“Teaching is performed in generosity; learning is accomplished in joy.” -Louise Cowan, PhD

Aurelia Ann VonTress

Course Description: In this course, we will read a variety of texts from around the world covering creation stories, epics, drama, storytelling, philosophy, and poetry. This class will include a great deal of reading and no small amount of writing. As we go through the semester, we will consider the role of ancient literature in shaping our modern stories. We will also pay close attention to the ways that these stories participate in or challenge the accepted political power structures of thought and knowledge and we will engage the decolonial theory of the geopolitics on knowledge. 


  • Included Course Reader
  • The Iliad by Homer, Lattimore Translation 
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 
  • Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translation by J.R.R. Tolkien 

World Literature From Antiquity to 1700: How the Myths of the Past Shape Our Stories Today (Fall 2016)