HUMA 1302 Final Project

The final paper/project will count 20% of your grade. The goal of the project is to allow you to research a topic that interests you in more depth than the rush of the class usually allows. The topic of the project follows our MonuMentor theme. You will write a persuasive paper of 1500-3000 words in which you nominate one artist, writer, philosopher, composer, or scientist to the Western Humanities Hall of Fame. In order to nominate the person persuasively, you must consider what the world was like before he/she was born, what he/she contributed/accomplished, and how the world was changed for all his/her efforts. The paper will be part history, part biography, and part critique and analysis. Obviously, you will research libraries and the internet for information regarding this topic and you will be responsible for correctly identifying those sources in the essay. For the inexperienced and for the unorganized and lazy, plagiarism is a real danger. Plagiarism results in failing grades, so I want you to be very careful in what you do for this project. We will have moments in the semester in which we check in concerning your progress.

Your topic for this project will need to be approved by me before hand. There will be a date around the 10th week of class when you will need to commit to your topic.

Variation 1: Topic. For a different topic, you can nominate a technology for the Technology Hall of Fame. The idea is the same as with the Western Humanities Hall of Fame. You will nominate a technology as one of the most important technological changes the world has experienced. In persuading the reader that the technology is extremely important, again you will explain what the world was like before the invention of the technology, who invented it, how it works, and how it changed the world. You will also be able to discuss what works of art or literature express or explore the importance of the piece of technology.   Again, I will need to approve your topic.

Variation 2: Media. Instead of writing an essay, you are encouraged to use video, audio, photography, power point, imovie, etc. to create a Final Media Project. This project will be submitted through Blackboard and available for other students to look at. It should be at least three or four minutes in length. You can nominate a person to the Western Humanities Hall of Fame or nominate a technology to the Technology Hall of Fame. Again, this project will require research and you are required to adequately cite your sources and document where you found the information contained in the Media Project.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

HUMA 1302 Essay Assignments

The goal of the assignment: It is with the Unit Essays that we engage most directly with the MonuMentor theme of the class. Your goal here is to write three relatively brief essays (minimum 750 words, maximum 1500 words, each) identifying six works from the Late Renaissance to the Present that you believe must be preserved at all costs for future generations to experience and learn from. Over the course of the semester, in three essays you will identify six works, which turns out to be two works per essay. There is one guideline for the overall selection of works. By the end of the semester, you will need to select at least one work from each of the following categories: Continue reading

HUMA 1315 Schedule

Note: When you look at this schedule you might think “There is no way I can do all this reading, listening, looking, watching, and analyzing.” While that might not be true if you were a junior or senior in college, I can understand how you might think so as a freshman. But the fact is, for this class, you do not need to do all the reading or viewing each week. Use this schedule with the questions in the Discussion Board in Blackboard.   Each week you will choose one discussion question to respond to. Let this choice guide you in your work for the week.

To a certain extent, you will be able to roam through this material picking and choosing the topics that you want to learn about. Of course, that is not totally true, but it is more true than not. With your essays and other writing assignments, you will be able to select your topics from the material presented. If this freedom is difficult for you, I will provide a few set topics for you to choose from.

With regard to our two tests: each week, I will include for a brief overview of that week’s content, pointing out sections of readings or elements of the art or music or film that I think are most important (and thus might show up on the mid-term and final tests). You might be able to use these “overviews” as guides to what you what to read or examine or listen to for that week. In addition, I will provide study modules, in Blackboard, that will help you review for the two tests.

Part 1: 1945-2015 (Weeks 1-4)

Week 1  

The Newsroom

Barack Obama: “A More Perfect Union.” DHUS 645-658

Ronald Reagan: “Inaugural Addresses.” DHUS 551-561

Gerald R. Ford: “Inaugural Address.” DHUS 529-531

Lyndon Baines Johnson: “Great Society.” DHUS 477-480

John Kennedy: “Inaugural Address.” DHUS 445-448

Dwight C. Eisenhower: “Farewell Address.” DHUS 436-439

The Cinema

All the President’s Men Continue reading

HUMA 1302 Discussion Questions

After reading Chapters 19 and 20 in your textbook, select one of the following questions to answer in a response of between 250 and 400 words.

  • Focus on one or two of the ideas presented by Martin Luther, John Calvin, or other Protestant ministers and discuss how those ideas affected or are reflected in one or two works by Van Eyck, Bosch, Durer, Grunewald, or Brueghel.  Use your own words and not those of the text, but discuss with specific references to one or more works mentioned in the chapter.
  • Discuss the view of human nature as presented by Christian Humanists (such as Erasmus and Thomas More), satirists (such as Cervantes and Rabelais) and writers like Montaigne and Shakespeare.  You need focus only on one (or two) of the writers and their works as presented in the text.  What do these writers find admirable?  What do these writers find disappointing?  Do their assessments still ring true today?
  • Identify some qualities of the Mannerist style and discuss how these qualities are illustrated in works by Michelangelo, Parmigianino, Tintoretto, El Greco, Caravaggio, or Gentileschi.  Please avoid merely copying observations and language from the textbook.  What do you notice in one or two of these works.  How do you react to the exaggerated style?  What is your reaction to this intensity?
  • Consider the works of Bernini and Pozzo can you find ways to compare their qualities to the developments made by Palestrina, Gabrieli and Monteverdi in music?

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