IH 851.040 Fall 2013 MWF 2:00-2:50 RH 103

Sheryl Sawin, Ph.D.

Phone: 215-204-8262

Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 MWF and by appointment (213 Anderson).

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. Additional materials will be made available through the course’s blackboard site.  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)

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)

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


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 two lowest quiz grades.

Essay 1 (10%): Essay 1 will focus on making a contemporary connection to 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.

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.  I will provide a class participation assessment for each student by the end of week 3.

Discussion Blog (15%): See blackboard for details or click here.

Extra Credit (5%): Phildelphia Experience PEX program (up to 2.5%), Mosaic at the Movies review, see http://www.temple.edu/ih/Movies.html for dates/times (up to 2.5 %).

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. 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.

Academic Honesty:  Plagiarism in the course will result in a failing grade.  Please review the TU Bulletin for the University’s policy on academic honesty and integrity:http://www.temple.edu/bulletin/Responsibilities_rights/responsibilities/responsibilities.shtm#honesty

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 http://www.temple.edu/vpus/resources/policies.htm 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 http://www.temple.edu/writingctr/ 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

8/26  Introductions

8/28 The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 1-4

8/30 Gilgamesh, Tablets 5-8

Week 2

9/2  Labor Day, no school

9/4  Rosh Hashanna, class TBD

9/6  Writer’s workshop: Essay 1 due, rough draft (bring 2 copies to class for peer editing).

Gilgamesh, Tablet 9-12

Week 3

9/9 McCloud, from Understanding Comics *; Satrapi, Persepolis , Part 1 (1–153

(last day to drop course)

9/11 Satrapi, Persepolis, Part 2 (155-end)

9/13  Persepolis

Essay 1 due (submit through Safe Assign)

Week 4

9/16 Persepolis

9/18 Persepolis

9/20 no class 

Unit II:  Self and Other

Week 5

9/23 Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, Ch1-2

9/25 Freud, Ch 3-4

9/27 Freud, Ch 5-6

Week 6

9/30 Freud Ch 7-8

10/2 Freud wrap up

10/4  Hamlet, Act 1

Week 7

10/7 Hamlet, Act 2

10/9 Hamlet, Act 3

10/11 Hamlet, Act 4 and 5

Week 8

10/14 Midterm Review

10/16 Midterm Exam

Unit III:  Community

10/18 Plato, The Trials of Socrates, Introduction

Week 9

10/21 Plato, The Euthyphro

10/23 Plato, The Apology

10/25 Plato, The Apology

Week 10

10/28 Plato, The Crito/Phaedo

10/30 Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Extra Credit 1 due

11/1 A Thousand Splendid Suns

Week 11

11/4 A Thousand Splendid Suns

11/6 A Thousand Splendid Suns

11/8 A Thousand Splendid Suns

Unit IV:  Ways of Knowing/Faith

Week 12

11/11 Genesis, 1-11

11/13 Genesis, 12-25

11/15 Writer’s workshop: Intro and thesis statement for Essay 2 due, rough draft (bring 2 copies to class)

Week 13

11/18 Genesis, 26-50

Review final project assignment

11/20 Daodejing, Book I

11/22 Daodejing, Book II

Essay 2 Due (submit through Safe Assign)

Week 14

11/25 Love’s Alchemy, Introduction and selected poems (tba)

Final Project Proposal Due (submit via email)

11/27 Love’s Alchemy

11/29 Thanksgiving Break

Week 15 Final Projects

12/2 Final projects—in class workshop

Extra Credit 2 due

12/4 Final projects—in class workshop

12/9 Final Projects Due/Presentations (1:00-3:00)

*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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