Spring Quarter, 2002
Faculty: David Simpson received his PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and has served on the faculty at Columbia and Northwestern. His primary academic interests are classical and Renaissance literature, media studies, American culture, professional communication, and intellectual history. A former member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, he has served as a consultant in business writing and technical analysis of financial-market trends and has written articles and reviews on topics ranging from jazz and cinema to slang and cyberculture.
phone: (708) 798-7570
Course Description: A course in literature, gender politics, and cultural history. Students will read and discuss a selection of important and influential literary and philosophical texts on love, marriage, romance, troubled relationships, and the struggle for power between men and women. They will also review some of Western civilization's most persistent and influential male and female icons and stereotypes. Class discussion will focus not only on the assigned texts and recommended films but also on characters from history, mythology, and popular culture who have conditioned our ideas and attitudes about men and women from the days of classical Athens and Rome to the modern era.
In line with the competence areas, the principal aims of the course will be:
Criteria for Demonstrating Competence:
Students will be required to write one or two short essays and/or pass an examination.
AL-H, A-1-E Students taking the course for AL-H or A-1-E credit will produce a 6-8 page essay discussing the career and the social impact or historical significance of a prominent female author, artist, or film-maker. The essay should engage the question of how this artist’s values and beliefs are reflected in her work. (Due 6/3.)
AL-C, A-1-D To demonstrate AL-C or A-1-D competence, students will complete a take-home examination--part essay, part objective--requiring them (a) to identify important historical figures and characters from literature and myth; (b) to define key terms and concepts from cultural history and literary criticism; and (c) to compare the views of two or more authors on such subjects as happiness, marriage, gender differences, equality, and love. (Due 6/3.)
HC-C, H-3-B Students taking the course for HC-C or H-3-B will complete a 6-8 page paper describing the influence of gender, race, nationality, family, ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status in the career or personal development of a prominent writer, artist, or public figure. (Due 6/3.)
A 6-8 page paper comparing cultural practices and institutions relating to
sex, family, marriage, or education in two different societies. (Due 6/3.)
Note: All students enrolled in this course are responsible for knowing and upholding the university's policy on academic integrity as outlined in the DePaul Student Handbook .
Informal lecture/discussion--with occasional video. Students should notify the instructor if they cannot attend a particular class session. Otherwise, students are expected to attend regularly and complete all assigned readings.
Essays and exams will be graded mainly on content. However, to receive a grade of "A," essays and examination answers must exhibit superior organization and style. (For format and style guidelines, click here .) Note: The instructor will review drafts and provide comments and suggestions as long as the draft is submitted at least two weeks in advance of the final deadline.
Plato, The Symposium.
Edith Hamilton, Mythology (or a comparable anthology
of classical myth).
Films and Videos:
The Taming of the Shrew (1967).
David L. Simpson
The School for New Learning, DePaul University , Chicago, IL 60604
© David L. Simpson, 1998