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Syllabus, Humanities 212, Fall Semester 2010-11

An introduction to the major thought and art of Western culture, this course
will focus on four major thematic areas:

1) the Renaissance/Reformation/Baroque, 2) an overview of humanities in a

traditional Irish community, 3) Romanticism, and 4) the flowering of art and
culture in Paris between the World Wars. It satisfies the second half of the
Western Culture component of the University Core Curriculum. Prerequisites
are ENG 101 and CMST 101 or 107. It is a guide to the humanities for their
own sakes and as a way to gain insight about the human condition. It is also
a guide to intellectual growth through analyzing some peaks of human
achievement and excellence.
Students will engage in active reading, writing, viewing, listening,
observing, participating, and analyzing. More than three absences may
lower the semester grade by as much as ten percent or result in a grade of
incomplete. Late assignments or assessments will earn, if permitted, one full
grade level below the grade they would have earned if on time. There will be
written, oral, and synthesis-based midterm and final exams. Worldview-
related readings for extra credit may be long; students interested in
doing such a project must register their interest with the instructor
by the third week of class. Team activities by students will be integral
parts of Humanities 212 assessments. Students will be responsible for
reading assigned material, completing written assignments, and making
presentations on the due date, without waiting to be prompted.

Course grade:

In-class discussion/participation/attentiveness, and

contributions to the logbook 33 1/3 %

Synthesis-related assessments and assignments 33 1/3 %

Written/oral assessments and assignments 33 1/3 %

Communication with the instructor: or see BlackBoard

Office hours TR 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. RL 4016 and by appointment

Emergency or last-minute communication: text 202 257-7620

Students are responsible for monitoring Blackboard at least once a

day on weekdays for announcements. Students should be alert for
assignments first announced via Blackboard.

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Course Goals:

To contemplate, absorb, and respond to the creative arts that emerged from
Europe, its neighboring regions, and its colonies and former colonies from
the Renaissance to the 20th century. To trace the cultural, political, and
epistemological context of those creative works. To describe some themes
that flow through them into our day, themes touching on basic human issues
such as reality, justice, excellence, and leading a good life.

Learning outcomes:

Students express orally and in writing, with poise and self-assurance, their
insights and understandings of assigned creative arts and interpretive works.
Students analyze themes and influences affecting creative work in general
and the worldview of the artists. Students trace their own and their
community’s cultural heritage in the creative and traditional arts. Students
participate attentively, punctually, and diligently in all class assignments and
activities, showing respect for other class members, in activities they carry
out as individuals or as members of a group or team.

The primary texts for this course are 120 Renaissance Paintings, a CD-
ROM; The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, part 1; Christopher Marlowe, Dr.
Faustus; Henry Glassie, The Stars of Ballymenone; Victor Hugo, Les
Miserables; Heinrich von Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas; Joseph Sheridan LeFanu,
Carmilla; Edgar Allen Poe, “Ligeia”; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust I and
II; Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast; Gertrude Stein, Picasso Matisse and
Gertrude Stein; and Robert A. Heinlein, Methuselah’s Children. Carmilla and
some other required readings, viewings, and audio will be located on
Blackboard or at free-of-charge Internet websites.

Atmospheric or supplementary, optional reading: For major extra

credit*: Henry Glassie, All Silver and No Brass; Linda Degh, Hungarian Fairy
Tales; Albert Lord and Milman Parry, The Singer of Tales; Seymour Martin
Lipset, American Exceptionalism; Rogers Brubaker, Nationalist Politics and
Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town; Mike Rapport, 1848: Year of
Revolution; Frederick W. Kagan, The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and
Europe 1801-1805; Miles J. Unger, Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent
Times of Lorenzo de Medici; Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove; A. Conan
Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues
Under the Sea; Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers; Alexandre Dumas,
The Count of Monte Christo; Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; John Van Maanen, Tales of the Field; Lee
Drummond, American Dreamtime; Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform,
Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus, Buddenbrooks; H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s
Mines; Neil Gaiman, American Gods; Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a
Strange Land; Stephen King, Insomnia; Diana Gabaldon, The Outlander;
Bram Stoker, Dracula; T.H. White, The Once and Future King; Marion Zimmer

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Bradley, The Mists of Avalon; Gunther Grass, The Tin Drum; Franz Kafka, The
Trial; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago; E.L. Doctorow,
Ragtime; C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Out of the
Silent Planet, Victor Hugo, Les Miserables; Sienkiewicz, With Fire and Sword;
Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank, Boris
Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago; Laurie King, O Jerusalem and A Fearsome Regiment
of Women; James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Art Spiegelman,
Maus I and II.
*Major extra credit, if done well, can move up a course grade from B+ to A.

Ethical conduct and citing your sources: Plagiarism is theft. As a

matter of personal honesty, you must indicate the source of your
information and statements. Plagiarism betrays the purpose of this
university, which is to educate students. It cheats the student who
commits the act. It cheats class members. It robs the class of an
atmosphere of honest, spontaneous inquiry. A student who commits
plagiarism will have to respond to the university’s disciplinary action as
outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the University
of Southern Indiana Bulletin. A student who commits plagiarism in this
course will receive a failing grade and a referral to the university authorities.
Cheating or dishonesty in any other form will receive the same treatment. If
you need further information about what constitutes plagiarism, please let
me know.

Accommodation for learning disabilities: If you have a documented learning

disability, please let me know so that I can work with Disability Support
Services to provide appropriate accommodation.

Study Guides: This course requires students to assemble, research, and/or

fill out an average of one Study Guide or Listening Guide per week. If on
class day students have been unable to locate necessary material they
should come to class prepared to locate it within the lecture. If gaps exist
after that students may ask specific Study Guide questions in class. Prior to
being admitted to objective assessments students may be required to hand
in relevant Study Guides in hard copy, completely filled out and corrected,
with both questions and answers.



Weeks 1 – 4: Renaissance

Weeks 5 – 7: Reformation, Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and


Weeks 8 -- 11: Romanticism

Week 12 and after: Modernism and the 20th Century

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One third of your grade will be on in-class attentiveness, cooperation, and
discussion. This can mean the difference between passing with a C and
losing the credit entirely, even if all other elements of your performance are

Come to class, whether you feel prepared or not. If you are ill,
please stay at home; you can follow the class schedule and read
along from there. You may ask questions via e-mail or in person. If
you are scheduled to turn in assigned material, to provide
something, or to present something to the class, do not wait to be
invited – step right up, politely, and do so.

Project Teams: All students will participate in class and outside of class in
discussion teams with the following purposes: to contribute to in-class
discussion, to present material in class, to prepare material for assignments
and exams, and to prepare and compile material for the class logbook.
Teams include an images team, a music team, a text team, a genre team,
and a logbook team. Team activities will affect grades in the categories of
written exercises, in-class presentations, synthesis exercises and exams, and
class participation. Students should pay close attention to the work of teams
other than their own; students should prepare for course assessments by
reviewing the work of all the teams. Teams presenting material in class
should arrange a run-through presentation for the instructor at least two
days in advance. Teams preparing Study Guides, Listening Guides, Viewing
Guides or analyses should pre-clear these materials with the instructor at
least two days before the due date. See instructor for further guidance on
scheduling run-through sessions and/or obtaining pre-clearance of materials
to be posted or presented.

Assessments: Midterm and final assessments will include three

components: 1) an objective test, 2) an oral, word-association test, and 3) an
oral, project-based synthesis test. For the midterm synthesis test each
student will make a brief oral report – using three note cards -- on how the
team presentations his or her team has made can be compared, contrasted,
or located in some kind of continuum with subject matter found in other
presentations or readings and with American Dreamtime material assigned
to his or her team for the semester. This might be a chronological, thematic
timeline. It might also be a discussion of a certain concept – justice, for
example -- or the characteristics of a hero, or the role of society in the
material studied. Once reading assignments have included The Stars of
Ballymenone, all synthesis work must include that book if at all possible.

Students will receive a midterm grade via formal university channels. That
midterm grade will be comprehensive, i.e. it will include all aspects of

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classroom performance. Only one written assessment will occur prior to the
written final exam.

Overview of Team Assignments:

Weeks 1 – 4: Images Team: A series of seven ten-minute PowerPoint

Reports on Michelangelo’s Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Leonardo’s Scientific
Research, Sculptors and Machines of War, the Mona Lisa, the Lady with a
Weasel, Rafael’s Madonna with child paintings, and Giorgione’s Symbolism;
Music Team: Create a Listening Guide to Thomas Tallis and Palestrina and
help the class understand selections you present in class.

Weeks 5 – 7: Music Team: Create a Listening Guide to Bach, Handel,

Haydn, and Mozart and present selections in class; Genre Team: Create a
Power Point presentation on the Folktale (Fairy Tale) using examples from
Hungarian Folktales, The Stars of Ballymenone, and the Grimms’ stories;
Text Team: Create a Power Point presentation on Michael Kohlhaas that
places it in the context of the Reformation.

Teams that created study guides, PowerPoint reports, or listening guides for
Weeks 1 through 7 will post their reports and guides in complete form,
including questions, answers, and page references, onto Blackboard
discussion boards ten days before the midterm objective assessment.

Weeks 8 – 10: Text Team: Present a PowerPoint on “Revolution, Politics,

and the Individual in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.” Music Team: Create
listening guides to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Schumann, Verdi,
Wagner, and Ravel and present representative musical selections in class.

Week 11 and after: Images Team: Create a series of five ten-minute Power
Point presentations on Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Cezanne, and Matisse,
including material about them found in Hemingway or Stein; Genre Team:
Create an illustrated Study Guide (two pages each) to the Novella, the
Portrait, the Event Painting, the Tragedy, and the Symphony, with examples
from course materials.

American Dreamtime refers to what many consider a major part of 20th

century culture and humanities in the West – Hollywood movies. Each
project team will view a list of movies and use them as material for the
synthesis exercises. We will practice this in class. Teams will have different
movies to view, and thus will bring different perspectives to bear on the
synthesis process. Movies and team assignments are listed below. If
students are unable to locate requisite DVDs they should consult the
instructor. Viewing will be outside of class. Team members may view DVDs
together or individually. Not all movies will have compare and contrast
material that would be relevant or logical for all class texts and subject
matter. Evaluating what materials might be comparable with what -- this will
be part of the synthesis exercises and exams. If two or more versions of a

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movie exist, consult the instructor for information about which version is
intended for class use. Movie viewing will be a team activity in the following
sense – not every team member is obliged to view every movie, but the
more movies a student views, the more material that student has for the
synthesis exercises and assessments. Students’ synthesis exercises will
receive individual grades, not team grades.

Images Team – dreamtime material as follows: Moby Dick (Orson Welles

version), Bonnie and Clyde, Rocky, Forrest Gump, Spartacus, Goldfinger,
Annie Hall, Dr. Zhivago, To Kill a Mockingbird, Blazing Saddles, Bell, Book,
and Candle, The Apartment;

Music Team: West Side Story, Fantasia, The Big Chill, Singing in the Rain,
The Third Man, Ben-Hur, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Amadeus,
Victor/Victoria, Mary Poppins, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly;
Genre Team: Casablanca, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Midnight Cowboy,
The Graduate, The Godfather, The Cowboys, Jurassic Park, Stand By Me, Star
Trek IV, Ghostbusters, Shakespeare in Love, The Odd Couple, Inherit the

Text Team: The Maltese Falcon, The Wizard of Oz, Superman (Christopher
Reeve version), Bride of Frankenstein, Ben-Hur, Back to the Future, Silence
of the Lambs, Planet of the Apes, Jaws, The Shawshank Redemption, The
Sand Pebbles, Roman Holiday;

Logbook Team: Star Wars (the first one chronologically), You Were Never
Lovelier, Gone With the Wind, In the Heat of the Night, Raiders of the Lost
Ark, Pulp Fiction, Psycho, The Shining, Schindler’s List, La Cage aux Folles;

This class will meet on the day and time appointed for final exams, in order
to comply with university requirements, to allow time for missing
presentations or assessments, and to distribute to students their copies of
the class logbook. The instructor will take attendance. Final course grades
will not yet have been averaged at this point.

Week 1: Aug 30 – Sept 3; Week 5: Sept 27-Oct. 1; Week 9: Oct 25-29;

Week 2: Sept. 6-10; Week 6: Oct 4-8; Week 10: Nov 1-5;

Week 3: Sept 13-17; Week 7: Oct 11-15; Week 11: Nov 5-12;

Week 4: Sept 20-24; Week 8: Oct 18-22; Week 12: Nov 16

Week 13: Nov 22-26;

Week 14: Nov 29-Dec


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