Trojan War and the Remains of Poetic Memory

Topic Description

In what is generally the first unit of this course, students read a translation and a contemporary reworking of the central books of the Iliad so as to get a sense of what details get remembered in oral and print cultures, and the mechanisms by which that memory exists.


Logue, Christopher. All Day Permanent Red. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 2003, pp. 3-53. ISBN: 9780374102951.

Homer. The Illiad. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2000. [Download from The Internet Classics Archive]

Shannon, Claude. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1963, pp. 29-35. ISBN: 9780252725463.

Ong, Walter. "Some Psychodynamics of Orality." In Orality and Literacy. London, UK: Routledge, 2002. ISBN: 9780415281294.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Corte Madera, CA: Ginkgo Press, 2003, pp. 145-159. ISBN: 9781584230731.

Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2005. ISBN: 9781932907001.

Kirk, G. S. The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume II: Books 5-8. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 15-17. ISBN: 9780521281720. (Typical motifs: A two page summary of motifs in book 5 of the Iliad, broken down line by line. This table shows the repetition of motifs and helps indicate genre norms.)

Assignments (Student Work)

Seeking the Meme: The memetics of language processing 2009. (PDF)