Ssi2 196 Honors: European Past Lives Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry 2

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SSI2 196 Honors: European Past Lives

Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry 2

Spring 2014

Professor Kristin Johnson


Office hours: M&W 1-2:30 and by appointment (Wyatt 153)
Prof. Johnson’s section: Wyatt 311

Professor Katherine Smith


Office hours: Tues. 10-12, Fri. 1-2 and by appointment (Wyatt 142)

Prof. Smith’s section: Wyatt 313

Course Description: This course fulfills the University's Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry 2 core requirement for students in the Honors Program.  We use a series of autobiographical narratives composed between the fourth and nineteenth centuries as points of entry into specific moments in the European past:  the last years of the Roman Empire, the High Middle Ages, and the Victorian era.  Rather than focusing on autobiography as a genre, students use these primary sources in conjunction with supplementary secondary source materials to reconstruct the cultural and political setting of each writer's life.  In the first part of the semester, students practice the historian’s craft of close, contextualized analysis of evidence. In the second part of the semester, students carry out a substantial independent research project on an historical topic related to the course.
Course Goals: As a Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry 2, this course will help students develop the skills needed to enter into academic conversations and carry out original research. More specifically, all students in the course will learn to:

  • critically evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources, both orally (through class discussion and in-class presentations) and in writing;

  • construct and defend original arguments based on close readings of sources;

  • frame a significant research question, and carry out independent research, utilizing the full range of academic resources available at Puget Sound;

  • and produce a substantial scholarly paper based on original research.

Required Texts: The five books below are available for purchase at the bookstore. Additional readings marked ‘M’ in the schedule of classes may be found on the course Moodle page.

  • Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, A Writer’s Reference (Puget Sound Writing Handbook), 7th edn. (Bedford/St Martin’s, 2012) ISBN: 978-1457612046 (if you don’t already own it)

  • Augustine, The Confessions, trans. Henry Chadwick (Oxford World’s Classics, 2009) ISBN: 978-0199537822

  • Abelard and Heloise, The Letters, 2nd rev. edn., trans. Michael Clanchy and Betty Radice (Penguin Classics, 2004) ISBN: 978-0140448993

  • Edmund Gosse, Father and Son, ed. Michael Newton (Oxford University Press, 2009) ISBN: 978-0199539116

  • Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, ed. Nora Barlow (Norton, 1993): ISBN: 0393310698

Format: Our class will be divided into two sections, and one professor will be assigned to evaluate the work of the students in each section. For most classes you will meet together with your section peers, though there will be some lecture classes when both sections will meet together. Although lectures will serve to introduce our four major texts, the majority of class time will be dedicated to discussion. You should always bring the assigned books with you to class, and we may occasionally ask you to print out and bring with you readings from Moodle.

A Note on Methodology:

Although our main texts span several centuries, we will approach them with common questions in mind, so that we can make meaningful comparisons between different time periods and put these authors into dialogue with one another. Some of the most important questions that will guide our discussions are:

  • What cultural and textual influences have shaped the author’s presentation of his/her life story?

  • Does the author believe there is a larger moral, religious, or philosophical framework for how the world works? If so, what is it?

  • How does the author understand human nature? Is s/he pessimistic or optimistic about the human condition?

  • How can we use this text as an historical document? That is, what light does it shed on the author’s society (e.g., its political structures, socioeconomic hierarchies, belief systems, gender roles and family structures)?

Assignments and Evaluation

Class Participation. Students are expected to attend class regularly and keep up with assigned readings. The majority of our class time will be dedicated to discussion. All students are expected to participate in these conversations, which will emphasize critical analysis of assigned texts. Asking questions, sharing thoughts on a text, responding to peers’ comments, and introducing new issues are all excellent ways to join the conversation in class. Occasional pop quizzes on assigned readings may be given at the instructors’ discretion, and will be factored into the participation grade.

