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Course Syllabus 1

HUMA 1301: Exploration of the Humanities

Spring 2009

Course Information

HUMA 1301.002
MC 2.410 MWF 10:30 – 11:20

Professor/TA Contact Information

Dr. Ingrao
Office: JO 5.306
Office Hours: T 3:00 – 5:00, W 1:00 – 3:00, and by appointment
Office Phone: 883 – 6089
Email: jingrao@utdallas.edu

TA contact information for this course is as follows:

Serin Hetou
Office: JO 5.410D
Office Hours: M 11:30 – 12:30
Office Phone: 883 – 2186
Email: smh045000@utdallas.edu

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions

This course requires no pre-requisite.

Course Description

Intended to introduce students to the connections between various fields of studies in the
humanities, this section of HUMA 1301 will apply an interdisciplinary approach to the
presentation and analysis of both ideal and flawed communities: utopias and dystopias. How do
the concepts of "utopia" and "dystopia" reflect our human experience? Our dreams and fears?
How have utopian and dystopian models changed over time, and how do these changes reflect our
interactions with one another and society? During this semester, we will discuss this theme by
examining the dialogue between philosophy, essays, fiction, and film, with the aim of
understanding the value of the humanities.
Course Syllabus 2

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes

This course seeks to offer students the potential to: 1) Learn to examine a variety of texts from the
humanities: fictional, philosophical, and cinematic; 2) Analyze connections between multiple
texts (for example: fictional, philosophical, and cinematic) and draw informed conclusions from
said connections; 3) Apply considered analysis and respond to works in the humanities as
examples of human expression and aesthetic and ideological principles.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks are available at the UTD Bookstore, Off Campus Books, and commercially. Please
use only the following editions:

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (Random House, ISBN: 0345410017)

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Random House, ISBN: 0345404475)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (Vintage, ISBN: 9780307278449)
Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Vintage, ISBN: 9780307387899)

A course pack with selections from Plato and H. G. Wells will also be required. These selections
will be marked as “course pack” on the Academic Calendar. Moreover, students will have the
opportunity to view the following films: Metropolis, Blade Runner, and The Dark Knight.

Assignments & Academic Calendar

Jan. 12: Welcome to course

Discuss syllabus and class goals
Establish presentation groups
Jan. 14: Introduction to the Humanities
Introduction to utopia
Jan. 16: Group exercise: “Designing an utopia”


Jan. 21: Discussion of group exercise
Jan. 23: Republic, pages 53-66 (course pack)

Jan. 26: Republic, pages 102-143 (course pack)

Jan. 28: Republic, pages 144-189 (course pack)
Jan. 30: Republic, pages 227-263 (course pack)

Feb. 2: The World Set Free (course pack)

Feb. 4: Discussion of the Republic and The World Set Free
Feb. 6: First exam
Course Syllabus 3

Feb. 9: Introduction to dystopia

Review presentation requirements
Feb. 11: NO CLASS; Prepare presentations (Instructor will be in his office to answer
Feb. 13: Group presentation: The Time Machine

Feb. 16: Group presentation: The Island of Dr. Moreau

Feb. 18: Group presentation: We
Feb. 20: View selections from Metropolis

Feb. 23: View selections from Metropolis

Discussion of Metropolis
Feb. 25: Group presentation: Brave New World
Feb. 27: Group presentation: 1984

March 2: Fahrenheit 451, pages 3-40

March 4: Fahrenheit 451, pages 41-110
March 6: Fahrenheit 451, pages 113-165
Short writing assignment

March 9: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 3-60

March 11: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 61-144
March 13: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 144-215

March 16 – March 20: NO CLASS; SPRING BREAK

March 23: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 216-244

March 25: View Blade Runner
March 27: View Blade Runner

March 30: View Blade Runner

April 1: Discussion of Blade Runner and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
April 3: Second exam

April 6: The Bluest Eye, pages 3-58

April 8: The Bluest Eye, pages 61-93
April 10: The Bluest Eye, pages 97-131

April 13: The Bluest Eye, pages 132-206

April 15: Introduction to The Dark Knight
Wendell Berry’s “Faustian Economics” (handout)
April 17: View The Dark Knight

April 20: View The Dark Knight

April 22: View The Dark Knight
April 24: Discussion of The Dark Knight

April 27: The Road, pages 3-93

April 29: The Road, pages 94-192
May 1: The Road, pages 192-287
Course Syllabus 4

May 4: Conclusion
Final exam review

May 8: Final exam begins at 8:00 in MC 2.410

Grading Policy

Semester grades will be calculated in accordance with the following percentages:

First exam 25%

Presentation/Short writing 25%
Second exam 25%
Final exam 25%

Assignment letter grades correspond to the following numerical values in calculating a student’s
semester grade:

A+ 4.00 C+ 2.33 F 0.00

A 4.00 C 2.00
A- 3.67 C- 1.67

B+ 3.33 D+ 1.33
B 3.00 D 1.00
B- 2.67 D- 0.67

In general, letter grades are determined by the following criteria:

A--represents outstanding participation in all course activities; all assigned work completed on
time, with very high quality and original thought in all work produced for the course.

