Mosaic I Spring 2014 Syllabus (updated 1/26)

IH 851: Mosaic I Spring 2014
Sheryl Sawin, Ph.D.
Office: 517 Andersen Hall
Office Hours: 10:30-11:45 and 2:00-2:50 MWF or by appointment

Course Overview:
Mosaic I is the first of a two-course series that explores the nature of the individual in society.  By examining texts and other forms of material culture, we will consider several important themes that help us understand what it means to be human.  These themes include Journeys, Self and Other, Community and Ways of Knowing/Faith.

Upon completion of the two-semester Mosaic sequence, students will be able to:

  • Read in its entirety an unfamiliar and problematic written text (theoretically, historically, or culturally challenging);
  • Recognize abstractions, large ideas, and implications associated with difficult written texts;
  • Make connections across disciplines, history and cultural boundaries;
  • Construct positions, arguments, and interpretations through textual analysis and evaluation; and
  • Produce thoughtful writing that reflects persuasive position and the conventions of academic discourse.


Required Texts:

In order to succeed in the course, you must have your own copy of each text, which you will annotate and bring to every class when a particular reading is assigned. Please be sure to purchase the specific editions listed below (exceptions noted), which can be found at the TU bookstore. Supplemental materials may be assigned and made available through Blackboard.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, Trans. Andrew George. New York: Penguin, 2003 (0140449191)

Satrapi, Marjane, The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2001 (0375714839)

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents: The Standard Edition. Trans. and ed. James Strachey. New York: W.W. Norton, 1961 (0393301583)

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Folger Library Shakespeare. Washington Square Press, 2003

(074347712x) or any edition.

Plato, The Trials of Socrates: Six Classic Texts. Trans. C.D.C. Reeve. Ed Peter Meineck. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2002(0872205895)

Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns.  New York: Riverhead Books, 2007(1594489501)

Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989, or any edition you want).

The Daodejing of Laozi. Ed. and trans. Philip Ivanhoe. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003. (0872207013) Online editions available.

Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition. Ed. And Trans David and Sabrineh Fideler.  Novato, CA: New World Library, 2006 (1577318903)

***Attend preview performance of Don Juan Comes Home from the War on one of the following dates:                         Thurs. March 20th (7:30pm)            Fri. March 21st (8:00pm)

Saturday March 22nd (8PM)            Sunday March 23rd (2PM)

***Attend optional Mosaic At The Movies screenings and other on campus events as announced. For information subscribe to our Twitter feed: or go to

Assignments and Grading:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
100-93.00 92.99-90.00 89.99-87.00 86.99-83.00 82.99-80.00 79.99-77.00 76.99-73.00 72.99-70.00 69.99-67.00 66.99-63.00 62.99-60.00 59.00-0.0
4.0 3.67 3.33 3.0 2.67 2.33 2.0 1.67 1.33 1.0 .67 0.0

Quizzes (10%):  Each week, we will have at least one brief unannounced reading quiz.  The reading quizzes help to ensure that you comprehend the basic concepts in each text.  The format will vary week by week: short answer, multiple choice, quotation id, essay, text annotation check, etc. Quizzes cannot be made up if you are absent (except for observance of a religious holiday), but I will drop your lowest quiz grade.

Essay 1 (10%): Essay 1 will focus on a close reading of a “small moment” in The Epic of Gilgamesh (detailed assignment will be posted on Blackboard).

 Essay 2 (20%): Essay 2 will focus on a synthesis of two texts from the course (detailed assignment will be posted on Blackboard).

Midterm (15%): The midterm will cover units I and II; the format will combine the various quiz styles to which you have already been exposed, in addition to in class group activities.

Final Project (15%): TBA on blackboard and reviewed in class.

Class Participation (15%): Participation and attendance are not the same. You will be evaluated on your ability to meaningfully contribute to class discussion.  Coming to class without the assigned reading will negatively effect your class participation grade.  I will provide a class participation assessment for each student by the end of week 4.

Online Discussion Forum (15%): You will participate in an individual online project throughout the semester (See “Quotation Project” assignment on Blackboard for details and tips on how to do well on this assignment).