Reading Responses. Reading responses allow us to check your understandings of the texts, and serve as springboards for discussion. Students will compose 7 reading responses over the course of the term. Responses may be turned in on any of the days marked (RR) in the schedule of classes below. Pay careful attention to the requirements listed here, as you will be assessed based on each component: The reading response must be 1 full page TYPED, SINGLE-SPACED, and include two comments inspired by the reading. In other words, move beyond simply summarizing the reading. Ask: What did you find most interesting, problematic, or compelling? These comments must relate to the themes of the course. You must also include at least one substantial question (i.e. not a query regarding a word definition, or something you could easily look up) inspired by the reading, given the themes of the course. The response must be proofread for clarity, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, and include page numbers for any quotations from the reading.

Research Project. Each student will carry out independent research on an individual chosen from the list provided. The research must focus on placing that individual in his or her historical context, using both primary and secondary sources. Your goal will be to use your research on that individual as a point of entry into a historical question or problem, using the case studies examined in class as models.

The project consists of several assignments: a prospectus, annotated bibliography, outline, and a final paper (of ~10-12 typed, double-spaced pages) with a bibliography due during finals week. This final project will ask you to formulate a significant research question, locate primary and secondary sources using the paper and electronic collections of Collins Library, produce an annotated bibliography, and plan a substantial research paper.

At the end of the term, you will share the results of your research in a brief presentation.
Here is a breakdown of the value of all major assignments:


20% Class participation (including all in class writing workshops)

14% Reading Responses

8% Prospectus

15% Annotated bibliography

8% Outline

30% Final research paper

5% Presentation

Grading Scale: Written assignments, exams and class participation will all be graded on a scale from A to F. Below are the numerical equivalents of each grade:

A: 93-96 A-: 90-92 B+: 87-89

B: 83-86 B-: 80-82 C+: 77-79

C: 73-76 C-: 70-72 D+: 67-69

D: 63-66 D-: 60-62 F: below 60
Other Resources:

While the instructors are happy to discuss readings and assignments and offer research guidance throughout the semester, students are strongly encouraged to make use of two additional resources this semester: Collins Library and the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching. We will have a library workshop with our History liason librarian, Peggy Burge, but you should feel free to make an individual appointment to meet with her to discuss your research for your presentation or final project. Peggy may be reached by email ( or phone (ext. 3512).

The Center (located in Howarth 109) is not for bad writers; it is a resource for anyone who wants to improve their writing, is trying to master a new writing form or learning to write in a new discipline, or who just needs help getting started on an assignment. We have two writing liaisons assigned to Honors 150 this semester: Maya Steinborn (Honors 150A) and Jasmine Kaneshiro (Honors 150B). Our liaisons will visit our classes on multiple occasions, and students are also encouraged to make individual appointments with them by emailing or calling ext. 3404.
Course Policies:

Attendance: Regular attendance is essential to your success in the course. The professors reserve the right to withdraw any student from the class for excessive unexcused absences. The last day to withdraw from the course with an automatic ‘W’ is March 4th; students withdrawn after this date will normally receive a ‘WF.’

Academic Honesty: All students are expected to abide by the guidelines concerning academic honesty outlined in the Logger Student Handbook (at Violations of honesty in research (i.e., inventing or falsifying sources or data) or writing (i.e., borrowing the arguments or words of others without attribution), or the defacing or destruction of library materials will result in a grade of ‘0’ for the assignment in question and, at the instructor’s discretion, dismissal from the course.

In Case of Emergency: Please review university emergency preparedness and response procedures posted at Familiarize yourself with hall exit doors and the designated gathering area for your class and laboratory buildings. If building evacuation becomes necessary (e.g., earthquake), meet your instructor at the designated gathering area so she/he can account for your presence. Then wait for further instructions. Do not return to the building or classroom until advised by a university emergency response representative. If confronted by an act of violence, be prepared to make quick decisions to protect your safety. Flee the area if you can safely do so. If this is not possible, shelter in place by securing classroom or lab doors and windows, closing blinds, and turning off room lights. Stay low, away from doors and windows, and as close to the interior hallway walls as possible. Wait for further instructions.


Week 1




Introduction to the course (sections meet together)

Discussion of Research Project and Aims

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, A1-a (pp.67-69)

Introduction to Library Resources (Peggy Burge)



Intro: Augustine and Late Antiquity (sections meet together)

(M) Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Augustine on Pagan Learning, in Sources of the Western Tradition, Vol. I, ed. Marvin Perry (Boston: Wadsworth, 2008), 171-73.

