Literature of Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Philosophy

“Literature of Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Philosophy” is a yearlong course covering major Western works such as the Iliad, Bible, Inferno, Don Quixote, and To the Lighthouse required of all Columbia College freshmen. From the Core website: “. . . this yearlong course offers Columbia College students the opportunity to engage in intensive study and discussion of some of the most significant texts of Western culture. The course is not a survey, but a series of careful readings of literary works that reward both first encounters and long study.” The goal of this course was to engage, question, and analyze, in short to really read, these texts. This was accomplished first by the students’ careful reading and then through class discussion. What are these works about? Why do they narrate what they do and how are they narrated? I added select texts to the core syllabus, including Epic of Gilgamesh, Antigone, The Golden Ass, and Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” Taught 2006-2007.

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