Lit 2110-3735 World Literature: Ancient to Renaissance

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LIT 2110-3735

World Literature: Ancient to Renaissance

MWF 1:55-2:45 MAT 114

Instructor: M. Loucks

Office: Turlington 4367

Phone: 405-633-2727

Hours: Mon. 3:00-5:00


(or by appointment)


The purpose of this course is to introduce you to literature and literary forms from ancient Greece to medieval and Renaissance Europe. The course will primarily approach these texts through contemporary graphic adaptations, but we will also examine works in their original and translated forms. Our objective will be to examine and analyze the power of visual rhetoric to clarify, obfuscate, or otherwise alter writing. Consequently, we will supplement our primary readings with articles and essays that focus on how visual representation works and the ways in which we should approach it.

This course places significant emphasis on analysis, research, synthesis, and rhetorical approach. You will be expected to conduct close readings of each text, maintain a reading response journal, lead class discussions, and compose two short papers and one longer, final paper. You will also be expected to submit multiple drafts of each paper and participate in conferencing and peer review exercises.

This course can satisfy the UF General Education requirement for Composition or Humanities. For more information, see

This course can provide 6000 words toward fulfillment of the UF requirement for writing. For more information, see

This is a General Education course providing student learning outcomes listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. For more information, see

Required Texts

  • *Abelard, Peter and Héloïse d’Argenteuil. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise.

  • *Aristophanes. Lysistrata.

  • *Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales.

  • Chaucer, Geoffrey and Seymour Chwast. The Canterbury Tales.

  • Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition.

  • Kick, Russ. The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons.

  • *Shakespeare, William. Macbeth.

  • Shakespeare, William, Richard Appignanesi, and Robert Deas. Manga Shakespeare: Macbeth.

  • Smith, Brendan Powell. The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament.

* Texts preceded by an asterisk may be purchased in any edition. Other listed texts must be purchased in the edition specified. Additional texts will be provided as handouts or delivered electronically.


January 6

In class: Introductions, discuss syllabus, course readiness, expectations

HW: Read Benjamin

January 8

In class: Discuss Benjamin

HW: Read KJV “Esther” and “Daniel”

January 10

No Class – MLA Conference

January 13

In class: Discuss “Esther” and “Daniel”

HW: Read Canon “Esther” and “Daniel”

January 15

In class: Discuss “Esther” and “Daniel”

HW: Read Brick Bible

January 17

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

January 20

No Class – Martin Luther King Day

January 22

In class: Discuss Brick Bible

HW: Read Lysistrata

January 24

In class: Discuss Lysistrata

HW: Read McCloud

January 27

In class: Discuss McCloud

HW: Read Canon – Lysistrata

January 29

In class: Discuss Canon – Lysistrata

HW: Read Beowulf to line 1491

January 31

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

February 3

In class: Discuss Beowulf

HW: Read Canon - Beowulf

February 5

In class: Discuss Canon – Beowulf

February 7

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

HW: Read “Camera Lucida”

February 10

In class: Discuss “Camera Lucida”

HW: Read Illustrated Beowulf

February 12

In class: Discuss Illustrated Beowulf; Assignment Sheet & Proposal

HW: Proposal

February 14

Proposal Workshop

HW: Draft Paper

February 17

In class: Lecture – Thesis, Support, Development

HW: Draft Paper

February 19

In class: Lecture – Structure, Format, Citation

HW: Draft Paper

February 21

Peer Review

HW: Finish Paper

February 24

***Paper Due***

Fiction/Non-Fiction Group Exercise

HW: Read Abelard and Heloise

February 26

In class: Discuss Abelard and Heloise

HW: Read Canon – Abelard and Heloise

February 28

In class: Discuss Canon – Abelard and Heloise

HW: Read Canterbury Tales Pt. 1

March 3-7

Spring Break

March 10

In class: Discuss Canterbury Tales Pt. 1

HW: Read Canterbury Tales Pt. 2

March 12

In class: Discuss Canterbury Tales Pt. 2

March 14

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

HW: Read Adapted Canterbury Tales

March 17

In class: Discuss Adapted Canterbury Tales

March 19

Peer Review

March 21

***Paper Due***

Film Adaptations Individual Exercise

HW: Read Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 1

March 24

In class: Discuss Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 1

HW: Read Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 2

March 26

In class: Discuss Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 2

HW: Read Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 3

March 28

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

HW: Read Canon – Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 1

March 31

In class: Discuss Canon – Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 1

HW: Read Canon – Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 2

April 2

In class: Discuss Canon – Le Morte d’Arthur Pt. 2

April 4

No Class – Students will attend GCO conference panel

HW: Panel Response

April 7

In class: Discuss GCO conference

HW: Read Macbeth

April 9

In class: Discuss Macbeth

HW: Read Manga Macbeth

April 11

Small Group Discussion and Writing Exercise

April 14

In class: Discuss Manga Macbeth

April 16

In class: Final Paper and Project (Mini-Lecture & Class Discussion)

HW: Proposal

April 18

Project Workshop

April 21

In class: Work on Group Component of Project

HW: Draft Paper

April 23

In class: Work on Group Component of Project

HW: Draft Paper

May 2

Final Paper & Project Due



You are expected to be an active participant in our class discussions. This means contributing to conversations in meaningful ways, voicing thoughtful opinions, asking relevant questions, offering insights, and listening to others respectfully.


Over the course of the semester, each student will give two short presentations, one on an original text, and one on an artist who has illustrated a text. For each of these, you should prepare a brief analysis. You may choose to focus on a specific passage, a trope or theme you have identified, the author’s approach to illustration, connections between your assigned text and others, or any other topic you find interesting and relevant to the course. The presentations should open up opportunities for the rest of the class to engage with your ideas, so a good way to end them is by posing questions.

