Spring 2024 - WL 103W D100
Early World Literatures (3)
Class Number: 5801
Delivery Method: In Person
Introduces ways of comparing early world literatures across time and space. May explore fundamental themes such as love, heroism, or the underworld. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.
Food is a powerful system of communication, as Roland Barthes has posited. Yet, how can we interpret it beyond “basic physiological need”? This course aims to broach this question by homing in on both the abundant presence of food (feasting) and its glaring absence (fasting) in pre-modern texts from around the globe. This dialectical relationship between restrain and excess will inform our readings of diverse texts such as the Quiché Mayan Popol Vuh, Homer’s The Odyssey, Galen’s On Food and Diet, St. Augustine’s “The Usefulness of Fasting,” as well as others. Some of the topics we will explore include the pre-Columbian foodways of Mesoamerica, the dietary customs of Early Christianity, the eating habits of second-century Romans, as well as the important social role of commensal eating patterns.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Formulate an argument based on a literary text.
- Produce an organized literary essay.
- Articulate ideas about food as cultural signifier in relation to literary texts from around the world.
- Attendance & Participation 10%
- Oral Report & 5-Page Report 25%
- Weekly Reading Responses 15%
- Essay 1 20%
- Essay 2 15%
- Rewrite of Essay 2 15%
Popol Vuh: The Definitive Edition of the Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings. Available online.
St. Augustine, “The Usefulness of Fasting.” Available online through the SFU library
Homer, The Odyssey (Selected Chapters). Available online through the SFU library
Galen, On Food and Diet. Available online through the SFU library
REQUIRED READING NOTES:
Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
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Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html