Journeys Syllabus

CompassFall 2012
MWF 9:10-10:00 or MWF 12:10-1:00

Course description:

Journeys is a one-semester, common course required of all first-year students. It is grounded in the college's motto "unto the whole person" or "toward a fulfilled person." The motto thus implies a trajectory, a sense of movement or development, from one state of being or way of living to another. It implies, in short, the notion of a journey. This course takes the concept of journey as its touchstone and explores how different cultures and different people have made sense of their own life journeys.


The following works are for purchase.

  • Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates  
  • Slingerland, trans., Confucius: The Essential Analects  
  • Sells, trans., Approaching the Qur’an  
  • Leila Ahmed, A Border Passage  
  • Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House  
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk  
  • Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions  
  • Schmidt, ed., Journeys: Selected Readings  

Expectations and Policies:

Your experience in this course will be best if you actively and consistently engage the course material. This means reading assignments carefully and on time, attending class (both lectures and seminar sections) faithfully, and participating thoughtfully in class discussion.

Your professor will outline the expectations and policies for his or her particular seminar section in more detail.

At the reasoned discretion of the instructor, six or more unexcused absences from class or lectures will result in a failing grade. Absences will typically be excused for observance of religious holidays, documented cases of illness or emergency, sanctioned school functions, or other appropriate exigent circumstances. Students must notify instructors of their circumstances in a timely manner.

Attendance will be taken at the lecture meetings. No electronic devices may be used during lectures; turn them off and put them away. Appropriate behavior is expected. Come on time; the doors will be closed after the lecture begins, and you will not be admitted. Turn in just one attendance card. Do not talk to your neighbors or otherwise disrupt the lecture.

The exams for the course will include material from both lectures and seminar sections. 20% of each exam will be multiple-choice based on the lectures, and 80% will be multiple choice, short answer, or essays designed by your seminar professor.

Two papers will be assigned in this course, each to be approximately 1,000 words (four pages). Papers are due on the stated date. More information about each paper will be distributed and discussed in your seminar section.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty undermine the spirit of intellectual inquiry at Hendrix and have serious consequences. Any instances of academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating on exams, etc.) will be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee. For details on the procedures involved with academic dishonesty issues please refer to the Hendrix Catalog and consult your seminar professor for more details.

It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Any student who needs accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. In order to receive accommodations, students with disabilities are directed to contact Julie Brown in Academic Support Services at 505-2954 or

Grading breakdown:

Your grade in this course will be calculated according to the following percentages (no extra credit can be given):

  • paper 1 15%
  • paper 2 15%
  • exam 1 15%
  • exam 2 15%
  • final essay exam 15%
  • participation, attendance, and
  • seminar assignments 25%

Learning Goals

Upon completion of this interdisciplinary course, students will be able to

  1. Read primary texts from a variety of cultures closely and critically.
  2. Reflect upon the ways these different cultures understand the world and humanity’s place in it.
  3. Articulate, in discussion and in writing, clear, supportable, and significant arguments about these reflections.

Click here for the Journeys Schedule.