Wed

07

Jan

2015

List of 28

I was looking at: how many weeks of actual instructions do US undergrad programs have in an academic year. Turns out say in Harvard, there are 2 semesters and each has 16 weeks. But if you deduct a week for exam, and a week roughly of vacation days, then you end up with 14. At Stanford, there are three trimesters, with something like 11-10-9 weeks excluding exam weeks. If you minus ~2 weeks of days off, every year you also have about 28 weeks (=14x2). Assuming you can teach 1 text in a week (would be intensive reading, may need to meet 2-3 times for lectures and discussions), then in a year, to read through things fast, you can do 28 works. Now if you do intensive readings on the most important 4 works for half of the year, then for the remaining half of the year you can read 14 works - that gives an annual reading list of 18 - and for that purpose, I find my list of 18 to be serviceable.

 

Now for a list of 28 - I look at the list of 25 that I am not so keen on, and say if we have room for 28:

 

Greco-Roman (4): Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Virgil

Christian (3): Bible, Augustine, Dante

Modern Western (4): Shakespeare, Cervantes, Voltaire, Kant

Islamicate (4): Quran, al-Tabari, al-Ghazali, Ferdowsi

South Asian (6): Rg Veda, Samyutta Nikaya, Mahabharata, Kalidasa, Shankara, Amir Khusrau

East Asian (7): Odes, Historical Records, Wang Bi, Zhi Yi, Zhu Xi, Su Shi, Tale of Genji

 

Will need to think about if this is a good list. This limits author selection till 1800