54: Autumn 2003
sense of self depends upon your particular experiences, and,
of course, the vehicle of those experiences is your physical
body. Embodiment is central to a sense of self. Experiences
are particular because they are located in a specific place,
a life, a history, a community, a culture. In this course we
will explore this connection between self and body. Does one
need to have a body to have a self? If having a body and having
a self are not exactly the same thing, how are they connected?
How does context affect that connection? How do differing media,
changing social circumstances, and scientific transformations
affect our understanding of the person, as a located and active
self and body?
We will trace these questions through some classic concerns
in literary, scientific, and cultural works. We will consider
debates about the role of character in history, the problematic
relation of the physical body to the conscious self, and the
different senses of self and body encountered in different
cultures. In our readings, we will map out significant shifts
in the answers to these questions from antiquity through the
Heian period of Japan and the English Renaissance to the modern
age. By heightening our awareness of the historical and philosophical
background of ideas about the individual and the body, we
hope to challenge many notions commonly taken for granted.
Most if not all of the lectures in this course will be composed
of two segments, the lecturer in the second half responding
to the arguments of lecturer in the second half, providing
a counterargument, exhibiting a different discipline’s
method of analysis or invoking a different set of historical
contexts. This alternation of points of view may at first
seem confusing, but it is designed to put you in the position
of having to work out your own conclusions in response to
the readings, the lectures, your discussion with classmates
and the riches of your own mind.
The programmatic goals of all fall IHUM courses are to hone
students’ abilities 1) to read closely; 2) to think
critically; 3) to recognize the possibility of different readings
produced by approaching texts from different disciplinary
perspectives; 4) to learn effectively from lectures; and 5)
to engage in sustained intellectual discussion.
This course in particular aims to create a dialogue among
texts of widely differing periods and backgrounds—a
dialogue which can only happen through readers such as us.
Through historical contextualization, close reading of representative
passages, genre and media analysis, and group argumentation
(spoken, written and electronic), we will discover what they
have to say to us and what we have to say about them. The
skills we practice here, though they emerge from traditions
of humanistic study, are not exclusive to language and literature,
but shared across the disciplines of the university.
Plato, Crito in The
Last Dayz of Socrates,
translated by Hugh Tredenneck and Harold Tarrant. London:
Sei Shônagon, The
Pillow Book, translated and edited by Ivan Morris. New
York: Columbia University Press, 1991.
William Shakespeare, King
Richard II, Ed Frances Dolan. New York: Pelican, 2000.
Tristes Tropiques, translated by John and Doreen Weightman.
New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
Electronic Arts, The Sims.
CD-ROM. Electronic Arts, 2001.
All required texts will be available in the Stanford Bookstore
textbook department, except for The Sims. You should
arrange to purchase the right version of The Sims for your operating
system in the Bookstore’s software department, through
Amazon.com or some other software outlet. Expansion packs are
optional (but fun).
Three papers, increasing in length and complexity and representing
respectively 15%, 25% and 30% of your final grade, will be
assigned in this course. The first two papers will be written
in response to a set theme; for the third, you will have a
choice of topics, and the final product may (after consultation
with your Teaching Fellow) take the form of a project rather
than a traditional paper. You will also complete a number
of short web-based assignments during the quarter on the asynchronous
chat software, Panfora,
accessible through the course web-site. Finally, you will
be assigned to lead part of section with a group of your peers
at least once during the quarter.
The three papers are worth a total of 70% of your grade
Alongside these assignments, 30% of your grade will depend
on your participation in the course. The many hours of face-to-face
and electronic interaction provided by an IHUM course can
be a burden or a delight, depending on how actively and creatively
you participate. By "participation;" we mean your
engagement with the themes and the community that we are establishing
here Attendance at lectures, sections, and other course events
(e.g., on-line discussions, film screenings, project presentations)
is a basic form of participation and is required of all. But
it's not enough simply to show up or log in: we hope that
every member of the course will contribute in his or her own
way to the experience of the whole group by raising questions,
offering ideas for discussion, suggesting links for posting,
presenting your project or paper to the rest of us, and so
on. See the Area One Section Participation Grading Guidelines
below for more details.
