GSTR 220D, Western Traditions I
MW, 10:00-11:50, Draper 310
Dr. Beth Crachiolo
Office hours: MW, 2:30-3:30; TR, 1:00-2:00; by appointment
de Pizan, Christine. Selected Writings of Christine de Pizan. Norton.
Heaney, Seamus, trans. Beowulf. Norton.
Homer. Odyssey. HarperCollins.
Ovid. Metamorphoses. Penguin Classics.
Wiesner, Merry E., Renate Bridenthal, and Susan Mosher Stuard, eds. Becoming Visible: Women in European
History. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin.
New Oxford Annotated Bible (college edition). Oxford UP.
Note: For this course, you need the Revised Standard or New Revised Standard translation of the Bible.
If you already have one of these, there is no need for you to buy the New Oxford.
Course description: This course is about the ways in which Western peoples forged identities (primarily,
though not exclusively, gendered identities) in the face of cultural conflicts, changing technologies, and
religious demands. We will read a variety of primary source texts, both sacred and secular, in a variety of
genres. Our aim will be to explore what these texts say about the cultures that produced them, and how, within
these texts, identity markers such as gender and social class are negotiated, produced, maintained, challenged,
defined (and redefined), and displayed. We will ask difficult questions of our primary texts: What defines the
gender of a man and the gender of a woman? What gives a person power, over her/himself and over others?
What kind of relationship should a person have with God? How does one negotiate that relationship? (Indeed,
can a person negotiate that relationship?) How does an individual cope with change (social, political,
Why gender? Looking at these questions through the lens of gender not only provides us with a coherent
theme for the course, it also allows us to begin our examination with what appears to be a fundamental category
in Western culture