ENGL 221 Great Books

In this course, students read a selection of foundational texts from within the Western tradition and its Others. They will learn how to identify, analyze, and evaluate the various claims and concepts elaborated from within it and about it. More specifically, they will gain insights into how the western tradition was formed, how this formation hinged on the inclusion and exclusion of certain (changing) others, and how its legacy continues to inform the geocultural and geopolitical present. At the same time students will learn how to differentiate between the various linguistic and cultural singularities that make up the umbrella term Western Civilization, thus becoming aware of problems of transmission and translation as well as of the logic of generalization as such. The interdisciplinary focus of the course will moreover allow students to synthesize and integrate these questions within a more widely conceived framework than can be provided within their own respective majors.




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