Syllabus for UH 440

Love in the Arts

Paul Brians, Fall  2003




Texts: Diane Ackerman: A Natural History of Love, Wendy Mulford, ed.: Love Poems by Women, Kate Farrell: Art & Love: An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry; Ovid: The Art of Love;  Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet; Marie de France: Lais; Madame de Lafayette: The Princess of ClŹves. You will also buy a photocopied packet containing study guides to these works, copies of additional readings and other important materials for the course. Some of the materials in the packet for this class are also available on the World Wide Web at

Students are responsible for reading all assignments before class. Note that due dates, marked by a *, are listed below the date on which they are due. Note that in order to achieve focussed discussion, some fairly long works are discussed in only one session, but time is given you to complete the readings before that session. Plan to take advantage of those sessions for which there is little or no reading to read ahead in the longer works. Note also that there is little or no homework assigned the day before a paper is due, but you should still begin earlier, especially if you have conflicting assignments in other classes. Again, plan ahead.





26:       Introduction

              Note: Between now and Sept. 8 you must sign up for your research topic in The Bridge.

28:       The Goddess of Love: Slides (notes in packet); from Farrell: Lucretius: “Darling of God and Men,” p. 146; and from Mulford: Enheduanna: “Inanna and the Divine Essences,” pp. 91-92, Ackerman, pp. xxvi-xxiii. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.




2:          Egyptian love poetry, The Song of Songs (in packet), Ackerman, pp. 1-17

4:          Classical Greek & Roman love poetry: poems in packet, in Farrell: Catullus: “So Let’s Live—Really Live!, p. 128; and in Mulford: Sappho: “I Hear that Andromeda,” p. 27, “Honestly, I Wish I Were Dead,” pp. 39-40, “He is More Than a Hero,” pp. 231-232; Nossis of Locri: “Nothing is Sweeter than Eros,” p. 161 and Sulpicia: “Finally a Love Has Come,” pp. 195, “Light of My Life,” p. 211, Ackerman, pp. 17-39.

9:          Library session, introduction to the research project.

              Sign up for appointment for consultation. Be sure to attend. This is not a general library orientation, but a specialized presentation on sources you will need to use for doing this assignment. Look at “Topics for Research Papers” online before coming to class and tentatively identify two or three topics you would like to work on. You may make up your own topic with my permission. All students are required to make an appointment with me or the librarian assigned to the course to discuss resources and approaches relevant to the topic chosen. This consultation is a required part of the project, and grading will be strongly influenced by whether the recommendations made during the consultation are followed.

11:       Ovid: The Loves,(I: i,ii, iv-viii, xiii; Book II: ii,vi,-viii, xiii, xix,; III: ii, iv, xi A, xi B)  The Art of Love, The Remedies for Love (in The Art of Love), Ackerman, pp. 39-43. Reminder, tomorrow is the last day to sign up for your research paper topic in The Bridge.

16:       Chinese & Japanese love poetry, poems in packet, from Farrell: Tu Fu: “Alone in Her Beauty,” p. 108; Anonymous: “The Rejected Wife,” p. 109; and from Mulford: “When My Desire,” p. 33, Lady Suo: “That Spring Night I Spent,” p. 56, Wu Tsao: “For the Courtesan Ch’ing Lin,” pp. 226-227.

18:       Mysticism and eroticism:  poems in packet and from Mulford: Hroswitha: “In Praise of Virginity” pp. 110-111, Ackerman, pp. 95-99, 314-322, Videotape: The Art of the Western World, 5: Realms of Light—The Baroque [12395] (excerpt)

23:       Krishna The Lover in Art. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

*         Proposal and annotated bibliography for research project due. Read “The Research Paper” in your packet.

25:       Medieval European love songs: music and verse from packet, from Farrell: Dante Alighieri: “Sonnet,” p. 30 and from Mulford: La Comtesse de Dia: “I Must Sing of That,” pp. 17-18, Anon [French]: “Dawn Song, p. 33; Christine de Pisan: “A Sweet Things Is Marriage,” pp. 82-83 and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: “From A Satirical Romance,” p. 97; and from Farrell: Sor Inés de la Cruz: “I Can’t Hold You and I Can’t Leave You,” p. 88, Ackerman, pp. 43-60. Do online writing in The Bridge.

