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Course Syllabus 1

HUMA 1301: Exploration of the Humanities


Spring 2011

Course Information

HUMA 1301.004
MC 2.410 TR 11:30 – 12:45

Professor/TA Contact Information

Dr. Ingrao
Office: JO 5.306
Office Hours: T 1:30 - 3:30, W 2:00 - 4:00 and by appointment
Office Phone: 883 – 6089
Email: jingrao@utdallas.edu

TA contact information for this course is as follows:

Susan Norman
Office: JO 5.310
Office Hours: TBA
Office Phone: 883 – 2110
Email: smw011400@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? How do the concepts of utopia and dystopia apply to
the individual as well as to society? During this semester this theme will be discussed by
examining the dialogue between philosophy, fiction, film, and popular culture 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. To confirm ISBN, check below the bar code on the back cover
of the book:

Plato, Republic (Penguin, ISBN: 978014055113)


Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (Ballantine, ISBN: 9780345410016)
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Del Rey, ISBN: 9780345404473)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (Vintage, ISBN: 9780307278449)
Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Signet, ISBN: 9780451528957)

Students will have the opportunity to view the following films: Metropolis, Blade Runner
and The Dark Knight.

eLearning

Offers students access to course announcements, lecture outlines, online writing assignments, and
the course discussion board. Announcements will be posted directly to the eLearning front page.
Lecture outlines, online writing assignments and the discussion board may be accessed using the
"Course Tools" tabs available at the left-hand side of this same page.

Lecture outlines may be accessed via the "Learning Modules" tab under eLearning
"Course Tools." Note that the lecture 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 or discussion. eLearning
outlines should not be taken as a substitute for attending class.

Students are encouraged to ask questions concerning lectures during class. Students may also
contact the instructor and TA, and are urged to take advantage of office hours. Though neither
the TA nor the instructor will re-teach material presented during a specific date in its entirety as
originally presented in class, specific questions concerning material presented in class are
welcome in order to promote the potential for student success in the course.

Material from eLearning will be utilized in the instructor's composition of the three
semester exams. The instructor and TA expect that students will be able to provide answers
on exams specific to the material posted to eLearning.
Course Syllabus 3

To access eLearning:

1. Go to the following URL:

http://elearning.utdallas.edu

2. Enter UTD NetID and password.

3. A list of all courses in which a student has enrolled and that utilize eLearning should appear.
Click on the course title.

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


placed on eLearning. Note that a copy of the syllabus is also available through eLearning in the
event a printed copy is misplaced. The syllabus will be available via a tab under the "Course
Tools" menu.

________________________________________________________________________

Noah Miller's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The first stage adaptation of Stevenson's novella premiered a year after its 1886 publication and
enjoyed a prosperous twenty-year run. Speaking to the enduring popularity of the struggle
between good and evil in each of us within literary, social and scientific contexts, Jekyll and
Hyde have since appeared in more than six stage adaptations and over thirty film adaptations.
This semester, The University of Texas at Dallas and The Center for Values in Medicine, Science
and Technology offer a fresh vision of Stevenson's classic in Noah Miller's The Strange Case of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Performances will be April 7-9, 14-16, and are free to UTD students
with University ID. For additional information please see the links available at the following:
http://www.utdallas.edu/ah/events/events-theatre.html
Course Syllabus 4

Assignments & Academic Calendar

Jan. 11: Welcome to course


Discuss syllabus and course goals
Discuss group exercises
Discuss eLearning
Introduction to the Humanities
Jan. 13: Introduction to utopia
Group exercise: “Designing an utopia”
Discussion of group exercise

Jan. 18: Republic, pages 53-66, and 102-143


Jan. 20: Republic, pages 144-189
First online writing assignment assigned

Jan. 25: Republic, pages 227-263


Jan. 27: Group exercise: "Designing an utopia"
Discussion of group exercise
First online writing assignment due by 8:00 AM

Feb. 1: Introduction to dystopia


Group exercise: "Designing a dystopia"
Discussion of group exercise
Short essay assigned
Feb. 3: View selections from Metropolis

Feb. 8: View selections from Metropolis


Discussion of Metropolis
Feb. 10: First exam

Feb. 15: Fahrenheit 451, pages 3-40


Second online writing assignment assigned
Feb. 17: Fahrenheit 451, pages 41-110

Feb. 22: Fahrenheit 451, pages 113-165


Feb. 24: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 3-83

March 1: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 84-183


March 3: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, pages 184-244
Second online writing assignment due by 8:00 AM

March 8: View Blade Runner


March 10: View Blade Runner
Discussion of Blade Runner and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

March 15 – March 17: NO CLASS; SPRING BREAK

March 22: Group exercise: "Designing a dystopia"


Discussion of group exercise
March 24: Second exam
Course Syllabus 5

March 29: The Bluest Eye, pages 3-58


Third online writing assignment assigned
March 31: The Bluest Eye, pages 61-131

April 5: The Bluest Eye, pages 132-206


April 7: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, pages 37-93
Extra credit discussion board available for Miller's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde

April 12: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, pages 94-124


Wendell Berry’s “Faustian Economics” (handout)
Third online writing assignment due by 8:00 AM
April 14: View The Dark Knight

April 19: View The Dark Knight


Extra credit discussion board posting for Miller's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde due by 8:00 AM
April 21: Discussion of The Dark Knight

April 26: Group exercise: "Designing a dystopia"


Short essay due
April 28: Discussion of group exercise
Conclusion
Final exam review

May 10: Final exam begins at 11:00 in MC 2.410

________________________________________________________________________

Grading Policy

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

First exam 25%


Second exam 25%
Short essay 25%
Final exam 25%

Assignment letter grades correspond to the following numerical GPA 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
Course Syllabus 6

For each of the four major assignments (first exam, second exam, final exam, and short essay),
the numerical GPA value of the letter grade is multiplied by 25% (0.25). The four resulting
numerical values are then added to determine the semester grade. Any applicable extra credit will
be added to the lowest assignment grade of the semester before the numerical GPA value of the
letter grade is multiplied by 25%. Online writing assignment results will determine borderline
grades.

