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Written Roman Women: An Intensive Writing Course

Professor T. Davina McClain (mcclain@beta.loyno.edu)
Loyola University of New Orleans

In this course we will read works by Plautus, Livy, Vergil, and Juvenal. You will write a 5-page paper on a specific topic for each author and a final 5-page paper on the issue of power in the depiction of women in the works you have read. Each paper will receive a grade for content and for the quality of written expression. There are no exams. Your grade will be based on the five papers (50%), microthemes (30%), and class participation (20%).

The syllabus lists the reading which will be discussed during the class meeting. You should prepare these readings prior to the class meeting.

1/12 Introduction
1/14 Plautus, The Ghost pp. 26-51
1/19 Plautus, The Ghost pp. 52-84; Amphitryo pp. 228-253
1/21 Plautus, Amphitryo pp. 254-284
1/26 Discussion of the paper topic: Are women necessary for Plautine comedy? Have roles for women in comedy changed and, if so, how?

1/28 THE FIRST PAPER IS DUE. This paper should be 5 pages, typewritten and double-spaced.
Introduction to Livy and Roman historiography

2/2 Livy, Book 1 pp. 33-67
2/4 Livy, Book 1 pp. 67-101
2/9 Livy, Book 2 pp. 114-122; pp. 145-151; Book 3 pp. 219-239
2/11 Discussion of the paper topic: Based on Livy's depiction of Rome's early history, should women get involved in political or military actions? Why or why not?

2/16 There will be no class on this date. In place of class each student will sign up for a 30 minute conference in order to discuss your paper on Plautus. Bring your Plautus paper and any corrections which you have been given to this conference. Be prepared to discuss your Livy paper as well. THIS IS NOT A VOLUNTARY CONFERENCE.

2/18 THE SECOND PAPER IS DUE. This paper should be 5 pages, typewritten and double-spaced.
Introduction to Vergil

2/23 Vergil, The Aeneid, Book 1
2/25 Vergil, The Aeneid, Book 4
3/2 Vergil, The Aeneid, Book 6 pp. 147-8; Book 12
3/4 Discussion of the paper topic: Compare and contrast Dido and Aeneas as leaders. What makes the difference between success and failure in a leader? Does gender matter?

3/9 There will be no class on this date. In place of class each student will sign up for a 30 minute conference in order to discuss your paper on Livy. Bring your Livy paper and any corrections which you have been given to this conference. Be prepared to discuss your Vergil paper as well. THIS IS NOT A VOLUNTARY CONFERENCE.

3/11 THE THIRD PAPER IS DUE. This paper should be 5 pages, typewritten and double-spaced.

3/16-3/18 Spring Break

3/23 Introduction to Juvenal; Juvenal, Satire 1
3/25 Juvenal, Satire 2
3/30 Juvenal, Satire 6
4/1 Juvenal, Satire 14
4/6 Discussion of the paper topic: Compare and contrast Juvenal's attacks on men with those on women. Pick an example of modern satire and discuss what, if anything, has changed about the depiction of men and women?

4/8 There will be no class on this date. In place of class each student will sign up for a 30 minute conference in order to discuss your paper on Vergil. Bring your Vergil paper and any corrections you have been given to this conference. Be prepared to discuss your Juvenal paper as well. THIS IS NOT A VOLUNTARY CONFERENCE.

4/13 THE FOURTH PAPER IS DUE. This paper should be 5 pages, typewritten and double-spaced.
The depiction of women in Roman literature

4/15 Cato's Speech, Livy, Book 34.1-4
4/20 Valerius' Speech, Livy, Book 34.4-8

4/22 Discussion of the paper topic: Using Cato's and Valerius' speeches as a starting point, discuss the ways in which Plautus, Livy, Vergil, and Juvenal depict women as exercising power. What are the similarities? Differences?

4/27-4/29 There will be no class during this week. In place of class each student will sign up for a 40 minute conference in order to discuss your paper on Juvenal. Bring your Livy paper and any corrections you have been give to this conference. Be prepared to discuss the final paper as well. THIS IS NOT A VOLUNTARY CONFERENCE.

Your final paper will be due on the day which has been scheduled for the final exam for this class. You may hand your paper in earlier than this date but not before your final conference with me.

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