*         First paper due, comparing any two bodies of poetry, 1200 words minimum. Cover at least four poems total between the two bodies of poetry you choose. Be sure to read “Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers” at

30:       Marie de France: Lays, Ackerman, pp. 105-112




2:          Renaissance European love songs: Music and verse from packet; from Farrell: Petrarch: “To Laura,” p. 70 and from Mulford: Louise Labé: “I Live, I Die, I Burn, I Drown,” p. 207

7:          Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Ackerman, pp. 66-75

9:          Film: Romeo and Juliet

14:       Film: Romeo and Juliet

16:       Videotape: Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (ballet, beginning) Read the study guide on the ballet before class.

21:       Videotape: Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet

*         Second paper due, on Marie de France’s Lays  or Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet  (or both compared), 1200 words due.

23:       Love in Art Part I, Ackerman, pp. 177-196, 255-256. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

28:       Love in Art Part II. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

30:       Madame de Lafayette: The Princess of ClŹves, Ackerman, pp. 75-82



4:          Videotape: Verdi: La Traviata (beginning), Ackerman, pp. 82-91. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

*         Research paper due, 2400 words minimum. Be sure to check “The Research Paper,” in your packet, and re-read “Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers.

6:          Videotape: Verdi: La Traviata (conclusion). Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

13:       Early Classic Love Poems in English from Farrell: Shakespeare: “Sonnet XXX,” p. 36, “Sonnet XVIII,” p. 73; “Sonnet CXVI,” p. 124; Edmund Waller: “Song,” p. 46; Anonymous: “To His Love,” p. 47,; Andrew Marvell: “To His Coy Mistress,” p. 54; Christopher Marlowe: “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” p. 58; Sir Walter Raleigh: “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” p. 59; Ben Jonson: “Song: To Celia,” p. 74; John Donne: “Song,” p. 92; Anonymous: “Western Wind, When Will Thou Blow,” p. 117

18:       Later Classic Love Poems in English: from  Mulford: Emily Dickinson: “Alter! When the Hills Do,” p. 39 and “I See Thee Better—In the Dark,” p. 238; Edna St. Vincent Millay: “Theme and Variations, 2,” p. 87; Christina Rossetti: “Echo,” pp. 83-84; and from Farrell: Emily Dickinson: “If You Were Coming in the Fall,” p.  52; Elizabeth Barrett Browing: “Sonnet XLIII, from the Portuguese,” p. 68 Lord Byron: “She Walks in Beauty, p. 75; Robert Burns: “A Red, Red Rose,” p. 76; e. e. cummings: “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled,” p. 78

20:       Videotape: West Side Story, beginning. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.




2:          Videotape: West Side Story, conclusion. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

4:          Love Poems by Modern Women 1:  in Mulford: Sonja Akesson: “From ‘What Does Your Color Red Look Like?’”  pp. 9-11; Nuala Ni Dhomnaill: “Labysheedy,” pp. 19-20; Marina Tsvetaeva: “You Loved Me,” pp. 31-32; Rita Dove: “Adolescence I,” p. 32; Jelena Lengold: “Passion,” p.p 53-54; Joy Harjo: “Nine Below,” pp. 67-68; Marina Tsvetaeva: “From Poem of the End,” pp. 71-72; Adrienne Rich: “Languedocienne,” pp. 129-130; Rita Dove: “This Life,” p. 131; Solveig Von Schoultz: “The Rain,” p. 144

9:          Love Poems by Modern Women 2:  in Mulford: Adrienne Rich: “From Twenty-One Love Poems, III;” pp. 155-156; Ntozake Shange: “Get It & Feel Good,” pp. 166; Margaret Atwood: “Eventual Proteus,” p. 166-168; Audre Lorde: “Sisters in Arms,” pp. 185-187; Alice Walker: “Did This Happen to Your Mother? Did Your Sister Throw Up a Lot?” pp. 192-193; Solveig von Schoultz: “The Lover,” p. 216; Marina Tsvetaeva: “Where Does this Tenderness Come From?” p. 223; Nina Cassian: “Prayer,” p. 223; Jayne Cortez: “Rose Solitude,” pp. 234-235. Listen to audio reserves online through Griffin for the latter poem before coming to class if you can.

11:       Classic American Love Songs. Do assigned writing in The Bridge.

18:       * Third paper due by 5:00 PM at 339 Avery, on The Princess of Cleves or comparing any two of the bodies of poetry read during April, 1200 words minimum. Cover at least four poems total between the two bodies of poetry you choose.

