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CLAS 2109: Self and Society: Readings / Schedule

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for the Classics 2019 sections.

Syllabus of Readings

August 27  Introduction to Class and Class Themes

  No advance readings

August 29 The Monster in the Cave

  Homer, Odyssey, book 9 (Cyclops episode, password-protected)

September 3 "Monsters from the Id" I

  1. Watch lecture: Paul Bloom, on Freud:

  2. Read: Sigmund Freud, “The Unconscious," pages 12 to 16 (password-protected PDF link)

  3.  View film: Forbidden Planet (in-class viewing)

September 5  No Class

September 17 Thinking about Monsters

  1. Read essay, J. J. Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).*

"*** Old link seems to be down. Please Google 'Cohen Monster Culture Seven Theses' - first hit should be a .pdf of the essay. [Prof. Thibodeau]

September 19  Illness in the Psyche, I

  1. Read essay, Hippocrates “The Sacred Disease” (password-protected)

September 24  Illness in the Psyche, II

  1. Read book, James Fallon, The Psychopath Inside
  (password-protected selections: 1-20, 65-72, 90-106, 187-212)

September 26  Self-Knowledge and its Limits, I

  1.  Read play, Sophocles, Oedipus the King

October 1  No Class

October 3  Self-Knowledge and its Limits, II

  1. Read play, Sophocles, Oedipus the King

October 8  No Class

October 10  Soul Blindness, I

  1.  Read essay, David Foster Wallace "Consider the Lobster"

  2.  View film, Blade Runner (in-class viewing)

October 15  Soul Blindness, II

  1. View film, Blade Runner (in-class viewing)

October 17  Soul Blindness, III

  1.  Discussion of film

October 22  The Dionysiac Pattern, I

  1. Watch clip, staging of Euripides Bacchae:

  2. Read play: Euripides, Bacchae

October 24  The Dionysiac Pattern, II

  1. Read play: Euripides, Bacchae

  2. FIRST DRAFT of Digital Book Due.

October 29  Leaders and Misleaders, I

  1. View documentary, “The Jonestown Massacre”

October 31 Leaders and Misleaders, II

  1. Read essay, J. Z. Smith, “The Devil in Mr. Jones”

  2. Practice Final Exam

November 5 Leaders and Misleaders, III

1. Read Plato, Republic book 9, 571-579.

November 7  Authority, Anarchy, and Abuse, I

  1. View documentary: Obedience. Stanley Milgram.
  2.  Read essay: Cari Romm, "Rethinking One of Psychology's Most Infamous Experiments."

November 12  Authority, Anarchy, and Abuse, II

  1.  View documentary: Stanford Prison Experiment.

  2.  Read essay: Maria Konnikova, "The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment"

November 14  Disgust and Humanity, I
  1. Read chapter, first half:

   “Disgust and Our Animal Bodies,” Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity, 71-93 (password-protected)

November 19  Disgust and Humanity, II

   1. Read chapter, second half:

   “Disgust and Our Animal Bodies,” Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity, 93-123 (password-protected)

November 21  Scapegoating, I

  1. Read short story, Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”

November 26  Scapegoating, II

  1. Read article, Elizabeth Bruenig, "What Do We Owe Her Now?"

November 28  NO CLASS

December 3 The Banality of Evil? I
  1. Read essay, "The Case of Hannah Arendt" by Amos Elon (password-protected)
  2. View clip, Hannah Arendt (2012)

  3.  SECOND DRAFT of Digital Book Due.

December 5 The Banality of Evil? II
  1. View clip, “Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and how Evil Isn’t Banal” by Yaacov Lozowick, former director
    of Yad Vashem Archives (15 min.).

  2. View clip, Prof. Susan Neiman on the question of evil (2 min.)

December 10 Embracing the Monster, I

  1.  Read poem: Allen Ginsburg, Howl

December 12 Final Exam

December 19 Final Class Meeting, 1-3 pm  Embracing the Monster, II

  1. View documentary, “Under the Influence. New York Hardcore.”

  2.  View: documentary, BBC Brass Tacks debate on punk rock.





"The Jonestown Massacre" Full Documentary

"Under the Influence: New York Hardcore" Full Video

"Brass Tacks" Full Documentary

The Milgram Experiment