HUMA 1301 Syllabus

The Course:

HUMA 1301

Fall 2015

Humanities: Renaissance to Present
Austin Community College

The Course Instructor:

Instructor: Lyman Grant

Email: lgrant at

ACC Office Phone: 512-223-3352

Campus Office Location: HLC
Office Hours on RGC Campus: 1 – 3:30pm MW

SAC. Before and after class

I am usually responsive to emails within 24 hours. If I do no respond within 48 hours, please call or email again.


The Book for the Course

The Humanistic Tradition, Seventh Edition, Volume I by Gloria K. Fiero. McGraw-Hill, 2015.

This is our one and only text. You should not be able to pass the class without this book. All other material will be presented through Blackboard.


The Official Course Information

The Course Description

Humanities 1301 is a study of representative samples of literature, art, and music of various periods and cultures from the beginnings of human life to the early Renaissance. The study of the interrelationships of the arts and their philosophies emphasizes an understanding of human nature and the values of human life. There are no course prerequisites for Humanities: 1301. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading portion of the TASP is required.


Course Rationale

The study of the humanities from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective affords the student the opportunity not only to acquire a deeper appreciation of particular works of art but also to gain a larger perspective on the work of art as an expression of the human spirit in a particular time and place.


Instructional Methodology

This course is designed to facilitate personal approaches to a breadth of material, within accepted academic discourse surrounding the areas of study. This class will employ Blackboard for some aspect of the class. While much material for the class is contained in the Textbook and on the Blackboard site for this course, I expect you to attend class and participate and to complete coursework in a timely fashion. Items you post in the “online” classroom facilitate your learning, as well as generate material for your classmates to engage with further. Your course texts will cover the broad strokes and provide a basic set of knowledge that everyone will share. In-class lectures and discussions will clarify and organize the course material and assignments. The individual writing assignments allow you to explore, present, and initiate discussion on topics that most interest each individual.


Course Objectives/Outcomes

As a result of having taken this course:

  1.  Students will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of art in its different forms (visual, aural, etc.) throughout history.
  2. Student will demonstrate general knowledge of assigned time periods and their major artistic and cultural accomplishments.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how context affects the text (form) and subtext (meaning) of human artistic creations.
  4. Students will form a personal explanation of why (or if) the study of Humanities is necessary for education and societal growth.


Discipline Objectives/Outcomes

As a result of having taken this course:
1. Students will be able to identify a variety of significant works of art from various times and places in human history for the renaissance to the present.
2. Students will demonstrate the ability to associate works of art with their cultural context.
3. Students will be able to discuss the relationship between the arts and human nature and values.


General Education Objectives/Outcomes

  1. Civic and Cultural Awareness (Social Responsibility)
    • Analyzing and critiquing competing perspectives in a democratic society: comparing, contrasting and interpreting differences and commonalities among peoples, ideas, aesthetic traditions and cultural practices
  2. Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking Skills)
    • Gathering, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and applying information.
  3. Personal Responsibility
    • Identifying and applying ethical principles and practices; demonstrating effective learning, creative thinking and personal responsibility.
  4. Interpersonal Skills (Teamwork)
    • Interacting collaboratively to achieve common goals
  5. Written, Oral and Visual Communication (Communication Skills)
    • Communicating effectively, adapting to purpose, structure, audience and medium.


 The Underlying Organizing Principle of this Course Section.

Be a MonuMentor!

My inspiration for organizing this class is the recent George Clooney film Monuments Men. If you have not watched that film, I suggest that you do. The movie provides an interesting backdrop for our culture’s decision to require courses like this for college graduates. However, viewing the movie is not a course requirement. The movie is based on real events during World War II (1939-1945). During that war, Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded much of Europe. In addition to his goal of exterminating Europe’s Jewish people, it appears that Hitler also wanted to collect and own all or most of the continent’s artistic treasures. So he robbed personal and institutional art collections throughout Europe. The movie’s titular “Monuments Men” were a group of American academic types who were commissioned, as the war was coming to its end, to move behind, with, and ahead of the Allied Forces to locate, preserve, and ultimately return the stolen treasures to their previous owners.   The movie follows a few Americans and others through their searches in Europe. In reality, there were over 400 people who worked with the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program contributing to the task.

