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EUST 101: Foundations of European Studies I:
Antiquity to Renaissance

Dr. Michael Tinkler

Houghton House Room 103
Telephone: (315) 781-3489
Fall 2005 office hours - Tu/Th, 10:30-12:00
Wednesday, 11:00-12:00, Scandling Center Cafe
or MWF by appointment

Attendance policy
Weekly Schedule
Writing Assignments
Discussion Leading

Course Description

Course Description:

Foundations of European Studies covers the formative period of Western thought from Ancient Near Eastern and Greek antiquity to the 16th century.

My goal is to help you enter into the conversation that continues today between some seminal personalities of the Western tradition, a conversation that takes place on paper as well as in our own speech. We will ask some of the great questions and talk about some of the great things – and ask what makes these the great questinos? Who says these are a few of the great things?

I have chosen some books and monuments that reflect some of the questions that people ask over and over again in every century, in every lifetime, in every marriage, in every career. There are answers. There are too many answers, and too few. So, we keep asking the questions.

Literate culture can be understood as a great conversation in which these questions are raised, answered, re-asked, evaded, despaired over -- everything but settled. Maybe it is that lack of finality that makes them worth asking? Maybe it is the content of the questions themselves?

In this course you will take part in this conversation, and think about what it means to be part of a conversation that has been going on for at least 3000 years.


How this course works with the Colleges' 8 Goals:

This course will help students address Goal 1 (Develop skills for effective communication: listening, reading, writing, speaking.) and Goal 7 (Acquire critical knowledge of the multiplicity of world cultures.).


Texts for purchase at the Campus Store arranged in order of appearance:

Gilgamesh, tr. Herbert Mason, Mariner Books, ISBN 0618275649
The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday, ISBN 385493207, or other edition
Hesiod, Theogony, Oxford World's Classics, ISBN 0192839411
Plato, Syposium, Oxford World's Classics, ISBN 0192834274
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Dover, ISBN 048629823X
Machiavelli, The Prince, Univ. of Chicago, ISBN 0226500446
Shakespeare, The Tempest, Oxford World's Classics or other edition


You are welcome to use other editions or other translations, but are responsible for figuring out the pagination or chapter assignments on your own.
There will be quite a few texts handed out in Xerox.  You might want to dedicate a notebook to this course.

Attendance policy

If you don't attend and participate you won't do very well. You may miss class twice without penalty. Any further misses count one (1) point against your final grade. Save your cuts carefully. No quizzes or inclass assignments may be made up – you will receive a zero for that assignment.

Tentative Schedule

a stab at a schedule:

Final Exam: December 16, Friday, 7:00-10 p.m. please inform your parents of the final exam date NOW. Examinations are not given in advance to fit your travel schedule. Exams may only be given at another time or location in agreement with the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Writing assignments

a note about writing assignments:

You will write several short papers and creative assignments in this course. Most papers will come with several topic-options and I am always open to suggestion. Though the asignments will be short, your papers will be carefully crafted to present well-thought out arguments and demonstrate careful attention paid to a primary text or monument. They will be submitted to to help guarantee intellectual honesty.

Discussion leading

On at least one occasion (with 30 students there may not be time for a second opportunity!) each student will, in a group of 3 or 4, lead class discussion. To do so you will meet together in advance and divide responsibilities and craft questions to kick off and guide exploration of the day’s text. You will not only have to read the complete assignment, but will prepare for explanation by doing background reading.


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