CL3RH-Receptions of Homer

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Katherine Harloe

Email: k.c.harloe@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Most classical scholars today believe that the Iliad and Odyssey were the product of a long tradition of oral poetry.  But for much of the poems’ reception-history, they were thought to be the work of one genius, whose identity and character was imagined and re-imagined in various ways.  This module examines a series of episodes in the transmission and reception of the Homeric poems from antiquity to the twenty-first century.  The focus will be on the different ways in which the corpus of Homeric poems and their author have been constructed, and the often porous boundary between classical scholarship and literary and imaginative responses.


Aims:

  • To provide students with an understanding of ancient and modern receptions of the Homeric poems.
  • To develop an appreciation of the significance of Homer for modern European European literature, art and culture, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
  • To offer an exploration of the social, cultural and political contexts that condition views of literary history and canon-formation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students are expected to be able to:

  • give an account of the history of ideas about the Homeric poems and their authorship;
  • relate diverse views about Homer to broader cultural contexts in which they were developed;
  • relate the evidence and arguments presented in the lectures and seminars to additional information assembled by their own research;
  • articulate their arguments effectively and illustrate them with relevant evidence.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop oral presentation and group skills through participation in and presentation at seminars. They will also have the opportunity to develop IT skills through the use of electronic databases and web resources.

Outline content:

The first part of the course will explore the Homeric question in antiquity, setting the Iliad and Odyssey within the context of ancient debates about the authorship of other works such as the Homeric Hymns,  rhapsodic performance, literary critical and poetic representations of the poet in other genres. The course will then discuss selected episodes in the modern literary and cultural reception of Homer, from the Renaissance to today.  Topics covered may include early translations, the role of Homer in the ‘Quarrel of Ancients and Moderns’ , debates over Homer’s (il)literacy and attempts to relate Odysseus’ wanderings to Mediterranean topography, the role of ideas about Homer in romantic tourism to Italy and Greece and the political impact of Hellenism (for example in Germany, Scotland, and during the French revolution), the contemporary use Homer to explore the nature and consequences of warfare, rewritings of Homer in the work of contemporary authors such as Michael Longley, Derek Walcott, Madeline Miller, Margaret Atwood and Alice Oswald.   The specific content of the seminars will be determined partly by students’ interests and experience.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught by seminars, with two contact hours per week.



PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CLASS WILL BE TAUGHT BY SEMINARS, IN WHICH ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN CLASS DISCUSSION. AFTER THE FIRST TWO WEEKS, STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO TAKE THEIR TURN AT LEADING OFF THE SEMINAR DISCUSSION WITH SHORT GROUP PRESENTATIONS.  PLEASE ONLY SIGN UP FOR THIS MODULE IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO COLLABORATE WITH YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS IN GIVING AN INFORMAL, NON-ASSESSED PRESENTATION TO THE CLASS.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 20
       
Total hours by term 20.00
       
Total hours for module 20.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Assessment: The module will be assessed by 1. A proposal of 500-750 words for a research essay on a topic relevant to the module, plus a bibliography of at least 8 items. This must be submitted on Monday of Week 7 of term and is worth 25% of the module mark; 2. A research essay of 3000 words (+/- 10%) on the chosen topic, to be submitted on Friday of Week 2 of the term after the module is taught.


Formative assessment methods:

Both written and oral feedback on the first coursework assignment will be offered in good time for it to inform students' second coursework assignments.


Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Standard (i.e. resubmission of coursework during summer resit period)


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 14 June 2017

    Things to do now