B--represents excellent participation in all course activities; all assigned work completed on time,
with consistently high quality in course work.

C--represents good to average participation in course activities; all assigned work completed,
with generally good overall quality in course work.

D--represents uneven participation in course activities; some gaps in assigned work completed,
with inconsistent quality in course work.

F--represents minimal participation in course activities; serious gaps in assigned work completed,
or very low quality in course work.
Course Syllabus 5

Course & Instructor Policies

Short lecture outlines will be posted on WebCT. Note that the short outlines are just that; though
intended to help students review such material as names, dates, and key terms mentioned during a
lecture, the outlines will not mention all the specifics of content covered during a given lecture,
and should not be taken as a substitute for attending class. To access lecture outlines:

1. Go to the following URL:


2. Click “Log In.”

3. Enter UTD NetID and password.

4. The “My WebCT Page” screen should appear with a list of all courses in which a student has
enrolled. Click on the course title.

5. Click “Learning Modules” under the “Course Tools” menu at the left of the screen.

6. Lecture outlines are dated chronologically.

Please contact the instructor at jingrao@utdallas.edu concerning problems accessing materials

placed on WebCT. Note that a copy of the syllabus is also available through WebCT in the event
a printed copy is misplaced.

In terms of specific assignments, the first and second exams will not be comprehensive. Both
exams will consist of a series of short answer questions. The final exam, in contrast, will be
comprehensive. This exam will include a short answer section. Students will also be required to
complete a short essay during the scheduled final exam time. The essay prompt will be provided
prior to the final exam. Nevertheless, students should avoid bringing notes or books for use
during the final exam.

Students are expected to take responsibility for bringing blue books to all examination periods.
Blue books are available through the UTD Bookstore, Off Campus Books, and the SGA.

Students will be placed in groups to present an assigned book to the class. Books will include
The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, We, Brave New World, and 1984. Each group will
have twenty minutes to report to the class on two aspects of the assigned book: 1) How does the
book conceptualize “dystopia”?; 2) How is the concept of dystopia presented expressive of the
time period and society in which the book was produced? Groups should aim to connect these
two questions in their presentation.

Each student should submit a one-page, typed evaluation of his or her group members on the day
of the presentation. This evaluation should assess the contribution of members to the group.
Except in cases where a valid excuse has been established, failure to submit an evaluation on time
(at the beginning of the class period on the date that the student has been scheduled to present
with his or her classmates) will result in a deduction from the student’s presentation grade. For
example, a student receives a B+ on the assignment but fails to turn in an evaluation at the
beginning of class. The grade will drop to a B.
Course Syllabus 6

March 6th, one week after the final group presents, students will turn in a short, typed essay of
approximately two double-spaced pages. This essay should formulate the student’s personal
definition of dystopia in response to the group presentations. Specifically, students should focus
on how material presented by the groups shaped or challenged their own definition of “dystopia.”
Students would do well to think about the origin of their definition. Please remember that taking
someone else’s ideas and language without proper acknowledgement is plagiarism. Students do
not need to cite the notes they take from the group presentations. For any additional sources,
students will need to present a list of sources along with the assignment. Students should have
confidence in their own ability to do well without outside help.

Fifty percent of a student’s grade for the presentation will be based on the oral presentation. The
remaining fifty percent will be based on the short writing assignment.

Finally, unannounced quizzes will be given during the course of the semester. Quizzes will be
graded on a check + (exceeds expectations), check (meets expectations), check - (does not meet
expectations) basis, and will be instrumental in the determination of borderline grades at the end
of the semester. Said determination will be made by weighing the number of earned check pluses
and checks against the number of check minuses and missed quizzes.

This course will be conducted according to strict codes of academic honesty. All cases of
cheating will be fully investigated. Penalties for cheating may include failing an exam, failing the
course, or suspension and expulsion from the University. Students are expected to know the
University’s policies and procedures on such matters, as well as those governing student services,
conduct, and obligations.


To facilitate the accuracy of the attendance record, the course will observe assigned seating. The
instructor expects that students will be present and seated at the beginning of each scheduled class
day. Moreover, participation is important. The instructor expects that students will participate
during discussion and be attentive during lecture. Remember that all exams will ask short answer
questions that test knowledge of specific material presented during class time.

This course observes a distinction between unexcused and excused absences.

Regarding unexcused absences, students may miss three class periods without penalty to their
semester grade. Such absences may be used in the event of family emergencies, vacation plans,
conflicts with work, car trouble, sickness that does not require a physician’s care, and so on.
Unexcused absences do not apply to those class periods when a quiz or exam is given, when a
presentation has been scheduled, or when a writing assignment is due. Check all dates on the
Academic Calendar with care. Any unexcused absences beyond the allowed three will result in
the deduction of two points from a student’s semester grade. For example, a student finishes the
semester with a grade of “B.” Nevertheless, the same student has accumulated seven unexcused
absences. Four of the seven absences will count against the semester grade at the rate of two
points each. As a result, the student will be assigned a C+ for the semester.