Interwoven into the drama and humor of the movie are questions such as “Why should we care about cultural treasures?” What does it matter if one is lost?” What is lost when a painting is lost or a sculpture, a manuscript, the last copy of printed book, the original score of symphony? What is lost when we blow up or demolish a building? In the movie, these questions are raised in the context of a terrible world war and against the backdrop of the murder of six millions Jews. Can we compare the value of a Picasso to the value of the life of a person? How do we value all the lives we lost in all our various wars? How do we value all the artifacts of Western Culture from the Renaissance to the present?

I don’t expect us to answer these questions. I am not convinced anyone could answer them. But it is obvious, though, that many people think that preservation of our intellectual and cultural heritage is hugely important. Essential. Just think of the college’s desire to offer classes such as this, my desire to teach it, the state’s requirement that most college graduates have taken a class such as this, the efforts of people such as those depicted in Monuments Men, the thousands of cultural institutions across the nation from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the little gallery in a local bakery. There are so many people still committed to doing what the “Monument Men” were committed to doing: preserving our cultural and intellectual past.

One goal of the class, therefore, is to inspire students in this class to be “Monuments Men” or as we will call you in this class “MonuMentors.”  To help inspire you, we will let you practice selecting works from the time period of this class—Beginnings to Early Renaissance—that you nominate to preserve, protect, and present as “Monuments” of a culture you want to live on, and are foundational for the creation and continuance of the values that you hope future generations will honor and learn from.

As the course proceeds, you will nominate, through essay assignments, six works (two in each essay) that you believe must be preserved and understood. Further instructions for these essays will be presented in relevant sections of Blackboard. The general idea is that you will explain what the world was like before a work was created, what this world was like that helped inspire the work, including the life and accomplishments of the creator, and how this work has helped inspire the world that followed its creation. For the final project, you will have the opportunity to do something similar regarding an idea, piece of technology, or scientific breakthrough.


This Course’s Organization and Due Dates

  1. This course is broken down into Three “Learning Units” plus a Final Project:
    The First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy (Weeks 2-6)
  2. Medieval Europe and the World Beyond (Weeks 7-11)
  3. The European Renaissance, the Reformation, and Global Encounter (Weeks 12-15
  4. Final Essay or Project (Weeks 16)


Student Responsibilities Specific to This Course

For each Learning Unit, you will be responsible for:
1. Readings from The Humanistic Tradition
2. Music samples provided through links in Blackboard.

  1. Other lessons and aids provided in Blackboard
  2. Contributions to each week’s Discussion Forum.
  3. Library research as necessary to complete assignments.
    6. Tests taken in Testing Center
  4. Short Analytical Essays and Final Presentation
  5. Class attendance

Your Final Grade

Your Final Grade will be comprised of:

  1. Participation in online Unit Discussion Forums (10 Forums x 2% each = 20%).
  2. Three Online Tests (3 Units x 10% each = 30%).
  3. Three Unit Essays (3 Units x 10%=30%)
  4. Final Essay or Project (1 x 20%=20%)
  5. Class Attendance (up to 10 points added to Final Grade)


Grading Policy

All assignments will be presented with final due dates by which time students will need to submit their work. Generally, no make-up work will be available for work not turned in without prior approval from the teacher. Occasionally, the teacher may ask the student to do further work on an assignment the teacher believes needs minimum correction for credit. If you dispute a grade, you should begin with discussions with your teacher. You should keep an original copy of all of your work throughout the semester until you receive (and accept) your final course grade.

If, at the end of the semester you wish to officially review your grade, please follow guidelines from the Student Need to Know site <>

 Please note: at no time will I discuss grade particulars with a student via email. DO NOT email me asking about grades or how you are doing in the course. You will get this answer every time: I do not discuss grades via email. Please email me to set a time to meet in person or call me to discuss your questions.



Since you are adults, and in spite of a growing trend in colleges to require attendance for students, I will not say that your attendance is “required.” I certainly believe that attendance is essential for most students to complete the semester successfully. Other teachers and I teach this class on-line and students complete it and live fine lives. The main point is that you read the textbook regularly, complete the on-line discussion questions, look at ancillary materials, complete assignments on-time. However, I believe that things go on in class that will help you successfully complete the course. Therefore, instead of punishing you for not attending, I will reward you for attending. ‘Attendance’ is defined as being bodily present in the classroom for the entire class, from the moment I take roll to the moment I adjourn class.   If you have perfect attendance (attend fully all 16 classes), I will add 10 points to your final grade. If you miss only one or two classes or parts of classes, I will add 7 points to your final grade. If you miss, three or four classes (or parts of classes), I will add 3 points to your final grade. If you miss five or more, I will add nothing to your grade.



