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Course Information

Instructor Info:Robert Meagher
Office Extension x5417
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105

From Kurukshestra to the Swat Valley and from Troy to Baghdad, the experience of war shaped and shattered lives as much in the ancient world as it does in our own and in much the same ways. This course will examine and compare the accounts of war and its wounds-visible and invisible-as well as the forms of healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness that are to be found in epic and dramatic literature, as well as philosophical and religious writings, ancient and modern.

Course Objectives:

Attendance and Participation:

Students are expected to come to class on time and to attend all scheduled class meetings. If you have to miss a class due to serious illness, religious observance, or family emergency, you should email the instructor and inform him of your absence prior to the missed class. Keep in mind that when you miss a class, it becomes your responsibility to contact your classmates to find out about the announcements and class discussion that you missed. Three absences from class are allowed for medical and other contingencies.  With four absences, for any reason, a student forfeits any right to formal evaluation of his or her work in this course.  In certain instances, however, evaluation may be possible, given exceptional circumstances and additional independent work.  The initiative for such an exception must be made by the student.  A sign-in sheet will be on hand for each class, and it is the student’s responsibility to check off his or her name on that sheet. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments and assigned film viewings before coming to each class and to be ready to take an active role in the discussion. Class participation is an important part of the course requirements.

Evaluation Criteria:

Weekly Online Reflections/Responses:

Each week you must submit one analytical reflection (150-300 words) on the assigned readings or films to the online discussion board as well as two brief responses (50-100 words per response) to the online reflections of your fellow classmates. Your analytical reflection should demonstrate that you have read the assigned readings closely and can articulate intelligently what you understand to be key issues and questions from the assigned readings. Therefore, the reflection should not be a simple summary or paraphrasing of the readings. Fellow classmates’ reactions to your reflection are meant to stimulate your own thoughts about the assigned readings. All writings should be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and should be written in a formal writing style.

The class will be divided into two groups (group A and group B) for this assignment. Group A will upload their Reflections (150-300 words) by Sunday night 10 PM whereas Group B will upload their Reflections by Wednesday afternoon 5 PM. As for the brief responses (50-100 words per response) to the reflection of your fellow classmates, Group B will upload two Responses by Monday afternoon 1 PM while Group A will submit their Responses by Wednesday night 10 PM. This is a crucial component for successful completion of our class.

Two Research Papers:

You will be asked to write two short research papers (5-6 pages) for this class.  The first paper should focus on a topic appropriate to either Part One or Part Two of the class syllabus, while the second should focus on a topic appropriate to Part Three. The first essay will be due in class on October 24 and the second essay will be due in class on December 12. These are to be research papers, which means that they must incorporate research beyond the required class readings and films. All research papers are to be submitted in hard copy and in a PDF file emailed to the instructor.

Final Portfolio:

Students should maintain their own portfolio keeping all work done for this course. This portfolio should contain 1) your self-evaluation; 2) printed selections from your online Reflections and Responses (five Reflections and five Responses);  3) your first research essay with the instructor’s comments, and 4) your second research essay. Your complete portfolio is due at our last class on December 12.

Additional Info:

Policy on Cell Phones and Laptop Computers:

As a courtesy to your instructors and classmates, please turn off your cell phone for the duration of the class. If your phone rings, you have to bring cookies for everyone to share in the next class. Laptops are not permitted in class.


If any member of this class has a diagnosed disability, please notify the instructor at the beginning of the term so that special assistance or provisions might be arranged for full participation in and completion of this course.