Short Writing Exercises

Throughout the semester, you will be asked to complete brief writing assignments in order to practice working with the ideas and texts we are examining. These assignments will sometimes be completed in groups, and sometimes individually. Ideally, you should use these writing exercises as jumping-off points for the arguments you want to make in your formal essays.


You will compose three essays over the course of the semester, the last of which will also require a group project component. Specific guidelines for these essays will be provided early in each unit, but the papers will largely parse a particular thread or theme from one or more of the texts we read. These assignments will be open to some interpretation, and you are encouraged to investigate the elements of our readings that you find most stirring or inspiring.


Evaluation of written work will focus primarily on organization, thoughtfulness, and clarity. Specifically, I will grade based on the following: a clear and focused thesis/main argument; a well supported and logical argument; a clear expression of ideas; an engagement with the course texts and themes; and a respectful engagement with oppositional arguments.

An “A” paper states the author’s topic clearly and demonstrates a thorough familiarity with the sources. The topic must be an arguable one. The paper is a thoughtful, careful overview of the topic. An “A” paper elaborates on a range of scholarship with relevant examples. The paper is well organized and each paragraph has a clear topic sentence. The sentence structure is direct, active, and concise, with appropriate word choice. The tone and diction are formal. The paper uses effective transitions and contains few—if any—grammar or punctuation errors; the piece will have no obvious proofreading errors. The writer uses correct MLA formatting and an appropriate works cited page.

A “B” paper may not clearly state the research issues specifically in the introduction. However, the writer demonstrates a command of the sources and has a debatable topic. The writer has relevant, recent, and scholarly sources, if applicable. The works cited may be incorrect in places, but is correctly executed otherwise. The paper has a few passive, wordy sentences and some minor grammatical errors but overall demonstrates mechanical competence. The overall argument is supported and apparent, if not clearly communicated.

A “C” paper contains an organizing statement that needs clarification and more development. The writer may not adequately engage evidence from the source text and/or research. The tone and diction may be informal at times. The paper lacks effective transitions and consistently strong topic sentences. It has some grammatical and mechanical errors such as fragments and comma splices as well as some passive, wordy sentence structure.

A “D” paper does not have an arguable topic. The writer does not use significant or scholarly sources and fails to show a mastery of the sources. A “D” paper has little textual evidence. It may contain many and distracting grammar and punctuation errors. A “D” paper has style problems: repetitive, passive, and choppy sentence structure, informal language, and poor phrasing. It will give the impression of having been written quickly with little revision or proofreading.

An “F” paper does not meet the minimum assignment criteria. It may be off-topic, incomplete, or nonsensical, or it may contain significant ethical problems such as instances of plagiarism or an obviously apathetic approach.

In addition to these general standards, particular attention will be given to:


  • Creative and clear thesis that posits a theory (not a fact) about the text

  • Itinerary statement (how you will prove your claim/thesis)

  • Topic sentences for paragraphs

  • Introductory and concluding paragraphs that do not consist of redundant thoughts


  • Attention to language (use formal language choices and no “slang”

  • Limited number of errors relating to grammar and punctuation

  • Clear syntax (sentences structure) and lack of passive voice



Your final grade will be weighted as follows:

  • Participation 10%

  • Presentations 10%

  • Short Writing Exercises 10%

  • Short paper #1 (1500 words) 20%

  • Short paper #2 (1500 words) 20%

  • Final paper (3000 words + group project) 30%

Grading Scale:

A 95-100 A- 90-94 B+ 87-89

B 83-86 B- 80-83 C+ 77-79

C 73-76 C- 70-73 D+ 67-69

D 63-66 D- 60-63 F 0-59

Final Grade Appeals

Students may appeal a grade by filling out a form available from Carla Blount, English Department Program Assistant.


Active participation is crucial to learning in this course. You are expected to be in class and on time. Excessive absences will result in grade penalties as follows:

4th Absence Loss of one letter grade for the course

7th Absence Loss of two letter grades for the course

10th Absence Failure of course

3 Tardies = 1 Absence

Students who participate in athletics, band, or theater will be excused for university-sponsored travel and events. However, you are responsible for making up any work you miss for participation in these events. Failure to consult me about an absence and/or how to make up work will be reported to the appropriate sponsoring department.

Retention of Graded Assignments

I will keep electronic copies of all papers and journals.

Late Work

All papers must be submitted electronically prior to the beginning of class on their respective due dates. Any paper not submitted on time will be penalized one letter grade. An additional loss of one letter grade will result from each subsequent day the paper is late.

Should you have an extenuating circumstance that prevents you from submitting a paper on the day it is due, please contact me in advance or within 24 hours of the scheduled class meeting. Documentation will be required.

Special Note Regarding Electronic Submissions

Papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word format. Any file that cannot be opened due to corruption or improper extension will be considered late. Check your files before submitting them!

Student Disability Services

The Disability Resource Center in the Dean of Students Office provides information and support regarding accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information, see:


UF provides an educational and working environment that is free from sex discrimination and sexual harassment for its students, staff, and faculty. For more about UF policies regarding harassment, see:

Academic Honesty

All students must abide by the Student Honor Code. For more information about academic honesty, including definitions of plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration, see:



The last day to drop a class with a full refund is January 10. The last day to drop a class with an automatic grade of W is April 11.


January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

March 3-7: Spring Break


This document is intended to provide you with guidance for success in the course. It is subject to change according to the class’s needs. You will be notified of any changes in a timely manner, and you are responsible for the information in the most recent version.

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