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Unit information: The Passions in 2020/21

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Unit name The Passions
Unit code CLAS30035
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Lampe
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts


“Passion” is something that overcomes you. It’s something you need to manage. But it’s also something that makes life worth living, and makes you who you are. (You're defined by what you're "passionate about.") In this unit we’ll explore different ways of understanding the nature and causes of human passions and how they relate to our personalities. Among the literary fictions you will study are Euripides' Hippolytus and Neil Gaiman's The Kindly Ones. Among the theoretical frameworks you will study are ancient Greek religion, Jungian, and post-Jungian psychology.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, successful students will:

1) be able to explain and apply a range of ancient and modern theories of the nature of the passions;

2) be able to explain and apply a range of theories about the therapy and cultivation of the passions;

3) be able to use the understanding gained in (1) and (2) in order to enjoy and interpret with greater sophistication works from a variety of genres, such as ancient Greek tragedy, ancient philosophy, modern graphic novels, and modern cinema;

4) have developed their ability in extemporaneous discussion during seminars;

5) have had the opportunity to develop their ability in research and formal writing, to a standard appropriate to level H/6.

Teaching details

1 x 2 hour seminar and 1 x 1 hour seminar per week

Assessment Details

One 3000 word essay (50%) and one 2 hour exam (50%). Both will assess ILOs 1-5.

Reading and References

  • Euripides, Hippolytus (The preferred translation is by David Grene in Euripides I, ed. by D. Grene, R. Lattimore, M. Griffith and G. W. Most [Chicago])
  • Gaiman, N. et al., The Sandman, Volume 9: The Kindly Ones (London: Titan Books, 1996)
  • Jung, C. G. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, trans. by R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed. (Princeton, 1966)
  • Rowland, Susan, 2002. Jung: A Feminist Revision (London: Routledge)