As of 2018, the new syllabus of the course concentrates on five great works of Anglophone literature from the early 1700s to the mid-1900s, treated chronologically.
The goals of the course are to increase students’ comprehension of written and spoken English on the level of high culture and civilization, to improve their own writing, and to introduce them to major writers, works, themes, and topics in modern English-language literature.
Novels by Swift, Shelley, Dickens, and Huxley; treatise by C.S. Lewis; related readings on literature, philosophy, history, and ethics (see following section and Required Material).
There are two two-hour class periods each week, sometimes with the printed lecture provided. The first session is the major lecture on Wednesday morning, 8:30-10:15. The second lecture-anddiscussion session is held on Thursday morning, 8:30-10:15 or 10:30-12:15 (to be determined). Students are expected to attend both sessions, but must attend the Wednesday session. The Thursday session is devoted to further discussion of course materials and English composition, and individual meetings with students in preparation for writing the major academic paper. An initial in-class writing assignment is required for diagnostic and documentary purposes: students will not be allowed to write the final paper or take the oral exam on it without having first completed this writing assignment. Students are responsible for acquiring and reading all printed materials handed out in class (‘Class Hos’). The revised syllabus as of 2018 consists of readings, lectures, and discussions of five classic modern English-language books, four novels and an educational-philosophical treatise. The texts are listed below and students must get and use these editions.
The exposition of ideas, themes, and issues in these books will be chronological and students will be expected to master each one of them and to write a major paper on a topic relating at least to the novels by Swift or Dickens, to be determined in meetings and communications with Prof. Aeschliman. A chief theme of the course is the history and significance of ‘Natural Law’ thinking as illustrated and defended in the novels and in C.S. Lewis’s treatise The Abolition of Man. The paper will be a minimum of 10 pages (2500 words), maximum of 15 pages (3750 words), exclusive of the Bibliography, presented in proper bibliographical format (see USI Library Guide to Bibliographical Citations). The completed paper will also be defended personally by the student, who will be examined orally on it by the professor after its completion, submission, and annotation and evaluation by the professor.
The requirements for the course are: regular attendance; in-class writing assignment; acquisition, reading, and comprehension of all course materials (books and Class HOs); academic paper (75%); oral defense of paper (25%).
No student will be allowed to present the paper without having completed the in-class writing assignment.
The professor will be on campus at least Wednesday and Thursday of each week, and at other times by appointment.
The exam is a 20-30 minute defense of the student’s paper, after which the graded, corrected, annotated paper will be returned to the student.
Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver’s Travels. Oxford World’s Classics Edition edited by Ian Higgins.
Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein. Ignatius Critical Edition edited by Joseph Pearce.
Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities. Ignatius Critical Edition edited by M.D. Aeschliman.
Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World. Harper Perennial Edition.
Lewis, C.S., The Abolition of Man. Any complete English edition.
Grammar text, for consultation, available in USI Library: John C. Hodges, et al., Harbrace College Handbook.
Guida alle citazioni bibliografi che (USI Library): www.bul.sbu.usi.ch
Archive: M.D. Aeschliman, National Review Online (NY)