The Classical Canon 1: The Heritage of Antiquity

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Doel vak

 Acquiring basic knowledge about the content, context, origins and uses
of the classical canon;
 Being able to reproduce an overview of the most important parts of the
present day ‘classical canon’ from the Ancient Near East till Late
 Being able to reproduce a basic chronology; to distinguish various
‘genres’/disciplines; an to generally contextualise parts of the canon;
 Being able to switch between various ‘genres’/disciplines/artistic
media/periods/cultural areas;
 Being able to identify specific and more general parts of the canon.

Inhoud vak

In each session of this first canon module (followed up by a module in
year 2 for regular students, but also set up as 'stand alone' elective)
items, places and monuments that belong to the canon, or have once
belonged to it, will be introduced. This will be done, after a general
introduction, by offering a general overview of their content, context
and uses, starting from (for example): the Bible, the Gilgamesh epos,
Homer and the site of
Troy, the Athenian Akropolis, the Ara Pacis etc. Examples will be taken
from literature, archaeology, history, history of art and urban studies,
or regard so-called lieux de mémoire. They will be ordered thematically
in combinations of examples, also including cross links between the
parts, one theme in each class. The examples will normally be taken from
the ancient world, but they will be viewed in the perspective of the
they have played in later times, and of their roles in the formation of
later canons. Besides reading texts relevant to the case studies,
students will also have to present a case study of their own, in a
reflective written paper.


Each class will combine a lecture with a seminar format; there will be a
thematic presentation by the teacher, and discussion and intervision
based on the lecture. In a final paper, every student will
have to present a canonical item (not discussed in class), and reflect
on its meaning through time (ca. 2500 words). The writing process of the
paper will be supported by both general instruction and discussion
during class and individual feedback based on draft versions of the
text. Besides that, there is an exam based on the case studies presented
by the teachers and the
connected reading.


- Response during class, partly based on written preparation (20% of the
final grade)
- Written assignment (40% of the final grade)
- Exam in week 8 of the teaching block (40% of the final grade, the exam
grade must minimally be a 5.5 or above)


A selection of articles and book chapters which are freely available
online or through the library. A list will be included in the study
guide. The course may include one or two excursions or museum visits
(within the Netherlands).


First year students Ancient Studies and elective students.

Overige informatie

Deze module is onderdeel van een gezamenlijk programma van de Vrije
Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) en de Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). Het
onderwijs vindt plaats op een UvA-locatie. Zie voor het rooster

Algemene informatie

Vakcode L_AABAOHW101
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P1
Vakniveau 100
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator prof. dr. V.V. Stissi
Examinator prof. dr. V.V. Stissi
Docenten dr. M.A.J. Heerink
prof. dr. V.V. Stissi

Praktische informatie

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