For topic #1 (to be done by the entire class), see the Schedule of Assignments for more detail.
For the rest, you will work independently on ONE topic (to be assigned). The result will be both a brief paper and a presentation to the class. The paper should be 3-5 pages, designed both to summarize and to BRING OUT THE INTEREST of the topic. That paper will be due at the class in which you make your presentation. The class presentation can be made from an outline or brief notes, but you should not simply read your paper. You should engage your audience and speak articulately, cogently, with a clear and focused structure to your remarks and well-chosen details. For the presentation, think how best to teach this topic to your classmates: what they need to know by way of background, what details you should select to engage and interest as well as inform, what problems or connections you’d like to bring to attention. The presentation itself needs to be crisp, clear, and short: 12-15 minutes.
1. Homeric Society: Entire class.
Walter Donlan’s essay, “Duelling with Gifts in the Iliad: As the Audience Saw It,” Colby Quarterly 29 (1993) 155-172. See schedule of assignments.
2. Type Scenes
Mark W. Edwards, Homer, Poet of the Iliad 71-77, and go ahead and look at the following brief chapter on battle scenes while you’re at it. (on reserve)
At the end of that chapter (p. 77) is a suggestion for further reading. Pick a type-scene that interests you from these more specialized studies, and use that article/book to bring to us one example of a type (sacrifice, battle, hospitality, etc.) and sketch out how Homer deploys it. You’ll need to control how much detail to present — enough to make clear the nuances, without so much that you lose your audience.
Mark Edwards, Homer: Poet of the Iliad, pp. 102-110 OR for a more technical treatment by the same author, The Iliad: A Commentary vol. V, pp. 24-41 (on reserve)
Cambridge Companion to Homer, pp. 139-155 (on reserve)
4. Gods: in the Homeric Epic:
Mark Edwards, Homer: Poet of the Iliad, pp. 124-142 (on reserve)
Cambridge Companion to Homer, pp. 59-73 (on reserve)
5. Gender in Homer:
Cambridge Companion to Homer, pp. 91-116 (on reserve)
M. Katz, “The Divided World of Iliad VI,” in Reflections of Women in Antiquity, pp. 19-44 (not on reserve)
T. Van Nortwick, “Like a Woman: Hector and the Boundaries of Masculinity,” Arethusa 34.2 (2001) 221-235 (e-journal)
6. Homer and Archaeology:
A New Companion to Homer, chapters by John Bennet, “Homer and the Bronze Age,” pp. 512-533 and by Ian Morris, “Homer and the Iron Age,” pp. 534-559.
Concentrate more on the former than the latter. (on reserve)
G. S. Kirk, The Iliad: A Commentary, Vol. II, “History and Fiction in the Iliad,” pp. 36-50. (on reserve)
7. Homeric Style and Oral Poetics:
A New Companion to Homer, chapter by Mark Edwards, “Homeric Style and ‘Oral Poetics,’ pp. 261-283. (on reserve)
Gregory Nagy, “Oral Poetics and Homeric Poetry,” Oral Tradition 18 (2003), 73-75. For this brief note, Nagy lists a variety of essential bibliography. Choose one from that list that you would like to pursue (perhaps Martin if you want something more theoretical, or Lord if you want something more foundational on the orality side — but your choice). Since these are books, you’ll probably need to read selectively.