(M) Chris Wickham, “Culture and Belief in the Christian Roman World,” in The Inheritance of Rome (New York and London: Penguin, 2009), 50-75.

Week 2

Week 2




(sections meet together) (RR)

Introduction to Confessions (pp.ix-xxv)

Augustine, Confessions, book 1 (pp.3-23)

(M) Gary Wills, “The Book’s Birth,” in Augustine’s ‘Confessions:’ A Biography (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 1-16.



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Augustine, Confessions, books 2-3 (pp.24-51)

(M) Wills, “The Book’s Genre,” in Augustine’s ‘Confessions, 17-25.



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Augustine, Confessions, book 4 (pp.52-71)

(e-book) Johannes van Oort, “Augustine and the Books of the Manichees,” in A Companion to Augustine, ed. Mark Vessey (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 188-199

*e-book available via Collins WorldCat

Week 3




(sections meet separately) (RR)

Augustine, Confessions, books 5-6.6 (pp.72-98)



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Augustine, Confessions, books 6.7-7 (pp.98-132)

(M) Margaret R. Miles, “Not Nameless but Unnamed: The Woman Torn from Augustine’s Side,” in Feminist Reinterpretations of Augustine, ed. Judith Chelius Stark (University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 167-188.



(sections meet together) (RR)

Augustine, Confessions, books 8-9 (pp.133-78)

Week 4




Research Methods Session with Peggy Burge (all meet in Wyatt 313)

A Writer’s Reference, R1a-R1g (pp.332-346)

Assignment: before today’s class, find, read, and copy (or print) a subject-encyclopedia entry related to your proposed research subject. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it to class today!



Intro: The Twelfth-Century Renaissance (sections meet together)

(M) Heinrich Fichtenau, “The Intellectual Pursuits of the Early Scholastics,” and “The New Schools,” in Heretics and Scholars in the High Middle Ages, 1000-1200, trans. Denise A. Kaiser (University Park, PA, 1998), 229-57 and 267-80.

(M) John of Salisbury on his education, from the Metalogicon, excerpted in University Records and Life in the Middle Ages, ed. Lynn Thorndike, 11-14.

(Web) Jacques de Vitry, Student Life in 12th-century Paris, Internet Medieval

Sourcebook, at



(sections meet together) (RR)

Intro. to the Letters of Abelard and Heloise, xiii-xviii

(M) Anselm of Laon (?), Gloss on 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, trans. Eugene Fairweather, A Scholastic Miscellany: Anselm to Ockham (London, SCM Press, 1956), 267-75 (skim!)

(M) Abelard, Sic et non, prologue and questions 3-4 and 32, trans. Priscilla Throop (Charlotte, VT: Medieval MS, 2007), 11-25, 40-43, 96-97.

Letter 1 (Historia calamitatum), 3-9

Week 5




(sections meet separately) (RR)

Intro. to Letters of Abelard and Heloise, xviii-xxvi Letter 1 (Historia calamitatum), 9-18

Letters, Appendix: excerpt from the ‘lost love letters,’ 237-44

(M) Sally A. Livingston, "Consider, I beg you, what you owe me": Heloise and the Economics of Relationship,” in Women and Wealth in Late Medieval Europe, ed. Theresa Earenfight (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 51-65.



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Letter 1, Historia calamitatum (finish)

(M) Martin Irvine, “Abelard and (Re)Writing the Male Body: Castration, Identity, and Remasculinization,” in Becoming Male in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1997), 87-106.



(sections meet together) (RR)

M.T. Clanchy, “The Letters of Abelard and Heloise in Today’s Scholarship,” in Letters, lx-lxxxiv

Letters 2-3, pp.47-62

Week 6




(sections meet separately) (RR)

Letters 4-5, pp.63-91

(M) Linda Georgianna, “’In Any Corner of Heaven:’ Heloise’s Critique of Monastic Life,” in Listening to Heloise: The Voice of a Twelfth-Century Woman, ed. Bonnie Wheeler (New York: St. Martin’s, 2000), 187-216.



