandari

Full Schedule

Week 1

Wed 4 Sep

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11 (pp. 1-100, trans. George)
  • Students should read the whole of Gilgamesh prior to the first day of class. 

Lecture: “The Epic Caring of Gilgamesh (and Others)”
Christian Kroll

Fri 6 Sep

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11, pp. 1-100

Lecture: “Gilgamesh: When Terrified by Death…”
Nathalia King

Week 2

Mon 9 Sep

Assignment

  • Gilgamesh, Tablets 1-11, pp. 1-100

Lecture: “The Forest and the Flood: Environmental Approaches to the Gilgamesh Epic”
Naomi Caffee

Fri 13 Sep

Assignment

Lecture: “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: THE GREAT PYRAMID IN AND OUT OF CONTEXT”
Tom Landvatter

Mon 16 Sep

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • “The Tale of Sinuhe,” in The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, ed. Parkinson, pp. 21-53

Lecture: "Egypt and its Others: Death as Return in the Tale of Sinuhe"
Kritish Rajbhandari

Week 3

Wed 18 Sep

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • “The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant,” in The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, ed. Parkinson, pp. 54-88
  • Charles Freeman, “Egypt, the Gift of the Nile, 3200-1500 BC,” in Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean, second ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 40-62

Lecture: “Speaking Ma’at, Doing Ma’at, Making Ma’at”
Nathalia King

Fri 20 Sep

Assignment

Lecture: “Familiar and Strange: Love Poetry of the New Kingdom”
Dustin Simpson

Sat 21 Sep

First paper due

Due Saturday, September 21, at 5:00 PM to your conference leader.

Week 4

Mon 23 Sep

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

Lecture: "THE GENESES OF GENESIS"
Michael Faletra

Wed 25 Sep

Assignment

Lecture: "Another Abraham"
Jan Mieszkowski

Fri 27 Sep

Assignment

  • Hesiod, Theogony (trans. Lombardo)

Lecture: “Making Gender in Hesiod’s Theogony: Cosmic Parents, Monstrous Children, and Cannibal Consorts”
Nathalia King

Week 5

Mon 30 Sep

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • Hesiod, Works and Days, lines 1-128, 430-500 (pp. 23-6, 35-7, trans. Lombardo)
  • Anaximander (all), Anaximenes (21, 23, and 24), Xenophanes (all), Heraclitus (all), and Parmenides (all), in A Presocratics Reader, ed. Patricia Curd, pp. 16-20, 31-65
Wed 2 Oct

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • Exodus, chapters 1-15, plus introduction to Exodus, in The Jewish Study Bible, eds. Berlin and Brettler

Lecture: “A PEOPLE IN BETWEEN: EXODUS AND THE ISRAELITES AT THE CROSSROADS OF EMPIRE”
Margot Minardi

Fri 4 Oct

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources

Lecture: TBD
Chauncey Handy

Week 6

Mon 7 Oct

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Iliad : books 1, 2, 3 and 6 (trans. Lattimore)
  • Summaries of the other books (Summary Handout)

Lecture: “Great Books”
Nigel Nicholson

Wed 9 Oct

Assignment

  • Iliad: books 9, 16, 18, 19

Lecture: Achilleus: Brooding Whiner or Skeptical Sage?”
Ann Delehanty

Fri 11 Oct

Lecture: No reading or lecture

Sat 12 Oct

Second Paper Due

Due Saturday, October 12, at 5:00 PM to your conference leader.

Week 7

Mon 14 Oct

Assignment

  • Iliad: books 22, 23, 24

Lecture: “The Epic Scale; or, The World According to Homer"
Jay Dickson

Wed 16 Oct

Lecture: "How to Read Poetry and Why."
Marat Grinberg

Fri 18 Oct

Assignment

Lecture: "Stay and Mourn"
Jenny Sakai

Sat 19 Oct

Fall Break

October 19 – October 27

Week 8

Mon 28 Oct

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Introduction and resources
  • Herodotus, The Histories, Book 1, Sections 0-12, 28-33, 53-54, 71-91, 201-216; Book 2, Sections 1-5, 28-64, 113-120. (Page numbers differ by the edition, but for the most recent de Selincourt edition, this equates to pp. 3-8, 13-16, 23, 32-43, 88-97, 105-121, 138-142.)
  • There is also a structural outline on pp. 607-614.