              * Revised research paper due.

              * All revised papers  due.


All assigned papers must be turned in on time to pass the class.

Course Policies for UH 440

Fall 2003


Paul Brians, Professor of English

339 Avery

Office hours: 9:30-10:30 daily & by appointment.

Phone: 335-5689


Course Web site:

The Bridge:




If I am not in, please leave a message including your name and phone number, spelling out your name and repeating the number s l o w l y. If I do not answer the phone I may well still be in the building). I will sometimes leave a note on my door stating my whereabouts. The fact that you cannot reach me directly by phone does not mean I am unavailable. Come by and see. If you don’t find me in person, please leave a note stuck to my office door or slipped under it. I am happy to see people outside of regular office hours when I can. I am in most afternoons.


On-Line Work in The Bridge

To do much of the work in this class you need to have 1) an e-mail account, and 2) access to the World Wide Web. Some of your writing  will be done on-line in The Bridge at The Bridge: Pay close attention to the on-line instructions for each writing assignment.


Study Questions:

Because this course covers a wide variety of material, your learning cannot be adequately reflected solely by the essays you will write on selected topics. In addition, this is largely a discussion class; and discussions go better when everyone has read and thought about the material ahead of time. For each of the reading assignments, you will be given a series of study questions to which you are expected to use in doing your reading outside of class. You must write out and turn in at the beginning of classes at least 100 words worth of notes dealing with these questions cover all parts of the assignment (not just the first chapter or story). You need not answer every question, but you must answer more than one or two, covering enough different parts of the assignment to document that you have done all the reading. Notes which cover only the beginning of an assignment will not receive credit. You should choose thoughtfully the topics you wish to discuss in class, and be prepared to talk about any of the questions during class time. If you wish to make a copy of your notes to refer to during class discussion (a good idea) you may do so. On days when we are viewing a videotape or film, you will be asked to do some writing online in The Bridge about what you have seen, and this writing will count as that day’s notes. These writings must reflect knowledge based on the class presentations. Online writings which could have been done without attending class will not receive credit.

Altogether the notes will make up 1/5 of your final grade. If you have to be absent for an excusable reason (illness, family emergency, etc.) you can see me about making up your notes, but no more than three times during the semester. If you are ill for such an extended period that you must miss many classes, you should drop the course, or better, cancel your enrollment (cancellation will avoid any adverse mark on your transcript and result in a refund of some or all of your tuition money).

Since your notes are a record of your participation in class, it is not permitted to hand in your notes and then leave. Anyone caught having someone else hand in their notes for them will receive an “F” in the course for cheating; and the person “helping” the cheater will also receive a failing grade for that day’s work.



For this course you will be required to write three brief papers outside of class, of a minimum 1200 words in length, plus a research paper, at least 2400 words long. Minimum paper lengths are so short in this class that anyone desiring a high grade would be advised to write a somewhat longer one. Any paper shorter than the minimum assigned will receive an F as an incomplete assignment. Except for meeting the minimum number of pages, don’t concentrate on length, but try to make your papers as detailed, well-organized, and interesting as possible. All papers must be typed. (If you use a typing service, please proofread its work carefully; you are responsible for all errors). These papers are not necessarily research papers, and it is possible to receive an A on a paper without doing research for them, although good papers incorporating good library work will normally receive higher grades.

You should choose a topic you are particularly interested in, not try to guess what I want you to write. When I can learn something new from a paper, I am pleased. It is a good idea to discuss with me in advance what works you plan to write on and how you want to approach them. I will be happy to give you advice on how to proceed. I am also happy to look over rough drafts or even outlines.

For more details on how to write papers for this class, see the section below entitled “Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers.” Papers are due in class, at the beginning of the hour (not slipped under my door during it or later). Papers may always be handed in before the due date if you wish. There is no midterm or final examination in this class.

The following elements are taken into consideration when I grade your papers: 1) You must convince me that you have read and understood the material. 2) You must have something interesting to say about it. 3) Originality counts—easy, common topics tend to earn lower grades than difficult ones done well. 4) Significant writing (spelling, punctuation, usage) errors will be marked on each paper before it is returned to you. If there are more than a few you must identify the errors and correct them (by hand, on the same paper, without retyping it) and hand the paper back in before a grade will be recorded for you. 5) I look for unified essays on a well-defined topic with a clear title and coherent structure. 6) I expect you to support your arguments with references to the text, often including quotations appropriately introduced and analyzed (but quote only to make points about the material quoted, not simply for its own sake). 7) You must do more than merely summarize the plot of the works you have read or give a gut reaction to it. You must analyze the works in a scholarly way.