Regarding excused absences, legitimate excuses for missing class include only the following:
Course Syllabus 7

1) Religiously observant students wishing to be absent on holidays that require missing

class should notify their instructor in writing within the first two weeks of the semester
and should discuss with him, in advance, acceptable ways of making up any work missed
because of the absence.

2) Students participating in an officially sanctioned, scheduled University extracurricular

activity will be given the opportunity to make up class assignments or other graded
assignments missed as a result of their participation. Said participation must be
documented with a note from a University official involved in the event. It is the
responsibility of the student to make arrangements with the instructor prior to any missed
assignment for making up the work. Students who must travel in association with a
University athletic function should plan on completing any work prior to travel.

3) A documented illness. Documentation should clearly state that the student was
instructed by a physician not to attend class on a specific date(s) for his or her health
and/or for the health of others. The date(s) missed should be specifically stated in the
note, as should physician contact information. Non-documented illness will not
constitute a valid excuse for missing class.

Students must first present documentation of a valid excuse to both the TA (copy) and instructor
(original) before a make-up assignment can be scheduled. Students will have a maximum of one
week (seven days; this does include weekends) from the original assignment date to complete the
make-up assignment.

Students should be aware that a make-up exam will differ from the in-class exam in content.
Though the format of the exam will be the same, students seeking to make up the first exam, for
example, should expect to be asked different short answer questions than those presented on the
in-class exam.

Students must be present for the date on which their group has been scheduled to present to the
class. Please inform the instructor in advance concerning any conflicts. Though the presentation
itself cannot be made up, the short writing assignment linked to the presentation may be turned in
late with a valid excuse.

Though missed quizzes cannot be made up, students should remember that any individual quiz
grade is less important than an overall pattern of participation at a level that exceeds (check +) or
meets (check) course expectations.

Students who disrupt the classroom will be counted as absent for the day of the disruption.
Students who leave before the end of class will also be counted as absent.

Computers in the Classroom

Students are welcome to use computers to take notes during class discussion and lecture with the
following caveat. Any student discovered to be using a computer for any purpose other than note
taking during class will be banned from using a computer in class for the remainder of the
semester. This ban may be imposed by either the instructor or TA.
Course Syllabus 8

Technical Support

If students experience any problems with their UTD accounts they may send an email to:
assist@utdallas.edu, or call the UTD Computer Helpdesk at 972-883-2911.

Field Trip Policies

Off-campus Instruction and Course Activities

Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and
University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information
regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the following website address:
http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm. Additional information is
available from the office of the school dean. Below is a description of any travel and/or risk-
related activity associated with this course.


Student Conduct & Discipline

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and
regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility
of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and
regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student
conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD printed publication, A to Z Guide, which
is provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of
recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the
Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System,
and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the University’s Handbook of
Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in
the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in
interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391) and online at

A student at the University neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of
citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the
Regents’ Rules, University regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to
discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or
off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

Academic Integrity

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.
Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work
Course Syllabus 9

done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high
standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline.

Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the
submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to
another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair
advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from
any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the University’s policy on
plagiarism (see general catalog for details).

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making
of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials, including music and
software. Copying, displaying, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works may
infringe the copyright owner’s rights and such infringement is subject to appropriate
disciplinary action as well as criminal penalties provided by federal law. Usage of such
material is only appropriate when that usage constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright
Act. U.T. Dallas students are required to follow the institution’s copyright policy (Policy
Memorandum 84-I.3-46). For more information about the fair use exemption, see

Email Use

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication
between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises
some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange.
The University encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a
student’s U.T. Dallas email address, and that faculty and staff consider email from
students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the
University to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals
corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each
student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with University
personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method
for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.

Withdrawal from Class

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level
courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog.
Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle
withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, the professor cannot drop or
withdraw any student. Students must do the proper paperwork to ensure that they will not
receive a final grade of "F" in a course if they choose not to attend the class once they are

NOTE: January 28th is the last day to drop this course without incurring a “W.”
Course Syllabus 10

Student Grievance Procedures

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other

fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a
serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or
committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).
Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and
evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be
submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If
the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student
may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the
School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate
or Undergraduate Education, and the Dean will appoint and convene an Academic
Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the
academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of
Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and

Incomplete Grade Policy

As per University policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably
missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An
incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the
subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the
incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is
changed automatically to a grade of F.

Disability Services

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational

opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in
room 1.610 of the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to
6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22

PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

If a student anticipates issues related to the format or requirements of this course, please
meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Coordinator is available to discuss
ways to ensure full participation in the course. If a student determines that formal,
Course Syllabus 11

disability-related accommodations are necessary, it is very important that he or she be

registered with Disability Services to notify them of eligibility for reasonable
accommodations. Disability Services can then plan how best to coordinate

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an
accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty
members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.
Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or
during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required
activities for the travel to, and observance of, a religious holy day for a religion whose
places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas
Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible
regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused,
will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time
after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one
week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or
assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the
exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that
exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose
of observing a religious holy day], or if there is similar disagreement about whether the
student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or
examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief
executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or
designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student
and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of

the Professor.