Lecture: “Same Difference: Telling Tales of Others in The Histories of Herodotus”
Margot Minardi

Wed 30 Oct

Assignment

  • Introduction to Achaemenid Era Inscriptions 
  • Achaemenid era inscriptions, from The Persian Empire, vol. I, ed.
  • Amelie Kuhrt (New York: Routledge, 2007), pp. 70-74, 141-158, 492-495, 503-505. (e-reserves)
  • Herodotus, The Histories, Book 1, Sections 131-140; Book 3, Sections 37-38, 61-89 (pp. 61-64, 186-187, 197-212)

Lecture: “Empire of All Kinds: Achaemenid Persia from Cyrus to Herodotus”
Margot Minardi

Fri 1 Nov

Assignment

Lecture: “The Spaces of Persepolis"
Jenny Sakai

Week 9

Mon 4 Nov

Assignment

Lecture: “Architecture, Memory, and Meaning: The Parthenon and Beyond”
Christian Kroll

Wed 6 Nov

Assignment

  • Herodotus, Histories, 6.125-130, 7.8-57, 7.101-104, 7.138-144, 7.201-238, 8.40-99, 9.114-122

Lecture: "Herodotus, Oracle of Halicarnassus"
Meg Scharle

Fri 8 Nov

Lecture: TBD
Michael Faletra

Week 10

Mon 11 Nov

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

Lecture: "The Beginnings of Tragedy"
Jay Dickson

Wed 13 Nov

Assignment

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia: “Libation Bearers”

Lecture: “Aeschylus to Alfaro: Tracing Lineage, Rethinking Gender”
Simone Waller

Fri 15 Nov

Assignment

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia: “Eumenides” 

Lecture: “The Eumenides”
Peter Steinberger

Sat 16 Nov

Third Paper Due

Due Saturday, November 16, at 5:00 PM to your conference leader.

Week 11

Mon 18 Nov

Lecture: TBD
Kritish Rajbhandari

Wed 20 Nov

Assignment

Lecture: "The Case against Neaera: Performing Citizen Status in the Athenian Lawcourt"
Alice Hu

Fri 22 Nov

Assignment

Lecture: "LYSISTRATA TO LIZZO: ANCIENT ATHENS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER"
Simone Waller

Week 12

Mon 25 Nov

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Assignment

  • Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 2.34-65, 3.36-50, 3.69-85 (trans. Warner)

Lecture: TBD
Ariadna Garcia-Bryce

Wed 27 Nov

Assignment

  • Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War,​​ 6.1-32, 6.88-93, 7.10-18, 7.55-87

Lecture: "A Reversal in National Character? Thucydides' Account of the Sicilian Expedition."
Ellen Millender

Thu 28 Nov

Thanksgiving Break

November 28 – December 1

Week 13

Mon 2 Dec

Assignment

  • Plato, “Apology,” “Euthyphro,” and “Crito,” in Trial and Death of Socrates, pp. 20-42
    (trans. Grube)

Lecture: "A Kind of Gadfly"
Pancho Savery

Wed 4 Dec

Assignment

  • Plato, Republic, 327a-417a (=Books 2–3), pp. 36-102 (trans. Reeve)
  • For the summary of the whole book, see Reeve, pp. xxx-xxxiii

Lecture: "Lovers of Laughter"
Jan Mieszkowski

Fri 6 Dec

Assignment

  • Plato, Republic, 497a-541a (=part of Book 6 to end of Book 7), pp. 191-237

Lecture: "Plato's cave: A Metaphysical Response to Sophistry"
Meg Scharle

Sat 7 Dec

Fourth Paper Due

Due Saturday, December 7, at 5:00 PM to your conference leader.