All assigned text readings are listed in “Schedule” Folder and in the Unit One, Two, and Three Folders. They are also listed in the course schedule attached to this syllabus. Readings should be completed before class within the timeframe of the Unit to which they pertain. Basically, you will be responsible for two chapters per week.


Other Materials

In each Unit Folder are sub-folders based upon each week in the class. In those sub-folders are, mostly, links to videos and music files. The videos are some that I believe will help and aid you in the class. They do not cover the entire material for the class, so they are not a substitute for the book, nor for attendance in class.  I offer them, however, expecting that you will view them and listen to them. Material from these videos will show up in the Unit Tests.


Unit Tests

Instructions for the online tests and the tests themselves are available in the “Tests” folder.


Online Discussion Forums

“Weekly Discussion” Forums are for reporting on your responses to the week’s required readings. In these, I will ask you to respond to one (or more) questions relating to your reading of the textbook’s assigned readings for that week. You should write your responses (250-400 words) in standard academic language, with correct spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. This is not a chat room where informality rules.   Submit your weekly postings by Sunday night at midnight central time. You will also respond to another student’s post by the following Wednesday night at midnight. Each week’s postings count 2% of your grade. There will be 11 discussion forums for a total of 20% of your grade. (You can miss one discussion forum.) You will be graded on the length, substance, and stylistic correctness of your posts. Late posts will be penalized also. Posts can be as much as 2 weeks late with some penalty. I will not accept a post more than two weeks late. (In other words, you can’t put off everything until test time and then complete old work.)
Writing Assignments (Essays and Final Project)

Instructions for each Unit’s Essays and for the Final Project will be passed out and discussed in class. Generally the Unit Essays will require library research. They will be approximately 750-1500 words in length. The Final Project, which will require documented research will be between 2000-2500 words in length or 10-12 minutes as a Power Point or Prezi presentation.

This is a college course and college-level writing skills are required. Your writing will be evaluated for theoretical sophistication, critical interpretation, creativity, effective argument (including thesis construction as warranted, coherent paragraphs and development, and proper citation of evidence), and style (including organization, grammar, spelling, etc.). It is expected that all work submitted is the original work of the student whose name appears on it and that the work was prepared originally for this course.


Library Research

During the semester, you may be asked to conduct individual research for background information in the course or as part of research for an essay. Be sure to acquaint yourself with ACC and other libraries in the region. Your research may likely require you to go beyond internet connections and visit libraries in person.


Services for Students with Disabilities

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.

Office for Students with Disabilities <>


Academic Freedom

Students have the right to believe whatever they happen to believe and, within the appropriate constraints that follow from the organization of a course and its class meetings, to express those beliefs. Grades will never be based on the beliefs that a student maintains, but only on the quality of the philosophical work performed by a student in conjunction with the course.


Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. These differences enhance the learning experience and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn. On sensitive and volatile topics, students may sometimes disagree not only with each other but also with the instructor. It is expected that faculty and students will respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.

ACC Addendum for DIL setting: All of the above pertains to the forums in ACC Blackboard and anywhere else open discussions take place between students and students, and instructor and students.

Instructor Addendum for DIL setting: In the same way that only enrolled students are permitted to attend classes in classroom settings, it is expected that only enrolled students are logged into and accessing this course’s information through Blackboard. In the same way that class materials, discussions, and activities are intended only for enrolled students in classroom settings, all aspects of this online course’s content, no matter who generates it (you, me, another student), are confidential (accessible only for the purposes of completing course requirements for this semester) and should be treated as such.


Qualities of Successful Distance Learners (and also for All Other Students Also)

Distance learning requires a unique set of knowledge, skills and attitudes in order for students to be successful. Even students who excel in a face-to-face setting may struggle in a distance learning course if they are not prepared or do not know what to expect. As a faculty member, I take training and review best practices continually, so that I am as prepared as possible to teach you and mentor students through distance learning courses.


