Category Archives: Information and Instructions

Links to Marco Polo Articles for 10/12

Below are hyperlinks to the three articles that you will be reading for next Tuesday, October 12.  The first two essays are access-protected, and you will need to either be on a Notre Dame machine or have a Notre Dame VPN running on your computer in order to open them.  Each link opens an HTML version of the article, but PDF conversions are available as well.  The third essay is available in full via Google Books and can be accessed on any computer.

Continue reading

Poll: Availability for Film Screenings

With this poll, you will get a chance to express your preferences for the screening times of the Heimat mini-series towards the end of the semester.
In the field below, please indicate ALL the times that you would be available.  Be generous and don’t confine yourselves to those slots that would work best; the object here is to find a screen time that works for 16 different people with 16 different schedules.
Continue reading

First Paper Topics

Due date: Rough draft: Friday, September 24, by 5 pm.  Final version: Friday, October 8, by 5 pm (note change from original schedule).  Please submit both an electronic version (MS-Word compatible) to

Length: 4-5 pages, double spaced, standard fonts and margins.  Please number your pages and include both your name and mine on the front page or cover sheet.  Don’t forget to find a descriptive title! Continue reading

Blog Posting Instructions

By now you’ve read two of my blog posts (“The Palaces of the Telemakhiad” and “Odysseus’ Dirty Linen”) which will hopefully have given you a sense of what I am looking for in these assignments.

Blog posts are meant as discussion starters, and so a part of your grade for them will be determined by whether they do, indeed, generate meaningful engagement from the rest of the class.  Keep this in mind as you write.  You want to raise questions and issues, not foreclose them by giving definitive answers!  At the same time, a good post provides more than a laundry list of possible discussion topics; it conveys a reasoned opinion that others can argue or disagree with.

Continue reading

Some Tips on How to Read

For Thursday, you will read the first two books of Homer’s Odyssey.  As you do so, you should keep in mind that the division into books is a modern convention; the ancient Greek text had no subdivisions.  The illustrative titles, in turn, were added by our translator, Robert Fitzgerald.  Nevertheless, you will discover that Homer’s action moves through clearly discernible stages, and that there is a unifying theme to individual sections.

Continue reading


Hi, and welcome to “Fictions of the Known World”!

This blog will serve as the virtual home for our seminar over the course of the next four months.  I hope you will enjoy your stay!

There are a number of things for you to do.  First, if you haven’t already done so, you should read through our syllabus and course schedule (use the links on the top of this page).  We’ll go over all of these on the first day of classes, but you’re probably still curious.

Continue reading