Week 14

Mon 9 Dec

In-Person lecture: 9:00-9:50am in Vollum Lecture Hall

Lecture: TBD
Jan Mieszkowski

Wed 11 Dec

Lecture: No reading or lecture

Week 15

Wed 13 Dec

Final Exam

Wednesday, December 13, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Exam Instructions
Exam Website

Course Logistics

REQUIRED TEXTS

  • Aeschylus. The Oresteia. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 1977. 
  • Aristophanes. Lysistrata. Trans. Sarah Ruden. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003.
  • Berlin Adele, and Mark Zvi Brettler, eds. The Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh Translation. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2014 
  • Curd, Patricia, ed. A Presocratics Reader: Selected Fragments and Testimonia. Trans.
    Richard D. McKirahan. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2011.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh the Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. Trans. Andrew George. London: Penguin Classics, 2003.
  • Herodotus. The Histories. Trans. Aubrey de Selincourt. London: Penguin, 2003. 
  • Hesiod. Works and Days and Theogony. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993.
  • Homer. The Iliad. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. 
  • Parkinson, R. B., ed. and trans. The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems,
    1940-1640 B.C. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Plato. Republic. Trans. C.D.C. Reeve. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2004.
  • Plato. The Trial and Death of Socrates. Trans. G. M. A. Grube, rev. John Cooper. 3rd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000.
  • Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. Trans. Rex Warner. New York: Penguin, 1954.   

Additional assigned texts are available on e-reserves accessible via links embedded in the syllabus below. You will need your Reed username and password to access these texts. Please bring a copy of the day’s reading assignment to class each day. The library has on reserve a limited number of the required books.

​​LECTURES
On most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of the semester, a lecture is assigned. On many
Mondays (weeks 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14) and on the very first Wednesday of the semester,
these lectures are delivered in-person, and for these lectures we will meet in Vollum
Lecture Hall at 9:00 am. Please be on time; the moments when we all gather together as a
unified class are important. In-person lecture days are flagged on the syllabus. The other
lectures will be posted so they can be accessed online; you can review these when it is most
convenient to do so, but, obviously, do so before your conference meeting. Some of these
lectures have been reused from last year, but, of course, only when still relevant. Lectures
are regularly updated.

CONFERENCE ASSIGNMENTS
 Humanities 110 is a yearlong course, and students are expected to remain in the same
conference throughout the year. In cases of absolutely unresolvable schedule conflicts,
students may petition for a change of conference time. Petitions (in the form of an email)
should be addressed to Nathalia King, including an explanation of the conflict and why it
cannot be resolved. Students granted a change of conference time will be assigned to new
sections based on available slots and the student’s schedule; requests to move into a
particular conference generally cannot be honored.

PAPERS AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
Three course-wide papers will be assigned in the fall semester, due at the times designated
on the syllabus. Individual conference leaders may assign additional writing. If the due date
for an assignment conflicts with a religious holiday or obligation that you wish to observe,
please consult with your conference leader. Over the course of the semester, students are
also required to submit at least three conference discussion questions, in writing, to their
conference leader. Due dates for these questions are determined by individual conference
leaders.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS
If you have a documented disability requiring accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services. Notifications of accommodations on exams, papers, other writing assignments, or conferences should be directed to your conference leader. Notifications of accommodations regarding lectures can be directed to the chair of the course, Christian Kroll. You are advised to consult with your conference leader about how your accommodations might apply to specific assignments or circumstances in this course.

RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT
Your conference leader is your first line of support for any questions you have about the
course. Please also be sure to explore the Hum 110 website for additional information. The
Course Resources entries provide brief introductions to upcoming readings and
suggestions for how to approach them. The Writing in Hum 110 page provides tips on the
writing process. 

To support your success in HUM 110, we  encourage you to sign up for tutoring early in the
semester. Tutors can help you not only with course content but also with developing
essential skills such as critical reading, and analytical writing skills. There are two main
tutoring resources available.

  • Writing Tutors: Our writing tutors are here to help you with all aspects of your
    writing, from brainstorming and organizing your ideas to refining your final drafts.
    (Type “Writing” in the search for a course tutor box.)
  • HUM 110 Tutors: These tutors are specialized in helping you understand the
    course material and improve your overall study skills. They can assist with both
    content-specific questions and general academic skills. (Type “Hum 110” in the
    search for a course tutor box.)

Students are eligible for one free hour of individual tutoring per course, per week. In
addition, they may receive one free hour of one-on-one writing tutoring per week. We
recommend scheduling regular sessions with a tutor to build a consistent support system
throughout the semester. These sessions can be scheduled well in advance of the papers,
for example. Further information on tutoring is available here.

Drop-in Writing Tutors. If you need immediate assistance or have a quick question, there
are also drop-in tutoring hours for the Writing Center, with extra hours scheduled
around Hum papers. Drop-in hours for the Writing Center are posted here. Drop-in tutoring
is free.