Students have the potential to participate in three online writing assignments during the course of
the semester. These assignments may be accessed via the "Assignments" tab under
eLearning "Course Tools," and intend to provide the potential to introduce students to the types
of questions on exams and refine a student's ability to analyze class concepts in relation to
specific examples that communicate ideas in an organized manner.

Students will have the potential to earn a predetermined number of "points" for each of the three
writing assignments. Six points are possible for the first writing assignment. Another six points
are possible for the second writing assignment. Four points are possible for the third writing
assignment. Sixteen possible total points derive from the three assignments together.

At the end of the semester, a student with a borderline grade and a cumulative total of eleven or
more points from the three online writing assignments will be rounded up.

For example, a student finishes the semester with a 3.73. This falls between a grade of A at 4.00
and a grade of A- at 3.67. If the student has a cumulative total of eleven or more earned points
from the three online writing assignments, the grade will be A. If the student, in contrast, has a
cumulative total of less than eleven points, the grade will be A-.

Online writing assignment results are applied to the semester grade only in those cases that
a semester grade is borderline. A student who earns a B at 3.00 exactly will neither be
rounded up to a B+ nor down to a B- .

Even in this scenario, online writing assignments remain important in their potential to
refine a student's ability to harness class concepts and respond using specific examples in an
analytical manner. The ability to analyze class concepts, use specific examples, and connect
examples to ideas will be important on all three semester exams and the short essay; in this
way, online writing assignments offer the potential to help students prepare for exams and
the essay.

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.
Course Syllabus 7

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

______________________________________________________________________________

Exams and Essay

The first and second exams will not be comprehensive. The final exam will be comprehensive,
but will focus a majority on material discussed in class since the second exam. All three exams
will consist of a series of short answer questions that require specific and thoughtful responses to
questions concerning course content, as well as to more analytical questions.

Students should not bring notes or books for use during the three exams. 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.

In addition to the exams and online writing assignments (see "Grading Policy" for more
information concerning the online writing assignments), students will be assigned a short essay of
three to four pages. This essay should draw from considered analysis of the semester's group
exercises, three of the five primary books, and two of the four primary films. Though a detailed
assignment sheet will be distributed in class and posted to eLearning on February 1st, the short
essay essentially asks students to offer their own vision of utopia or dystopia. Students who focus
on utopia should discuss safeguards against dystopia as part of their short essay; students who
focus on dystopia, in contrast, should discuss how their vision could be made less dystopian.

Be sure to check due dates for the exams and short essay in the "Daily Academic
Calendar."

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

Attendance

To facilitate the accuracy of the attendance record, the course will observe assigned seating. The
instructor and TA expect that students will be present, seated, and ready to participate in class at
the beginning of each scheduled class day. Remember that all exams will ask short answer
questions that require specific answers to specific material presented during class time and
on eLearning. Moreover, the short essay assignment will require thoughtful response to
course content and discussion.

Students who arrive to class after the TA takes attendance will be counted absent for the
day. 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.
Course Syllabus 8

Students who miss class must provide documentation of one of the following legitimate excuses
to earn an excused absence:

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
(by January 21st) and should discuss with him, in advance, acceptable ways of making up
any work incurred because of the absence.

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


activity will be given the opportunity to make up course 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 who provide documentation of a legitimate excuse as just defined will have a
maximum of one week (seven days; this does include weekends) from the original
assignment date to complete a make-up assignment: short essay, online writing assignment, or
exam. Within the course of the seven days, students must first present documentation of a
legitimate excuse to both the TA (copy) and instructor (original) before a make-up
assignment can be scheduled.

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

Extra Credit

Students will be given three opportunities for extra credit during the semester for a potential total
of ten points of extra credit to be applied to the student's single lowest exam or short essay grade
at the end of the semester prior to the calculation of the semester grade.

1. Students who are present and participate in each group exercise and discussion of the same will
earn four points of extra credit. Be sure to note these dates on the "Daily Academic
Calendar."
Course Syllabus 9

2. Students who attend the production of Noah Miller's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde and participate in a discussion board forum comparing the play to Stevenson's novella will
have the potential to earn three points of extra credit. Students who pursue this option should
note that the complete text of Miller's play is available on eLearning for their reference. The
eLearning discussion board will be opened for comments on April 7th. On this date,
students may access the discussion board via the "Discussions" tab under "Course Tools."
To have the potential to earn credit, students should post to the discussion board by 8:00
AM, April 19th.

3. At the conclusion of the semester, students who have three or fewer unexcused absences will
receive three points of extra credit.

______________________________________________________________________________

Computers in the Classroom

Students are welcome to use computers during class to take notes or check information posted to
the course eLearning page. Any student discovered to be using a computer for any other
purpose--personal, professional or academic--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.

______________________________________________________________________________

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 enrolled.

Note: January 26th is the last day to drop this course without incurring a “W.”

________________________________________________________________________

Additional Important Policies

It is the student's responsibility to review additional University policies concerning disability


services, avoiding plagiarism, resources to aid in the potential for success, incomplete grades,
student conduct and discipline, academic integrity, technical support, email use, copyright notice,
grievance procedures, and religious holy days at http://provost.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies/

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


the Professor.
Course Syllabus 10