I need your help. This fall I will be teaching a General Humanities-type course that has a mostly prefab syllabus, which I can make minor alterations to, but not many. Basically, I can add things, but can't take any away. The course is pretty labor-intensive as it is designed, and if I were a student enrolling in this course, looking at the stack of required texts would make me a little nervous!
Ive been advised by my new colleagues that the best way to teach this course is to pick some sort of a guiding "theme" and try to trace it throughout the texts over the course of the whole semester. The students have so much reading to do, and they will be doing it at such a quick pace, that my colleaugues think a theme can serve as a kind of anchor (for both me and the students). So, I'm soliciting suggestions for "guiding themes." Here are (most of) the texts we'll be reading:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Homer's Illiad and Odyssey
lots of O.T. stuff (Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Job)
Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War
Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Antigone
Plato's Republic, Symposium, and Apology
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
My first inclination was to choose something like "friendship," but I'm not sure that's going to get me through all of the texts. I'm definitely open to having more than one theme. Help!