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Foundation Year Program Selected Readings

Foundation Year Program Selected Readings

The following selection of readings gives you an idea of the Foundation Year Program curriculum.

All books will be available through the King’s Bookstore, located on the lower level, King’s Academic Building. Any questions for the Bookstore can be directed to manager@kingsbookstore.ca. Should you plan to purchase second-hand books, please attempt to obtain the specified translations.

Note for Science students (K1100X/Y): Students enrolled in KING 1100X/Y should not purchase any of the books indicated by * as these are required readings for Thursday lectures only.

Alterations to this list will be posted on the Foundation Year Program section of the website.

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Section I: The Ancient World

You will begin by studying the classical cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Israel through religious, poetic and philosophical works that articulate ideas and institutions at the origins of Western culture.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. N.K. Sandars (Penguin Classics) 9780140441000
The Holy Bible (Penguin) 9780452006478
The Odyssey, Homer trans. R. Fitzgerald (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 9780374525743
Antigone, Sophocles trans. R. Blondell (Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co) 9780941051255
*Birds, Aristophanes trans. J. Henderson (Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co) 9780941051873
Symposium, Plato trans. Christopher Gill (Penguin) 9780140449273
The Aeneid, Virgil trans. S. Ruden (Yale University Press) 9780300151411

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Section II: The Middle Ages

From the collapse of the ancient world arose medieval Europe, a culture apparently unified both religiously and politically, but in fact riven by deep tension and conflict. This section is brought to profound poetic conclusion in a reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Confessions, Saint Augustine trans. H. Chadwick (Oxford World Classics) 9780199537822
*The Lais of Marie de France, Marie de France trans. Glyn Burgess (Penguin Classics) 9780140447590
The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, The Purgatorio, The Paradiso, Dante trans. A. Mandlebaum (Everyman’s Library) 9780679433132
Anonymous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. K. Harrison (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199540167

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Section III: The Renaissance and the Reformation

This section is characterized by ambiguity as Europeans look back to revive the ideals of antiquity (renaissance) and begin something new, the modern world. It is an age of worldliness, but also, as the Reformation shows, of radical piety. This is an age of a new sense of the human and of nature that will lead to good and as Europe spreads its culture throughout the world.

On the Dignity of Man, Pico della Mirandola trans. Charles Glenn Wallis (Hackett) 9780872203969
The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli trans. P. Bondanella (Oxford World’s Classics) 97801995356999
Dr. Faustus
, Christopher Marlowe (Signet Classics) 9780451531612
The Essays: A Selection, Michel de Montaigne trans. M.A. Screech (Penguin Classics) 9780140446029
The Tempest, William Shakespeare (Folger Shakespeare Library) 9780743482837
Selected Philosophical Works, Francis Bacon (Hackett) 9780872204706

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Section IV: The Age of Reason

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the modern world fully established itself in thought, in science, in politics and society. Here you encounter accounts of human freedom and nature that are at the basis of our own sense of a secular world established for human happiness and well-being.

Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press) 9781554811526
*Don Juan and Other Plays, Molière trans. I. Maclean and G. Graveley (Oxford Paperbacks) 9780199540228
Leviathan, Parts 1 and 2, Hobbes ed. A.P. Martinich and Brian Battiste (Broadview) 9781554810406
*Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, Margaret Cavendish (Broadview Press) 9781554812424
The Second Treatise of Civil Government , John Locke (Broadview Press) 9781554811564
The Basic Political Writings, Rousseau trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press) 9781554812974
*The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe trans. M. Huise (Penguin) 9780140445039
Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (Penguin Classics) 9780140447507
Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant trans. T. K. Abbott (Broadview Press) 9781551115399
*Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen (Penguin) 9780141439792

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Section V: The Era of Revolutions

With the French Revolution, Europeans began a series of revolutions that sought to overthrow the older world of order and hierarchy to create a world that directly serves human ends and purposes. In this effort arose theories and political movements of liberalism and socialism and in response to them, profound political, literary and philosophic reactions and critiques.

Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley ed. D.L. Macdonald & K. Scherf (Broadview Press) 9781554811038
The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels trans. S. Moore (Fernwood Publishing) 9781552660028
On Liberty, J.S. Mill (Broadview Press) 9781554810444
Genealogy of Morals, Friederich Nietzsche, trans. W. Kaufmann (Vintage) 9780679724629
Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois (Signet Classics) 9780451532053
Five Plays, Anton Chekhov trans. R. Hingley (Oxford) 9780199536696

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Section VI: The Contemporary World

In our own age, two world wars and a deepened experience of the modern world have given rise to a radical rethinking of various aspects of the western tradition, and a concern for much that characterizes our time: technology, globalization, social and political structures, and the human relation to nature and our own bodies.

*The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot (Broadview Press) 9781551119687
The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir trans. C. Borde (Vintage/Random) 9780307277787
Annie John, Jamaica Kinkaid (Farrer, Straus, and Giroux) 9780374525101
Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA, R. C. Lewontin (Anansi) 9780887845185