Students must also be prepared and know their responsibilities and best practices for success. The personal traits and characteristics that contribute to success in distance learning courses, as identified by ACC’s Instructional Development Series, are listed below:

Personal Qualities:

  • Sets goals and deadlines
  • Remains on track and on time
  • Completes projects
  • Seeks assistance (from instructor and/or classmates) when needed
  • Possesses strong reading and writing skills
  • Communicates comfortably via email and other online platforms
  • Possesses strong problem solving skills
  • Plans in advance to provide adequate time for completing readings and assignments
  • Learns from things they hear, like lectures, audio recordings and podcasts
  • Has a designated, distraction-free place to work on assignments
  • Focuses on reading/studying despite distractions
  • Willing to spend 10-20 hours a week on the online course
  • Keeps a record of assignments and due dates
  • Plans to login to the online class daily
  • Students with disabilities know whom to contact for assistance


Suggestions for Success

Please contact me immediately with problems or questions related to any aspect of student requirements. Do not wait! Success in this class is dependent upon staying current with all assignments and announcements. General class announcements will be available online on our course’s Blackboard homepage, and group email announcements will be sent to your ACCmail address (see item Communication below).

All assigned material has been planned carefully. At times, works of art may include mature themes, graphic language, and graphic imagery. However, objection to participating in course activities and/or assignments is not anticipated for college-level study. If you have a personal concern, please notify me and we will discuss your circumstances.

IMPORTANT: If you fall behind for legitimate reasons, contact your instructor immediately to determine a course of action for you to complete your assignments in a timely manner. It is my sincere desire that each student complete the course requirements and I will work with you towards that end in the event that unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances interfere with your participation in the online course at a point during the semester.

In this course, every effort will be made to situate the primary issues within larger contexts and to understand them within their place in historical discourse. Discussion forums will provide a venue to consider various approaches to the texts and to promote critical thinking regarding issues at hand. Respect for fellow students and freedom of expression is essential, especially in situations where differences of opinion and disagreements occur. Finally, be prepared to challenge yourself by reflecting upon the material at hand and sharing with others your observations and conclusions.



As professor of record for this course, I, Lyman Grant, will communicate with each student individually and in groups by email. Per school policy, group emails will be sent to the address utilized by ACC’s Blackboard (your official ACC email address). I prefer you use your ACCmail address for all ACC business, however I will reply to any address from which you send a message to me and in which you are clearly identified as “you.” DO NOT EVER share your login information with anyone.

At no time is it appropriate for us to discuss grade information or other confidential information via email. In the case of grades or assessment this communication may take place on ACC Blackboard (in areas accessible only to the student in question and the instructor), over the phone, or in person; discussion of other confidential information should take place only over the telephone, in virtual office hours in private chats only, or in person (if we sent a time to meet in person).

For the duration of this course, you are expected to check your ACCmail regularly OR set up automatic forwarding from the ACC google system to your personal email address. During the Class Orientation you will be required to become familiar with and use your ACCmail account if you have not already done so in the past. You may then set up email forwarding of your ACCmail to the email address of your choice, or access your ACCmail directly.

ACCmail <>

Student Discipline and Other Policy Information

Student Discipline

Students at the College have the rights accorded to all persons under the Constitution to Freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association. These rights carry with them the responsibility for each individual to accord the same rights to others in the College community and not to interfere with or disrupt the educational process. As willing partners in learning, it is expected that students will comply with College rules and procedures. ACC students are recognized as responsible persons who neither lose the rights nor escape the responsibilities of citizenship. Enrollment in the College indicates acceptance of the rules set forth in this policy, administered through the office of the Campus Dean of Student Services. Due process, through an investigation and appeal process, is assured to any student involved in disciplinary action. (See the “Student Standards of Conduct & Disciplinary Process” in the ACC Need to Know site).