Extra Credit: May be assigned throughout the semester

Class Policies:

Attendance: The highest correlation to getting good grades in college is attendance!  There are no excused absences in this course.  IH guidelines state that if you miss more than two weeks of classes (6 classes), for any reason, you cannot pass this course. Students who miss class in observance of a religious holiday must make arrangements with me in advance to complete alternate quiz/class discussion assignments.  More than two absences will affect your class participation grade by 10 points per absence. Chronic lateness will be treated as absences, so be sure to get to class on time, before I take attendance. If you experience a genuine emergency, you must contact me as soon as possible to discuss your status in the class.

 Electronic Devices:  Cell phones and other electronic devices are to be turned off in class unless I give permission for you to use them. If I find you are using electronic devices in class without permission you will be counted absent for that day.

 Academic Honesty:  Plagiarism in the course will result in a failing grade for the course.  Please review the TU Bulletin for the University’s policy on academic honesty and integrity:

Classroom Etiquette: The subject matter in this course may be considered controversial by some students and may challenge some deeply held beliefs and perspectives.  The purpose of this course is to engage in critical analysis of the ideas presented in the texts we read as well as by seminar members. It is crucial that all members of the class treat one another with respect. You are always welcome to respectfully disagree with one another’s views (including mine), but not welcome to attack any individual for holding these views or for sharing them in class.  See for the complete policy on academic freedom.

Academic Support: The Intellectual Heritage Program offers tutoring for all IH students. The tutoring schedule for this semester will be posted to Blackboard as soon as it becomes available.  All tutoring will take place in the IH lounge, 215A Anderson Hall.

I also encourage you to take advantage of the Temple Writing Center at the Learning Center, 201 Tuttleman . See for details.

Students with Disabilities:

This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation.

Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215-204-1280 to coordinate reasonable accommodations for documented disabilities.


Unit I:  Journeys

Week 1

1/22  Introductions

1/24 The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 1-4

Week 2

1/27 The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 1-4

1/29 Gilgamesh, Tablets 5-8

1/31 Gilgamesh, Tablet 9-12 

Week 3

2/3 Writer’s workshop: Essay 1 intro and outline due (bring 3 copies to class for peer editing, failure to do so results in 10 points off essay grade).

**(last day to drop course)**

2/5 Satrapi, Persepolis , Part 1 (1–153)

2/7 Persepolis

Essay 1 due at the beginning of class (also submit through Turn It In)

Week 4

2//10 Satrapi, Persepolis, Part 2 (155-end)

2/12 Persepolis

Unit II:  Self and Other

2/14 Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, Ch1-2 

Week 5

2/17 Freud, Ch 3-4

2/19 Freud, Ch 5-6

2/21 Freud Ch 7-8

Week 6

2/24 Freud wrap up

2/26 Hamlet, Act 1

2/28 Hamlet, Act 2

Week 7

3/10 Hamlet, Act 3

3/12 Hamlet, Act 4

3/14 Hamlet, Act 5

Week 8

3/17 Midterm Review

3/19 Midterm Exam

3/21 Plato, The Trials of Socrates, Introduction and The Euthyphro


Unit III:  Community

Week 9

3/24 Plato, The Apology

3/26 Plato, The Apology

3/28 Plato, The Crito/Phaedo

Week 10

3/31 Discussion of Don Juan Comes Home From The War

4/2 TBA

4/4 Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Part One)

Week 11

4/7 A Thousand Splendid Suns (Part Two)

4/9 A Thousand Splendid Suns (Part Three)

4/11 A Thousand Splendid Suns (Part Four)

Unit IV:  Ways of Knowing/Faith

Week 12

4/14 Genesis, 1-11

4/16 Genesis, 12-25

4/18 Writer’s workshop: Essay 2 intro and outline due (bring 3 copies to class for peer editing, failure to do so results in 10 points off essay grade)

Week 13

4/21 Genesis, 26-50

Essay 2 Due in class (also submit through Turn It In)

4/23 Daodejing, Book I

4/25 Daodejing, Book II

Week 14

4/28 Daodejing

4/30 Love’s Alchemy, Introduction and selected poems (tba)

5/2 Love’s Alchemy (select five poems to discuss)

Final project proposals due—in class workshop (bring 3 copies).

Week 15

5/5 Last day of class!

5/8-5/14 Final Exam (Project Presentations–check schedule to find your exam time for  your course section)

*Syllabus reading schedule and assignment due dates subject to change. Any changes will be announced in class and posted on Blackboard in a timely manner.


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