Monmouth College
Monmouth, Illinois
Fall 2011

Introduction to Liberal Arts


Dr. Stacy A. Cordery
Office phone: 457-2372
Wallace Hall L-6

Office Hours: MW 10 :00 to 11:00 a.m., MWF, noon to 1:00 p.m.,
TR 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.
and by appointment


Required books

1. Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire
Any college-level dictionary

3. You will also need a three-ring binder for this class, and any sort of durable blank book or notebook, lined or unlined, for your journal. The wise student will also purchase some way to organize the binder--tabs, perhaps.
4. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818 Text)  ISBN:  0-19-282283-7

The Goals of ILA

All students who complete ILA will be able to:

ILA Attendance Policy

You are expected and required to attend all seminar classes and required meetings of this course. Since this course is a seminar course that revolves about class discussion, it is particularly important for you to be in class to benefit from all that your fellow student-scholars and instructor have to offer. No more than three unexcused are permitted. You will fail the course on your fourth unexcused absence.

1) A medical problem that is documented by a doctor (have her/him write a short note explaining your absence), or,

2) A family emergency that is documented by the Dean of Students Office, or

3) A college-sanctioned event (defined as a class trip authorized by an academic department or sports activity authorized by the Physical Education department).  The college-sanctioned event absence must be cleared with the instructor at least one class session prior to the absence. All work must be turned in before the student is absent.

The Semester's Schedule

Important note about the schedule:  this schedule will change continually, as I respond to your interests.  It is your responsibility to check this web syllabus frequently--daily would be best--in order to keep up with the assignments.  

Monday, 22 August:  Introduction to the class (9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon)

Tuesday, 23 August: Discussion: Augustine on Education; Jefferson on Education; summer assignment "Why I Read"

Wednesday, 24 August: Discussion:  "The Value of a Humanities Degree:  Six Students' Views;" "Why Liberal Education Matters;" "Good and Risky: The Promise of a Liberal Education"

Thursday, 25 August: Discussion:  Friday, 26 August:  Skill Day:  "Your First Monmouth College Weekend," followed by class discussion

Monday, 29 August:  Discussion: "Only Connect" and "Humanism in an Age of Science"

Tuesday, 30 August:  Convo:  Dr. David Suda, The Liberal Arts

Wednesday, 31 August: Discussion over Monday's reading assignments and the convo; then we'll discuss the assignment for your essay due 5 September

Thursday, 1 September: Skill Day: Close Reading, using the Allegory of the Cave and your handout entitled "'Only Connect:' The Goals of a Liberal Education"

Friday, 2 September:  Pollan, Introduction

Monday, 5 September:  Pollan Introduction

Tuesday, 6 September: Convo--Dr. Ken Cramer on Darwin and Evolution

Wednesday, 7 September:  Pollan Introduction

Thursday, 8 September:  no class

Friday, 9 September:  Skill Day: Getting Involved

Monday, 12 September: Guest speaker, Dr. Chris Fasano

Tuesday, 13 September: Wackerle Center Speaker (5 minutes); then discussion of Dr. Fasano's message

Wednesday, 14 September:  Guest speaker, Fr. John Horn

Thursday, 15 September:  Discussion of Fr. Horn's message, then--making sense of different lenses

Friday, 16 September  [Family Weekend]:  Skill Day: Time Management:  Dr. Mishelle Banas

Monday, 19 September: Pollan, Introduction--we'll return to the questions from September 6th and 7th

Tuesday, 20 September: Pollan, Chapter 1

Wednesday, 21 September: Pollan, Chapter 1

Thursday, 22 September: Pollan, Chapter 1

Friday, 23 September: Skill Day: Note Taking

Monday, 26 September: Discussion:  "The Mundanity of Excellence"

Tuesday, 27 September: Pollan, Chapter 2

Wednesday, 28 September:  Pollan, Chapter 2

Thursday, 29 September: Skill Day: Studying Smart

Friday, 30 September: No class

Monday, 3 October: Pollan, Chapter 2 wrap-up

Tuesday,  4 October: Convo--Prof. Nick Dobson on Apollo/Dionysius

Wednesday, 5 October: Guest Speaker: Dr. Trudi Peterson on How Men and Women Communicate

Thursday, 6 October:  Library Visit

Friday, 7 October: No class

Monday, 10 October:  fall break 

Tuesday, 11 October: fall break

Wednesday, 12 October:  Pollan, Chapter 3

Thursday, 13 October:  Library Visit

Friday, 14 October:  Pollan, Chapter 3

Monday, 17 October: Skill Day:  Thinking about Careers: Stephanie Kinkaid

Tuesday, 18 October:  Understanding the new Four-Four Curriculum

Wednesday, 19 October [Mentoring Day]: DEFERRED UNTIL MONDAY SO YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THE NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR MAJOR  Skill Day: Learning how to sign up for classes. 

Thursday: 20 October:    Convo--Alums & Their Monmouth College, in Dahl Auditorium

Friday, 21 October: No class / / Homecoming weekend

Monday, 24 October:  See Wednesday, 19 October, above

Tuesday, 25 October: Pollan, Chapter 3 quiz

Wednesday, 26 October:  No class--be reading chapter 4 in Pollan

Thursday, 27 October:  No class

Friday, 28 October:  No class

Monday, 31 October: Pollan, Chapter 4

Tuesday: 1 November:    Convo--Speaker Dr. Steve Buban: Chapter Three in Pollan

Wednesday, 2 November:  Pollan, Chapter 4

Thursday:  3 November:  Harvest of Fear

Friday, 4 November:  Harvest of Fear

Monday, 7 November: Frankenstein

Tuesday, 8 November: Pollan, Chapter 4

Wednesday, 9 November: Frankenstein

Thursday, 10 November: No class

Friday, 11 November: No class

Monday, 14 November:   Pollan, Epilogue

Tuesday, 15 November: no class and no journal due this week

Wednesday, 16 November: Guest speaker: Dr. Sara Gorchoff

Thursday, 17 November: Guest lecture, Dr. Simon Cordery on Frankenstein

Friday, 18 November:   Frankenstein--In-class quiz over the book. Make sure you've read to the end, and reviewed before class.

Monday, 21 November:  Frankenstein

Tuesday, 22 November: Frankenstein

Wednesday, 23 NovemberThanksgiving break

Thursday, 24 November: Thanksgiving break

Friday, 25 November: Thanksgiving break

Monday, 28 November: Frankenstein

Tuesday, 29 November: Convo--Representative from Monsanto

Wednesday, 30 November: No class

Thursday, 1 December:  Frankenstein--topic: Romantic vs. Enlightenment ideals in 2011

Friday, 2 December: Frankenstein

Monday, 5 December: Frankenstein exam completed in class.

Tuesday, 6 December:  Pollan exam

Wednesday, 7 December: Vocabulary test

Saturday, 10 December:  6:00 p.m.: 317 South 8th Street