(sections meet together) (RR)

Letters 6 (pp.93-111) Letter 7 (pp.112-119 and 128-29 only), and Letter 8 (pp.130-31, 154-58, 164-67 only)

(M) Fiona J. Griffiths, “Men’s Duty to Provide for Women’s Needs:” Abelard, Heloise, and Their Negotiation of the cura monialium,” The Journal of Medieval History 30/1 (Jan. 2004): 1-24.



Research Preparation Day – Draft of Prospectus Due (sections meet together)

Today’s class will be a writing workshop. Please bring two copies of your typed prospectus to work with in class.

Week 7




(sections meet together) (RR)

Introduction to the Letters of Abelard and Heloise, xxxvii-xlv.

(M) Correspondence of Abelard, Bernard of Clairvaux, Heloise, and Peter the Venerable, and epitaphs for Abelard and Heloise, trans. Mary Martin McLaughlin with Bonnie Wheeler in The Letters of Heloise and Abelard: A Translation of Their Collected Correspondence and Related Writings (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 279-307.



(sections meet together) (RR)

Introduction to Gosse. Gosse, Preface

(M) Chapter 1, Rosemary Ashton’s George Eliot: A Life (1-56) and the letter from Mary Ann Evans to her father in Gordon S. Haight’s George Eliot: A Biography



No Class - Prospectus Due

Week 8




(sections meet separately) (RR)

Gosse, Father and Son, Chapters 2-3

(M) Howard R. Murphy, “The Ethical Revolt Against Christian Orthodoxy in Early Victorian England,” The American Historical Review 60 (1955): 800-817, and excerpts from Michael Ruse’s The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw (University of Chicago, 1979)



(sections meet together) (RR)

Gosse, Father and Son, Chapter 4

(M) John Hedley Brooke, “Visions of the Past: Religious Belief and the Historical Sciences” from Science and Religion: Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991)



(sections meet together) (RR)

Gosse, Chapter 5

(M) Frederick R. Ross, “Philip Gosse’s Omphalos, Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son, and Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection,” Isis 68(1977): 85-96.

Spring Break

Week 9




(sections meet separately) (RR)

Goss, Chapters 6-11

(M) John Tosh, A Man’s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (New Haven, 2007), 27-50 and 145-169.



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Goss, Chapter 12 and Epilogue

(M) George Marsden’s “Fundamentalism as an American Phenomenon, A Comparison with English Evangelicalism,” Church History 46(1977): 215-232.


(sections meet together)

Introduction to Darwin (Introduction & Conclusion to Origin of Species, 1859)

Week 10




Research Preparation Day – Annotated Bibliography due

(sections meet separately)

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, RC-a (pp.358-59)



(sections meet together) (RR)

Darwin’s Autobiography pp. 21-28, and James Moore’s “A Man in Conflict,” “A Family Divided,” and “The Compromise,” in The Darwin Legend (29-65)



(sections meet separately) (RR)

Darwin’s Autobiography – 29-84 and Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist xvii-xxi and 21-44.

Week 11




(sections meet together) (RR)

Darwin’s Autobiography – 84-145 and Matthew Day, “Godless Savages and Superstitious Dogs: Charles Darwin, Imperial Ethnography, and the Problem of Human Uniqueness,” Journal of the History of Ideas 69(2008): 49-70.



(sections meet together) (RR)

Darwin’s Autobiography (from the Appendix) 234-239 and Evelleen Richards’ “Darwin and the Descent of Woman,” in D. Oldroyd and I. Langham (eds.), The Wider Domain of Evolutionary Thought 57-111 (D. Reidel Pub., 1983).



Research Preparation Day (sections meet together)

Outlines Due. Bring two copies to class (one to turn in and one to work with)

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, C1d (pp. 12-14)

Sign up for individual meetings

Week 12




Individual Meetings



Individual Meetings



Individual Meetings

Week 13




Independent research and writing day



Independent research and writing day



Writing Workshop: Introductions

Bring in two copies of your draft introductory paragraph to work with in class.

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, C2a-b (pp. 14-18)

Week 14




Writing Workshop: Working with your sources

Bring in two copies of a complete body section of your paper (~2-3 pages) to work with in class.

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, C4d-e and A2d-f (pp. 39-45 and 81-86)







Week 15







Conclusions (sections meet together)

**Final research papers are due Monday, May 12th by 2pm**

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