Accounting for Achilles: Teaching Literature to Non-Majors
This paper draws on the author’s experience with teaching mythology in undergraduate surveys of literature (the so-called “Great Books” courses) dominated by non-majors. It addresses, more specifically, the three criteria cited by the author’s students when they were asked whether myths should be taught in introductory courses: verifiability, relevance, and student demand. Although the author focuses on teaching Homer to aspiring accountants, the strategies for engaging students outlined herein are meant to have broader appeal and should prove useful to teachers of any national mythology or literature. The paper has a prominent empirical component but also references relevant scholarship.
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