CIV 150W-01

Freshman Writing Seminar:

Greek and Roman Private Life
Fall, 2000

Contents of this syllabus:

Instructor: William Hutton
Office: Morton 326
Phone: 221-2993
Office hours: MWF 11-12 noon and by appointment.

Time and place of Class: MWF 2-2:50; Morton 340



Important Electronic Addresses:

Class web page:

Class e-mail list: (for subscription instructions, consult the class web page)

Instructor's e-mail address:

Course Description:
In this course we will read about, write about and discuss the way ordinary and not-so-ordinary people lived in ancient Greece and Rome. Topics covered will include birth, food, work, sex, religion, marriage and death. We will read original sources (in translation) to learn what the ancients themselves thought about these aspects of everyday life. We will also consider how ancient attitudes compare to modern ones, including (especially!) our own.

Course Objectives:
Here is how the W&M Faculty defines the goals of the Freshman Writing Seminar:

"The primary goal of the freshman seminar program is to help the student develop his or her ability to engage in critical thinking and independent learning. To accomplish this, the seminars provide the student with an active small-class experience that includes opportunities for discussion, writing, and other modes of expression appropriate to the subject matter of the course."

(For further information on freshman seminars, see the link on the class home page.)

To fulfill these goals, most of your work in this class will be devoted to researching, writing and re-writing various written assignments and preparing oral presentations. In addition, this freshman seminar naturally has more specific goals related to its subject:

Some additional required readings will be available through the reserve desk at SWEM library or on Electronic Reserve.

Course format:
In many ways this class will be different from most others you take at William & Mary. Only rarely will I be lecturing at you for a full 50 minutes. Most classes will consist of a brief lecture (or series of remarks) by me followed by discussion involving the entire class. Some of these discussions will be more formal than others, and some of them will be generated and punctuated by assigned oral reports by individual students. Our discussions will not only be on the assigned readings about the ancient cultures, but also on the process of writing and on the written work you will be doing throughout the semester. There is a heavy element of peer review in this course: the other students in the class will be reading a lot of what you write and, with any luck, helping you improve your writing. We will also continue our discussions outside of class in an e-mail discussion group. This course is designed to help you become an active learner rather than a passive receptacle into which the professor pours knowledge, and for this reason, I and the rest of the class are counting on you to come to each class prepared and ready to contribute.

Assignments and Grading:
Your grade will be calculated as follows:

NOTE: You must earn a passing grade on your final research paper to earn a passing grade for the course. Aside from that your grade will be calculated on a strictly numerical basis and converted to letter grades on the following scale: 93-100 = A; 89-92 = A-; 85-88=B+; 81-84 = B; 77-80 = B-; 74-76 = C+; 71-73 = C; 68-70 = C-; 64-67 = D+; 60-63 = D; 55-59= D-; Below 55 = F.

Explanation of Grade Components:

Important Course Policies:
No late papers or assignments will be acceptable without verifiable evidence of dire circumstances. No special arrangements whatsoever will be made if you do not notify me of your dire circumstances within 48 HOURS after the deadline of the paper/assignment.

Attendance will not be recorded every day, but your absences will be noticed and will result in a lower class participation grade, if they are excessive or if they occur at particularly inopportune times (for instance, when you are scheduled to participate in group work or are supposed to be helping to critique your classmates’ work, they will SEVERELY affect your class participation grade.

Tentative Class Schedule: This schedule presents the main topics to be discussed each week, and important scheduled deadlines and activities. More specific information on topics and reading assignments will be given as we proceed through the semester, but the DEADLINES for drafts, papers, etc. will stay the same unless there is some unforeseen calamity.

       Week 1 Aug 30-Sept 1: Introduction
       Week 2 Sept. 4-8: Background: History and Culture

       Week 3 Sept 11-15: Home Life: Men & Women
	Sept 15 (Friday): Library Research Orientation:  Meet at Swem (Room TBA)
       Week 4 Sept 18-22: Life in the City: Aristophanes' Comedy
	Sept 22 (Friday): Guest Lecture: Professor Linda C. Reilly
       Week 5 Sept 25-29: Alcibiades: The Good Life?
            Sept 25: (Monday) Tour of Writing Center:  Meet in front of Tucker Bldg.
            Sept 29 (Friday): Midterm proposals due: Brief oral reports on topics
       Week 6 Oct 2-6: Love Life
            October 6 (Friday) Ancient Greeks: Film and Reality

       Week 7 Oct 9-13: Marriage and Death
            Oct 11 (Wednesday) DEADLINE for handing in draft of Midterm paper
            Oct 13 Critiquing session
       Week 8 Oct 16-20
            Oct 16 (Monday) NO CLASS (Fall Break)
            Oct 20 (Friday) DEADLINE for final version of Midterm paper.
       Week 9 Oct 23-27: Roman Life: Background

       Week 10 Oct 30-Nov 3: Topics in Roman Society: Group work

       Week 11 Nov 6-10: Roman Homes
            Nov 6  (Monday) Final proposals due
            Nov 10 (Friday): Guest Lecture: Prof. J. Ward Jones;
       Week 12 Nov 13-17: Lives in Letters
            Nov 17 (Friday) Short reports on final paper topics; Due date for bibliography for final paper.

       Week 13 Nov 20-24: Life at Court: The Emperor's Circle
            Nov 20  (Monday) DEADLINE for first draft of final paper
            Nov 22-24: No Class; Thanksgiving

       Week 14 Nov 27-Dec 1:
            Nov 27 Critiquing Day
            Nov 29 Oral Reports
            Dec 1 Oral Reports
       Week 15 Dec 4-8
            Dec 4 Oral Reports
            Dec 6 Oral Reports DEADLINE for second draft of final paper
            Dec 8 No Class (Professor out of town)

 Thursday, December 21: DEADLINE for final version of final paper