The Area One requirement is designed to foster rigorous inquiry
and critical thinking, and to promote effective written argumentation.
The following standards for judging written work apply to
all Area One courses:
A range: This paper is outstanding in form
and content. The thesis is clear and insightful; it expands
in a new way on ideas presented in the course. The evidence
presented in support of the argument is carefully chosen and
deftly handled. The argument is not only unified and coherent,
but also complex and nuanced.
B range: This paper's thesis
is clear; the argument is coherent and presents evidence in
support of its points. The argument shows comprehension of the
material and manifests critical thinking about the issues raised
in the course. The paper is reasonably well written and proofread.
The argument, while coherent, does not have the complexity,
the insight, or the integrated structure of an A range paper.
C range: This paper has some
but not all of the basic components of an argumentative essay
(i.e., thesis, evidence, coherent structure): for example, it
may offer a thesis of some kind, but it presents no evidence
to support this thesis; or it may present an incoherent thesis;
or it may simply repeat points made in class without an overall
argument. Such a paper is usually poorly organized, written
A paper will fall below a "C" if it lacks more
than one of the basic components of an argumentative essay.
Section Participation: Area One courses are
mandated to encourage vigorous intellectual exchange, the expression
of various viewpoints, and the ability to speak effectively
and cogently. Participation in discussion will be evaluated
on the following guidelines, which stress the quality rather
than the mere quantity of contributions to discussion.
A range: The student is fully engaged and highly motivated.
This student is well prepared, having read the assigned texts,
and has thought carefully about the texts’ relation
to issues raised in lecture and section. This student's ideas
and questions are productive (either constructive or critical);
they stimulate class discussions. This student listens and
responds to the contributions of other students.
B range: The student attends class regularly, is well prepared
for discussion, and participates consistently. This student
contributes productively to the discussion by sharing thoughts
and questions that demonstrate familiarity with the material.
This student refers to the materials discussed in lecture
and shows interest in other students' contributions.
C range: The student meets the basic requirements of section
participation: preparedness and regular attendance. This student
participates rarely in class discussion. This student may
offer a few interesting or insightful ideas from time to time,
but these ideas do not connect well to the general discussion:
they do not help to build a coherent and productive discussion.
(Failure to fulfill satisfactorily any of these criteria will
result in a grade of "D" or below.)
Attendance at lectures and sections is required. It is not
enough to follow the course website or to borrow someone’s
notes: even the lectures are live sessions of interchange
where your presence is desired. Talk with your teaching fellow
individually about excused absences from lecture or seminar.
Papers are expected by the deadlines, and late papers will
be marked down 1/3 grade for each day of tardiness. If extenuating
circumstances arise, talk to your TF at least one week before
the due date about the possibility of an extension. Revisions
of papers for regrading will not be accepted.
concerning Students with Disabilities
Students who have a disability which may necessitate an
academic accommodation or the use of auxiliary aids and services
in a class must initiate the request with the Disability Resource
Center (DRC). The DRC will evaluate the request with required
documentation, recommend appropriate accommodations, and prepare
a verification letter dated in the current academic term in
which the request is being made. Please contact the DRC as
soon as possible; timely notice is needed to arrange for appropriate
accommodations (phone 723-1066; TDD 725-1067).
The Stanford Honor Code
The Honor Code is an agreement that binds us all as members
of this intellectual community. Violating the Honor Code is
a serious offense, even when the violation is unintentional.
The text of the Honor Code is available at: www.stanford.edu/dept/vpsa/judicialaffairs/honor_code.htm.
You are responsible for understanding the University rules
regarding academic integrity; you should familiarize yourself
with the code if you have not already done so. In brief, conduct
prohibited by the Honor Code includes all forms of academic
dishonesty, among them copying from another’s exam,
unpermitted collaboration and representing as one’s
own work the work of another. If you have any questions about
these matters, see your teaching fellow during office hours.
CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE