Fall 2019 - HS 209 D100

Heroic Greek Tales: From the Trojans to Frankenstein (3)

Class Number: 9145

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5004, Burnaby



Examines the origins and traits of heroic identity from ancient Greek plays and Homeric poetry to contemporary culture. Explores the continuities/discontinuities of these archetypes and their impact on cultural/national identities in different contexts and periods. Students with credit for HUM 360 or HS 307 under the title "Heroic Individuals and their Tales" may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


The aims of this course are: i) to offer a succinct overview of exceptional individuals and their stories as presented in various texts, and their Greek origins; ii) to compare and contrast their presentation(s) and traits to the ones in contemporary literature and film. Specifically, by tracing continuities and ruptures between past and present, the course examines how references made to individual heroic figures provide commentary on collective and individual identity, agency, ethics, religion, memory, society, popular culture and politics. The course examines different archetypes emerging from ancient Greek culture so as to offer a critical analysis on the representations of individuals and ideas in an inter/national context while connecting them to contemporary debates.


  • Class Participation 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Midterm 35%
  • Term Paper 35%



  • Lattimore, Richmond. (tr.) 2011. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.   [Excerpts provided in class]
  • Mulroy, David. (tr.) 2013. Antigone. Madison : The University of Wisconsin Press.  [Available online through SFU Library Catalogue https://sfu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/usv8m3/01SFUL_ALMA51217109370003611]
  • Atwood, Margaret. 2010. The Penelopiad; The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus. Toronto: Knopf.  
  • Shelley, Mary. 2008. Frankenstein. London: Penguin Books.  
  • Satrapi, Marjane. 2008. Persepolis. London: Vintage books.  
  • Lee, Harper. 2014. To Kill A Mockingbird. London: Random House.


  • Ziolkowski, Theodore. 2004. Hesitant Heroes; Private Inhibition, Cultural Crisis. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Woodard, Roger D. 2007. The Cambridge companion to Greek Mythology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Staub, Ervin. 2015. The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil: Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering, Active Bystandership, and Heroism. Oxford; Oxford University Press.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

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