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Code SPS 325
Term 201002
Title Alcibiades and Philoctetes: Individual?s Talents and Rights in an Oligarchical Society
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Subject Social & Political Sci.(SPS)
SU Credit 3
ECTS Credit 6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Instructor(s) A. Nihat Berker nihatberker@sabanciuniv.edu,
Detailed Syllabus
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Undergraduate
Type of Course Click here to view.
Prerequisites
(only for SU students)
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Content

Throughout history and fiction, individuals with outstanding talents within their social settings have been subjected to life-determining societal responses. A more general issue is the protection/transgression of an individual's rights when they are perceived to be at odds with the dominant forces of society. The problem becomes acute in oligarchical societies, which are controlled by a close-knit coalition insensitive to the larger benefit of the majority. The conflict between individual talent and reactionary oligarchy is vividly seen in the historical character of Alcibiades of Athens, during the Peloponnesian War. The conflict of oligarchic transgression over individual rights has been given attention in the story of Philoctetes in the Iliad, as masterfully brought into focus in the play by Sophocles, in the medieval novel The Abyss (L'Oeuvre au Noir) by Marguerite Yourcenar, and in the history of Piri Reis. A critical analysis of individual talents and rights under oligarchic encroachment will be conducted, with historical, biographical, and literary settings.

Objective

Throughout history and fiction, individuals with talents outstanding for their social setting have been subjected to a variety of life-determining societal responses. Society may or may not have derived benefits from these individuals, with or without promoting the individual. Society would also circumscribe or even crush such an individual. A more general reflection of this issue is the protection/transgression of an individual?s rights when they are perceived to be at odds with the dominant forces of society. The problem becomes acute in oligarchical societies, which are controlled by a close-knit coalition insensitive to the larger benefit of the majority. The students will understand the confict between individual talent and reactionary oligarchy, by studying the historical and fictional characters of Alcibiades, Philoctetes,
Zenon, and Piri Reis, in their societal settings, stretching over millenia and cultures.

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this course, students will be able:
a) Learn the detailed biographies of Alcibiades, Philoctetes, Zenon, and Piri Reis,
b) Comprehend the general dynamics of individual talent and oligarchical reaction,
c) Apply this understanding to other, including modern day, situations,
d) Quickly write essays on these issues,
e) Engage in debates on these issues,
f) Prepare and present a long-term project on a related topic,
g) Sustain extensive reading assignments.

Programme Outcomes
 
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5
2 Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5
3 Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5
4 Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5
5 Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team. 5
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Arts & Social Sci.
1 Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 2
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5
3 Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5