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Essay 3
Third Essay Assignment

Essay 2
Second Essay Assignment

Essay 1
First Essay Assignment


Dr. David Hamilton Golland, Instructor

Emergency Information

April 6: The third essay assignment can be found by clicking the appropriate link to the left.

March 15: The second essay assignment can be found by clicking the appropriate link to the left.

February 11: Please remember that the pre-writing for the first paper assignment is due next Friday, February 19.

February 5: The "Comparison Papers" exercise handout Joanna distributed today can be found below, under "Essays."

February 4: The first essay assignment is now available. Please click the link to the left..

January 29: Do not turn in your low-stakes writing assignment to me on Friday, as I said in class. Instead, please send it by Thursday night to our Writing Fellow, Joanna Holzman. Her e-mail address is joanna.holzman@gmail.com.

Online Syllabus and Course Guide
Room LL210

Jump To:
  • Description and Objectives
  • Required Books
  • Attendance and Participation
  • Essays
  • Grade Weighting
  • Classroom Etiquette
  • Dr. Golland's Contact Information
  • Schedule

  • Description and Objectives:
    In this class we will look at six canonical works, which we will read in their entirety. Some of them are literary, others documents in political philosophy. Each belongs to a set of historical conditions and circumstances. We will unpack these texts to discover what they say and how they make meaning--for the period in which they were written and for us today. We will be particularly concerned with ideas of what it means to be an individual, a citizen, or a ruler; how ideas of knowledge, including what we today call science (one of the new worlds implied in the course's title) changed between 1500 and 1800; and the relation of European society to its "others"--questions of race and colonialism, as these texts look east to Muslim societies and west to the New World.

    The course has the following goals:
  • To extend the student's understanding of the history of ideas and their contricution to the foundation of the modern world;
  • To develop critical reading and writing skills in relation to these texts and the questions they raise; and
  • To trace changing ideas of the individual in society, across periods and cultural formations.

    Required Books:
    The required books are available at Shakespeare & Co., 716 Broadway at Washington Place.
  • More, Utopia
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Shakespeare, The Tempest
  • Locke, Second Treatise of Government
  • Equiano, The Interesting Narrative
  • Rousseau, "Discourse on Inequality" and "The Social Contract" in Rousseau's Political Writings
    Bring the assigned book and a notebook to class every day. You are expected to take notes in your books as you read them. Ensure that you have prepared your text--and yourself--for class discussion.

    Thanks to the “American Opportunity Tax Credit,” textbooks and other course materials expenses may be claimed as a tax credit on that year's tax return. Students must keep their course materials receipts and transcripts to be eligible.

    American Opportunity Tax Credit At A Glance:
  • Certain restrictions apply, so visit www.textbookaid.org to get more details
  • Eligible for the first four years of college
  • In 2009 and 2010, tax credit of up to $2,500 of the out-of-pocket cost of tuition and related expenses including course materials paid during the taxable year
  • Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student
  • The tax credit applies to 100% of the first $2,000 spent, and 25% of the next $2,000
  • 40% of the credit is refundable with the maximum refundable amount of $1,000
  • $13.907 billion in estimated benefits for students and families in 2009 and 2010
  • President Obama has proposed to make the credit permanent.

    Attendance and Participation:
    All students will be expected to attend and participate in every class session, and classroom participation will count significantly towards the final grade (see "Grade Weighting," below).

    Essays will be due February 26, April 2, and April 30. Essay topics will be posted on this website in Adobe .pdf format in a timely manner; links will appear to the left. The fourth essay will be written in class and serve as a final examination.

    CWLA: You are strongly encouraged to utilize the Writing Center. Our assigned Writing Fellow is Joanna Holzman. You may work with her or any other member of the CWLA staff.

    The "comparison writing" handout Joanna presented in class on February 5 can be found HERE.

    LATE PAPERS: Late papers will be strictly penalized 10 points per day late, starting at exactly 12:00 a.m. on the night of the due date. Papers turned in more than nine days late will not be read and will automatically receive a grade of zero.

    PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and I have powerful tools to detect it, so don't even try. If you admit to plagiarizing before I return your paper or discover that it is plagiarized, I will forgive you and require that you write a new paper, with the standard late penalty. If I otherwise discover that your paper was plagiarized, you will receive a grade of zero for the paper and I will forward your case to the Dean for disciplinary action.

    Grade Weighting:
    Participation: 25%
    Essays: 60% (15% for the 1st essay, 20% for the 2nd, and 25% for the 3rd)
    Final Examination: 15%
    The graduated importance of the four essays is to reward improvement over the semester, not to discourage quality work on the earlier essays.

    The mathematical scores will strictly translate into letter grades as follows:
    93 or higher: A
    90 or higher: A-
    88 or higher: B+
    83 or higher: B
    80 or higher: B-
    78 or higher: C+
    73 or higher: C
    70 or higher: C-
    68 or higher: D+
    63 or higher: D
    60 or higher: D-
    Less than 60: F

  • Students who receive a grade of F on three or more of the essays will fail the course regardless of their mathmatical score.
  • Students who miss three or more classes (including excused absences) will fail the course regardless of their mathmatical score. If you must miss three or more classes--regardless of reason or excuse--I recommend that you withdraw from the course and re-take it next year.
  • Each lateness will count as one-half an absence, and it is the responsibility of late students to inform me of their presence after class. Participation after arrival will NOT constitute informing me.

    Classroom Etiquette:
  • Cellphones and other audible devices: For the sake of your fellow students, please remember to silence your phones and other audible devices. Each time your phone rings during the class may result in as much as one point off your final grade--at my discretion.

  • Eating and Drinking: As long as you clean up after yourself, I have no problem with eating or drinking in the classroom. It should go without saying that "drinking" refers to non-alcoholic beverages.

  • You will be treated like an adult, so you are expected to act like an adult. When class has started, you are expected to be attentive and participate. You don't need permission to leave the room, just do it. But you have a responsibility to arrive in class on time and not leave class more than absolutely necessary.

  • Dismissal Distractions: Packing up or otherwise making noise prior to my dismissal of the class is an unnecessary distraction both to me and your fellow students. Accordingly, each time you do so may result in as much as one point off your final grade--at my discretion. Please notify me in advance if you need to leave early for any reason.

    Contact Information:
    David Hamilton Golland
    Adjunct Assistant Professor
    The Cooper Union

    Office Location: NAB 307.
    Office Hours: E-mail for an appointment.

    E-mail: professor.golland@gmail.com


    January 22
    Introduction to the course, distribution of Day One Handout, presentation by Writing Fellow, in-class low-stakes writing assignment. Read ALL of More for next class.

    January 29
    More; distribution of take-home low-stakes writing assignment.

    February 5
    More; turn in take-home low-stakes writing assignment; Writing Fellow workshop. Read ALL of Machiavelli for next class.

    February 12
    Presidents' Day Observed (No Class)

    February 19

    February 26
    Machiavelli; Essay #1 due. Read ALL of Shakespeare for next class.

    March 5

    March 12
    Shakespeare. Read ALL of Locke for next class.

    March 19
    Spring Break (No Class)

    March 26

    April 2
    Locke; Essay #2 due. Read ALL of Equiano for next class.

    April 9

    April 16
    Equiano. Read ALL of Rousseau for next class.

    April 23

    April 30
    Rousseau; Essay #3 due.

    May 7
    Final examination.

    Thomas More Videos:
    Utopia - The Perfect World
    A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII and Thomas More (clip)
    The Execution of Thomas More
    Henry VIII's diet

    Disclaimer: None of the above shall be construed to supercede Cooper Union policy or local, state, or federal laws. Any instructions or information on this website found to be in violation of said policies or laws can and should be ignored.

    Last Updated 19 May, 2010 (DHG)