ACC Need to Know site <>

Student Standards of Conduct & Disciplinary Process <>


Health and Safety

ACC’s safety programs are focused on the prevention of illness and injury to students and employees from the potential hazards they may encounter in the course of their educational or work-related activities on campus. Workplace safety inspections, training, and federal and state regulation compliance are initiated through this office. Info on ACC Need to Know site <>


Problem Resolution

If you are having a problem related to this course or related to me as your professor, your first step generally should be to speak with me. If I cannot resolve the problem or satisfy your concern, or, if for some reason you would prefer not to address the issue with me, you may appeal to the Chair of the Department, Grant Potts for help <>


Scholastic Dishonesty

Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations, and homework. Cases of academic dishonesty will be pursued according to applicable procedures as set forth in the ACC Need to Know site <>

Ultimately, there is no excuse for representing another’s work as your own. A first infraction will result in an immediate “zero” on the assignment and follow-up instructions about how to redo the work. A second infraction will result in further disciplinary actions per ACC Policy. Each student is responsible for knowing his or her rights and responsibilities. ACC Need to Know site, Student Standards of Conduct & Disciplinary Process <>

If you are unclear as to what constitutes plagiarism, it is your obligation to seek help from a reliable source, such as an instructor, a tutor, or another qualified individual. It is also in your best interest to carefully cite all outside sources, as then your original work is easily identifiable and you will receive maximum credit for your own development, thought, and insight.


Plagiarism as Scholastic Dishonesty

Students clearly know that copying each other’s work is plagiarism but are sometimes confused about how not to plagiarize in other instances. The discussion below is intended to clarify the topic of plagiarism.


1) to use the IDEAS of another without giving the other credit as the source,
2) to use the words of another without both putting those words within quotation marks and giving the other credit as the source, or
3) to paraphrase the work of another, use quotes excessively throughout the essay, or pattern your work after that of another, to such an extent that you have, in effect, not produced your own work. (You can be guilty of this form of plagiarism even if you do give credit to your sources.)


The requirements with respect to plagiarism apply to ALL work submitted in this course including all discussion forum posts, all components of the tests and essays.

Proper Documentation:

Your Essays must have a Works Cited (Bibliography) list that includes all sources of any facts or ideas that are not your own, and you must cite the exact sources of those facts and ideas within the body of your text.


Student and Instructional Services

The Learning Labs in the Austin Community College District provide extensive resources for students and faculty. They are located at the Cypress Creek, Eastview, Northridge, Pinnacle, Rio Grande, Riverside, Round Rock, and South Austin Campuses. Please refer to their website <> for more information.


Respecting Copyright

The course materials used for this course and on this site are protected by copyright law–whether I created them or someone else created them. Reproduction of protected materials and use of them as if your own intellectual property, any public distribution or commercial use, or any other activity that violates copyright law may result in legal action to rectify the situation.

Refer to the ACC Need to Know site, section Copyright and Duplication of Course Materials <>


Withdrawals from Course

Withdrawing from a course may affect financial aid, veterans’ benefits, international student status, or academic standing. Students are urged to consult with their instructor or an advisor before making schedule changes. Per state law, students enrolling for the first time in fall 2007 or later at any Texas college or university may not withdraw (receive a W) from more than six courses during their undergraduate college career. Some exemptions for good cause could allow a student to withdraw from a course without having it count toward this limit. Students are encouraged to carefully select courses; contact an advisor or counselor for assistance. See the Student Need to Know site <> for additional information.

If you intend to withdraw, you must take action and confirm your withdrawal yourself. Anyone who remains in the course will receive a performance grade according to the criteria described in this syllabus.


Course Incompletes

An instructor may award a grade of I (Incomplete) if a student was unable to complete all of the objectives for the passing grade in a course. An I cannot be carried beyond the established date in the following semester. The completion date is determined by the instructor but may not be later than the final withdrawal deadline in the subsequent semester. The department chair will approve a change from I to a performance grade (A, B, C, D, or F) for the course before deadline. Consideration should be given to course load, job, and family obligations when carrying an I into a new semester for completion. An I that is not resolved by the deadline will automatically be converted to an F. For complete details please refer to the Student Need to Know site <>

I (Lyman Grant) grant course incompletes only in extraordinary situations, which must have arisen due to unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances. To receive an incomplete you must:

1. request it one week before the all the course work of the class is due.
2. be able to substantiate compelling reason for granting an incomplete, and

3.  indicate exactly how and when the course will be completed.


A Final Note on Grades: You must keep an original copy of all of your work throughout the semester until you receive (and accept) your final course grade.


This entry was posted in HUMA 1301 on by .

About lymangrant

Lyman Grant is a professor of creative writing and humanities at Austin Community College. He has work at ACC since 1978. He is the author or editor of two textbooks, two books relating to Texas literature, three volumes and a chapbook of poetry. Recently he traveled the United States for a year in a 34-foot RV 5th wheel trailer with his wife and two younger sons.