The Research Paper

You will do a research paper in this course which will require you to read scholarly books and articles. You will sign up for your topic early in the semester. Prepare now by going on the Web to


and deciding which topics appeal to you most.

Choose your topic based on your own interests plus the results of this research: these papers must draw on published scholarship, so your favorite topic may not be suitable if there are no books or articles dealing with it. If you have a hard time developing a topic, talk to me.

By the assigned date sign up for your topic in The Bridge. Check to make sure no one else has chosen your topic before you; only one students is allowed to do each topic. I will give you feedback in The Bridge about your topic. You don’t want to be fighting for the same sources.

On the due date in your syllabus you will turn in an annotated bibliography. This will consist of a list of relevant scholarly books and articles plus any fiction you plan to draw on, listed in alphabetical order by author, using MLA bibliographic format, and following each item with a sentence or two describing why you think it will be useful for your topic.

The final product must be a formal research paper, not a chatty book review; and must be at least 1200 words in length (longer preferred). The main subject of the paper should be what you learned from doing your research. The research paper is required to pass the course.

The due date for the first draft is early in the semester to give you time to incorporate feedback from the teacher and your fellow students in writing the final version. Revision is required for this assignment unless you are explicitly exempted by the professor.

This is a library research paper, and should be based primarily on books and articles, not Web sites. Grades will be based on mastery of the material, definition of the topic (avoid broad encyclopedic overviews), organization, and writing. Remember that this paper is part of a class on Love in the Arts, and focus your paper appropriately.


Late Papers:

If you think you have a valid excuse (medical, etc.) for not getting a paper in on time, let me know in advance (phone) if you can. Choosing to work on other classes rather than this one is never an acceptable excuse for handing in a paper late. The syllabus provides ample time to work ahead on assignments so that they should not conflict with work in other courses. Because of my revision policy (see below), it almost always makes more sense to hand in even a poorly-done, rushed paper than none at all. Papers handed in late with no excuse will not receive a passing grade. To pass the course you must hand in all assigned papers.


Paper revision

You may not revise up a paper which you have failed to hand in. However, if you do hand in a paper, after consulting with me you may revise it and try for a higher grade. Little credit is given for fixing only mechanical and grammatical errors, though that is required. To raise a grade, you must do substantial rewriting, incorporating my suggestions made at the end of your paper.



At least one conference with me is required in preparing for the research paper, but I encourage you to come and see me about any aspect of the course during my office hours or by making an appointment. Whenever you do not understand any mark or comment on a paper, please ask about it.



Plagiarism is: 1) submitting someone else’s work as your own, 2) copying something from another source without putting it in quotation marks or citing a source (note: you must do both), 3) using an idea from a source without citing the source, even when you do not use the exact words of the source. Any time you use a book, article, or reference tool to get information or ideas which you use in a paper, you must cite it by providing a note stating where you got the information or idea, using MLA parenthetical annotation. No footnotes are used in papers for this class. You do not need to cite material from classroom lectures or discussions. If you are not certain whether you need to cite a source, check with me in advance. Duplicating someone else’s notes to answer study questions is also a form of plagiarism. Anyone caught plagiarizing will receive an “F” for the entire course (not just the paper concerned) and be reported to Student Affairs. If you feel you have been unjustly accused of plagiarism, you may appeal to me; and if dissatisfied, to the departmental chair.


Official English Department Notice:

The Department of English expects students in this course to use the WSU library buildings and materials in a responsible manner. Injuring, defacing, concealing, or stealing books or periodicals; vandalizing library property; and interfering with the work of other users indicate lack of respect for the educational process and for the rights of others in the University community. Violations are misdemeanors under the Revised Code of Washington 27.122.330.



If you have a speech, hearing, or vision disability, or have any kind of learning disorder, please talk to me at the beginning of the course so that we can arrange to accommodate you and provide any special assistance you may need.


Grading Policy:

To pass the course you must complete all papers and hand in enough study question assignments to receive a passing grade for that part of the course.


