HUMN 221: Western Humanities II Fall 2003 TR 2:00-3:40p.m. Welles 119
Dr. Beth McCoy Office: Welles 232A Office phone: x5299
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Home phone: 224 0255 (no calls after 9 p.m., please)
Office Hours: TR 11:30-12:30 and other times as arranged between student and instructor. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to make an appointment before dropping in. My office gets extraordinarily busy; it is not unusual for students to show up and find six or seven people in front of them. If you make an appointment, I can reserve time for you.
Course Description from the Undergraduate Bulletin: The Humanities Program is designed to be the center of the college's Common Core of liberal education. The two courses which make up the Humanities Core requirement approach the subject of moral and political values using the methods of the three Humanities disciplines: literature, history, philosophy. The goal of these courses is to acquaint Geneseo students with the major Western value systems by examining the basic readings from philosophical and literary points of view, in a historical context. HUMN 221 is a search for moral, social, and political alternatives and meaning embodied in the institutions, culture, and literature of Western Civilization from 1600 to the present. The course is factual as well as conceptual, including a narrative history of the period covered.
Learning Outcomes: The Humanities Core Committee, in consultation with Humanities faculty, has articulated the following four learning outcomes:
1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of significant Western thinkers to ongoing intellectual debate about moral, social, and political alternatives.
2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the major trends and movements that have shaped and responded to this debate: e.g., monotheism, humanism, etc.
3. Students will demonstrate the ability to think critically about moral, social, and political arguments in the Western intellectual tradition, evaluating the logic of these arguments and relating them to the historical and cultural context.
4. Students will consider moral, social, political issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
If you plan on indulging yourself in the normative culture of HUMN, you should probably drop this particular section.
Texts: Available at Sundance or any outlet of your choice. Many of these works are in the public domain and thus are available for free via the web.
René Descartes, Discourse on Method.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality.
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels.
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
Karl Marx, Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto.
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents.
Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower.
Marvin Perry, Western Civilization: A Brief History (Volume II). No whining about this one.
American History Documents (available at Sundance).
Via the web, you will also obtain a copy of one section of John Locke's Second Treatise.
Grading Breakdown from the Undergraduate Bulletin: A range: excellent; B range: very good; C+/C: satisfactory; C-: minimal competence; D: marginal; E: failure. In grading individual assignments, I use splits (e.g., C+/B-) to calculate as closely as possible your grade (in almost all cases, this only helps you). As you improve during the semester, expectations for your work go up as well.
1. Exam I: A blend of identification, short answer, and short essay. Exam will draw
upon lecture, discussion, primary reading, and Perry. All exams will require YOUR OWN ANALYSIS in addition to showing evidence that you read the material and paid attention during lecture and discussion.
2. Exam II: A blend of identification, short answer, and short essay. Exam will draw upon
lecture, discussion, primary reading, and Perry. All exams will require YOUR OWN ANALYSIS in addition to showing evidence that you read the material and paid attention during lecture and discussion.
3. Essay I: 5 pages. I will provide you one or two prompts from which you will construct
a well-organized, thesis-driven essay. Summaries of works, lectures or class notes are unacceptable. The essay must demonstrate your critical thinking skills, your ability to communicate an argument clearly, and a sense of the importance of your argument. In other words, YOU'LL HAVE TO THINK.
4. Essay II: 5 pages. I will provide you one or two prompts from which you will construct a
well-organized, thesis-driven essay. Summaries of works, lectures or class notes are unacceptable. The essay must demonstrate your critical thinking skills, your ability to communicate an argument clearly, and a sense of the importance of your argument. In other words, YOU'LL HAVE TO THINK.
5. Final exam: Two essays written during the final exam period. Will cover material from the final third of the semester and will have a cumulative component as well.
***There is no formal class participation grade per se; however, active participation in class (which includes daily attendance) will definitely help me to determine final grades.
Daily Schedule: Subject to change at any time; your continued attendance is therefore crucial.
T 26 Introduction. Syllabus. Transition from HUMN I to HUMN II.
R 28 Perry, Ch. 10. Transition from HUMN I to HUMN II continued.
T 2 Descartes I-III. Essay 1 prompts distributed.
R 4 Descartes IV-VI.
T 9 Bring Locke to class today.
R 11 Bring Locke to class today. For today, please hand in a 1-page, single-spaced, informal response paper that proves you read The Parable of the Sower.
T 16 Catch-up day.
R 18 Swift, Book I.
T 23 Swift, Books II an d III.
R 25 Exam I review.
T 30 Exam I.
R 2 Rousseau, Dedication, Preface, and Part I.
T 7 Rousseau, Part I and II.
R 9 Please bring your American history documents to class. Essay I due in class.
T 14 No class; Fall Break.
R 16 Video: The Terrible Transformation.
T 21 Douglass, prefaces by Garrison and Phillips, and the first four paragraphs of Chapter I.
R 23 Douglass to end.
T 28 Catch-up day. Essay II prompts distributed.
R 30 Marx/Engels, Part I.
T 4 Marx/Engels, Part II.
R 6 Exam II review.
T 11 Exam II.
R 13 Freud and the greatest Freudian slip story ever told. Parts I and II.
T 18 Freud, III, IV, V. On this day, turn in a 1-page, single-spaced response paper that reassesses your reading of Butler now that you've come through HUMN II.
R 20 Freud, VI-end.
T 25 Butler, all. Essay II due in class.
R 27 No class; Thanksgiving Break.
T 2 Butler, continued. Your final exam prompts distributed.
R 4 Last day of class. Final Words.
Your final exam for this class: T 16 December, 12-3 p.m.