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PREFACE

This book is the culmination of many years of effort on the part of many devoted individuals. The very idea for a Great Works Course originated with two longtime mainstays of Baruch College, Dean Samuel Thomas of the School of Business and Public Administration and Professor Andrew Lavender, formerly Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Chairman of the English department when a newly designed Great Works Course came into being in the late 1970s. In the 1980s, then Dean Martin Stevens of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences championed the course, and during his tenure the faculty of Baruch College voted to mandate one semester of this course for all students. With that decision, Martin Stevens initiated a course of action enthusiastically supported by then Provost Paul LeClerc that eventually led the National Endowment for the Humanities to approve a two-year grant, beginning in the fall of 1986, for the "Improvement of Two Introductory Courses in Great Works of Literature." Upon publication of this book, it seems appropriate to take one more opportunity to thank the Endowment both for funding and recognizing our work. For facilitating the project, I thank our Program Officer at the NEH, Dr. Elizabeth Welles.

The purpose of this grant was to reconceive The Great Works Courses for a culturally diverse group of students. A Steering Committee of seven faculty members, chaired by Professor Paula S. Berggren, and comprising Professors Barbara Gluck, Louis L. Gioia, and Mary P. Hiatt, from the English department; Professors Meir Lubetski and Robert S. Rosen from the Germanic, Hebraic, and Oriental Languages department; and Professor Marshall Schneider from the Romance Languages department, met regularly to restudy syllabi and to devise a format that would incorporate insights from other humanities disciplines into this Core Curriculum course. This volume developed out of their deliberations. While their individual authorial contributions appear in the Table of Contents, I would like to thank each of them here not only for their substantive work but also for their cooperation and perseverance over the last several years.

In working on the grant, the Steering Committee received extraordinary cooperation from the faculty and staff of Baruch College and the wider academic community. The committee owes them a huge debt of gratitude for their assistance and encouragement throughout.

Institutional support was afforded by the Provost's Office under the leadership of both Provost LeClerc and Acting Provost John McGarraghy. Former Associate Provost Carol Berkin helped in crafting the grant proposal, and Associate Provost Louanne Kennedy provided invaluable support and counsel in preparing this book for publication. I am deeply grateful as well for the thoughtful advice and imaginative assistance of Dr. Howard Negrin, Director of the Grants Office; Eliana Covacich, Assistant Director of the Grants Office; Stephen Wertheimer, Vice President for Development, and the Office of College Relations. Indispensable aid of every kind has been rendered by two Deans of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, first Martin Stevens and then Norman Fainstein; Associate Deans Joan Japha, Susan Locke, and Carl Rollyson; the Deans' Assistants, Eileen Leary, Jean Liebenberg, and most particularly Carmen Pedrogo. In every case, I would like to recognize the clerical assistance provided by the staffs of all these administrative offices. The committee is indebted as well to faculty and staff of the Baruch Library, most notably to Professor Spencer Means, and to Professors Harry Brent and John E. Todd, chairs of the English Deparrtment, to Professor Jean Jofen, chair of the Germanic/Hebraic/Oriental Languages Department, and to Professor Isabel Cid Sirgado, chair of the Romance Languages Department.

Faculty members from many different departments of Baruch College also have contributed their wisdom and expertise to this undertaking. They include Professors Eloise Quinones Keber, Pamela Sheingorn, and Virgil Bird of the art department; Professors Myrna Chase and Joseph Peden of the history department; Professors William Earle and Robert McDermott of the philosophy department; and Professor Mitchell Cohen of the political science department.

The members of Baruch's literature faculties have helped in every stage of our progress. I would like to single out here those who contributed to various workshops and seminars organized during the grant period and since, and those who have read and commented on drafts of the articles included in this book. They are Professors Ruth Adler, Frances Barasch, Michael Black, John Brenkman, Harold Brent, Dionisio Canas, Chen Guan Shang, Jayana Clerk, Gerard Dalgish, Constance Ayers Denne, Jacqueline DiSalvo, John Dore, Addison Gayle, David Gorman, Bryant Hayes, Tom Hayes, Gary Hentzi, Fred Heuman, Peter Hitchcock, Jean Jofen, Carmel Jordan, Marie Jean Lederman, Sheila MacDonald, Cynthia Malone, Roslyn Mass, William McClellan, Donald Mengay, Joseph Moses, Laura Newton, George Otte, Debra Popkin, David S. Reynolds, Talia Schenkel, Lauren Silberman, Isabel Cid Sirgado, Alisa Solomon, Minoo Southgate, John E. Todd, Saundra Towns, and Franco Zangrilli. Special thanks are due to Elaine M. Kauvar for early editorial assistance, to Page D. Delano for word processing the first Passages for Study, to Jayana Clerk, Gary Hentzi, Cynthia Malone, George Otte, Lauren Silberman, Alisa Solomon, and Saundra Towns for their generosity in providing extensive suggestions for revision, and to Constance Ayers Denne and particularly John Brenkman for joining the list of authors at the eleventh hour.

Grateful thanks go as well to a group of scholars who have visited Baruch, under the auspices of the NEH, with additional support from The Jane Globus Fund and The Baruch College Fund, to speak to students and faculty about their special fields of study. These include Professors Paul Anderer, Columbia University; Houston A. Baker, Jr., The University of Pennsylvania; Aldo Bernardo, The State University of New York at Binghamton; David Bromwich, Yale University; Manuel Duran, Yale University; Robert Fagles, Princeton University; Cyrus Gordon, New York University; Richard Gustafson, Barnard College; Thomas A. Hale, The Pennsylvania State University; Robert W. Hanning, Columbia University; Michael C. Jaye, Rutgers University; Kostas Myrsiades, West Chester College; Barbara Stoler Miller, Barnard College; Derek Pearsall, then of Harvard University; Naomi Schor, now of Duke University; Pauline Yu, now of The University of California at Irvine. Several of these speakers -- Professors Anderer, Fagles, Gustafson, Hale, Myrsiades, Miller, Schor, and Yu, along with Professor Emeritus Eugene M. Waith of Yale University -- have read drafts of material published in this book. Professors Anderer, Miller, and Yu provided further assistance in the selection of Passages for Study included in this text, through an NEH Institute in "Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective" held in 1987 and 1988 at the East Asian Institute of Columbia University.

Finally, I would like to express profound gratitude for the knowledgeable and far-reaching advice offered by Professor Robert Hanning of Columbia University, who served as Consultant to the NEH project and reviewed much of the manuscript as it neared completion. All of the readers acknowledged above have improved upon the original drafts of the articles they reviewed, but none bears responsibility for any inaccuracies that may remain.

For her careful word processing of much of this book, I thank Puikwan Chen. The manuscript has been prepared for publication by our excellent editor, Dr. Carlee Rader Drummer of The New York Public Library. She has consulted on the design of the volume with Professor Bill Tinker of Baruch's art department, the gifted illustrator and designer of this volume. I would like to extend personal gratitude to them, along with Bob Hanning, Carmen Pedrogo, and Myrna Chase, whose enthusiasm, hard work, and kind words have gone a long way to making the completion of this volume possible.

Last, the authors wish to dedicate this volume to its users -- the students of Baruch College.

-- P.S.B.

 

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