Study question grades:

A               No fewer than 2 unsatisfactory or missing.

B               3 unsatisfactory or missing.

C               4 unsatisfactory or missing.

D              5 unsatisfactory or missing.

F               6 or more unsatisfactory or missing. Anyone having an F on the study questions will receive an F for the course.

Note that these grades reflect both attendance and preparation. Only students who regularly attend the class prepared to take part in the discussions will pass the course.


Paper Grades:

A               Topics are challenging, often original; papers are well organized, filled with detail, and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with detailed attention being paid to opposing arguments and evidence. Papers receiving an “A” are usually somewhat longer than the minimum assigned, typically a page or so longer, though this all depends on the compactness of your writing style—a paper which is long and diffuse does not result in a higher grade and a very compact, exceptionally well-written paper will occasionally receive an “A.” The writing should be exceptionally clear and generally free of mechanical errors. An “A” is given for exceptional, outstanding work.


                  There are two main ways to write an “A:” paper: 1) be impressively thoughtful, thorough, and polished, and 2) impress me with your knowledge or creativity by building on but going beyond what you have heard from me or read in your assignments. As are given for truly outstanding work, not for merely satisfactory work.


B               Topics are acceptable, papers well organized, containing some supporting detail, and demonstrate an above-average knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with some attention being paid to opposing argument and evidence. Writing is above average, containing only occasional mechanical errors. A “B” is given for above-average work.


C               Topics are acceptable, but simple. Papers poorly organized, containing inadequate detail, demonstrating only partial knowledge of the topic (focusing only on one short passage from a work or some minor aspect of it). Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is average or below, and mechanical errors are numerous. Paper does not appear to have been proofread carefully. A “C” is given for average work.


D              Inappropriately chosen topic does not demonstrate more than a minimal comprehension of the topic. `Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is poor, filled with mechanical errors. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. A “D” is given for barely acceptable work.


F               Paper is shorter than the minimum length required. Topic is unacceptable because it does not cover more than an incidental (or unassigned) portion of the work or does not reveal a satisfactory level of knowledge . Generalizations are unsupported with evidence and opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is not of acceptable college-level quality. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. An “F” is given for unsatisfactory work.


Course Grades:

3 short papers: 20 points each

Research paper: 20 points

Daily writings: 20 points

Total: 100 points.



Important Does and Don’ts (Hum 440 only)


Do try to develop new interests in this class. The majority of people do not spend their lives in the field that was their major in college; but everyone can benefit throughout life from developing sensitivity to and interest in the arts.

Don’t tell me that you can’t be bothered to work hard on this class because it’s just a GER and your major is more important to you. It goes without saying that most students care most about their majors; but the Tier III requirement is designed to push you outside of your “comfort zone” to study in ways that stretch your mind and emotions. Capstone courses are supposed to be serious, demanding courses incorporating research. If you don’t like the arts and are taking this course only because you need a capstone, keep that fact a deep secret. Confessing such an attitude to a teacher is never helpful to you.

Do think seriously about what you read, see, and hear in this class. You are not being asked to memorize this material, but you are expected to try to understand and relate to it, not just wait to see what I tell you about it.

Don’t ignore the study questions in your daily writings. Daily writings which do not deal directly with the study questions will not receive credit.

Do try to relate what we study in this class to other things you already know about: to other works of art, films, musical works, literature, other courses, your major, your travels, etc. Think about what you can add to the discussion of these works that is unique to you.

Don’t limit your comments on the materials to your initial feelings about them. Personal reactions are of interest, but part of the point of a class like this is learning to understand and even enjoy works which may seem at first strange or difficult.

Do attend class every day unless you are ill or have a genuine emergency.

Don’t tell me (or any other teacher) that you don’t have time to work on this class because you have other important classes that take up your time. If you choose to work on another class because it is more important to you, understand that you are making a choice to risk a lower grade in this class.

Do make up assignments missed during excused absences immediately after returning to class. Always check in with the teacher after an absence.

Don’t ask “Did I miss anything important?” The polite way to ask this question is: “What important things did I miss?”

Do follow directions for revising papers to improve your grades.

Don’t just delete passages from your writing which I have marked for revision.

Do ask for help when you need it, for any reason.

Don’t give up if you are having difficulty finding research materials; consult with Paula Elliot or me, repeatedly, as you continue to look. We both very much enjoy helping students work on these projects.