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Unit information: The Passions in 2021/22

Unit name The Passions
Unit code CLAS30035
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lampe
Open unit status Not open




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


How do we make sense of human feelings and their relation to human personalities and the more-than-human inner and outer world? In this unit we will study various theorists and fictional works that turn to mythology in order to answer these questions. The core intuition here is that the soul is mythical, or else myths are psychological. We’ll explore that intuition with a range of authors and artists from different media, who might include Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Euripides, Aeschylus, Melanie Klein, Neil Gaiman (and the illustrators working with him), or the band Heilung.

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

Teaching details

This unit will involve a combination of independent investigative activities, long- and short-form lectures, and discussion. Students will be expected to engage with materials and participate on a weekly basis.

Assessment Details

Summative Assessments:

Timed assessment (100%) [ILOs 1-4]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CLAS30035).