Intro to Lit: Literary History

This is a writing-intensive course dealing with the way war has been represented in Western literary works in a variety of genres, from the first significant work of Western literature, the Iliad, to a collection of Iraq war short stories. Lectures on each of the works will precede class-wide and group discussion of instructor- and student-generated questions. In addition to analysis of specific literary and rhetorical features of these works (e.g., heroic similes in Homer, alienation effects in Brecht, fragmentary narrative in Going After Cacciato), we will be considering questions of justice, trauma, and gender in many of these works and viewing film versions of some of them.

Attendance (5 points)
Participation (5 points) Explication (15/20 points)*
Summary of Iliad (10 points) Thematic essay (25 points)
Character comparison (15/20 points)* Final exam (20 points)

Course Requirements
• Attendance and Participation (10%)
• Summary of Iliad (10%)
• Character Comparison (15%)
• Explication (20%)
• Thematic essay (25%)
• Final exam (20%)

Required texts
• Homer, The Iliad
• The Song of Roland
• Shakespeare, Henry V
• Brecht, Mother Courage and her Children
• Tim O’Brien, Going After Cacciato
• Bobbie Ann Mason, In Country
• Phil Klay, Redeployment
• digital copies of selected lyric war poetry and a few pieces of literary,
psychiatric, and ethical criticism