Humanities 303 Syllabus Spring 2008

 

Instructor: Paul Brians

Office: Avery 202H

Office hours: 9:30-10:30 daily (I'm also in much of the rest of the time)

Phone (try this before e-mailing): 335-5689

Appointments: 335-7124

E-mail: brians@wsu.edu

Course Web site, including study guides: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/hum_303_study_guides.html

 

Textbooks for this course (please do not substitute other editions or translations):

 

If your financial aid is delayed, borrow money if you must to buy the textbooks. You cannot begin the course without the Voltaire in hand; and other books will be unavailable late in the semester. Buy them all as early as possible. Do not substitute other translations for these.

 

    * Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary, translated by Theodore Besterman

    * Goethe's Faust, translated by Walter Kaufmann

    * Zola, Germinal, trans. Collier

    * Dostoyevsky: Notes from Underground, translated by Andrew R. MacAndrew

    * Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by Walter Kaufmann. (Note Penguin also publishes other translations that are not as good—be sure to get the Kaufmann. DO NOT USE the 1892 public-domain translation by Thomas Common.

    * Marx & Engels: The Communist Manifesto (Penguin) (1998). Other editions are OK, but their page numbers won't match up with those in the study guide.

 

Online Resources:

 

* Home Page: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/

* Common Errors in English: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/

 

 


Course Overview

All of the study guides and other materials for this class are available on the Web, linked from the online version this document. Be careful to read ahead in the syllabus so you see what assignments are coming up. Don't wait until the night before class. Note that if you work only from a printed-out version of this syllabus, you will lack many important hyperlinks. Always check the online syllabus when doing your assignments.

Students are responsible for reading assignments and for preparing answers to the related on-line study questions before coming to class on the dates noted. Written assignments marked with an asterisk (*) are due on the date next to or above the asterisk. Besides the short papers noted here, you must also attend and report on a cultural event relating to the European 18th and 19th centuries. A list of acceptable events will be provided.

 

Course Goals

When you have successfully completed this course, you should:

* have a general grasp of major trends in Western European art history from the 17th century to World War I.

* be able to listen with increased understanding to classical music from the same eras.

* understand some of the basic over-arching themes in philosophy and literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.

* be able to discuss fairly complex and sophisticated ideas such as are treated in the works assigned.

 


Course Outline

The following syllabus provides a concise outline of the course topics and requirements by week. January

 

8: Introduction; video: The Art of the Western World, 5: Realms of Light—The Baroque [12395] (The Baroque: Bernini, Cortona, Caravaggio, Borromini, Fischer von Erlach,Velazquez, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, etc.).

View video in class, take notes.

 

10: Read the "Course Introduction" Online at http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/humintro.html.

 

Music: Pachelbel, Vivaldi, Handel. Write something about one or more of the pieces of music and turn it in at the end of class. Do not "review" the music, saying whether it is good or bad; analyze it or report on what you have learned.

 

Read "The Enlightenment" online and write at least 50 words about some aspect of the Enlightenment to be turned in at the beginning of class.

 

15: Do this assignment only after having read "The Enlightenment" and done the assigned writing. Using the on-line Study Guide, then read Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary: have the following articles read and notes taken about them to turn in at the beginning of class, at least 50 words covering more than one or two articles: Abbe, Ame, Amour-propre, Athee, atheisme, Beau, beaute, Bien (tout est, Bornes de l'esprit humaine, Catechisme chinois, Certain, certitude, Chaine des evenements, Credo). As you read, also mentally try to find the answers to as many of the study questions in the Study Guide as you can.

 

17: Film: Knowledge or Certainty [1617] Before coming to class, read the online study guide; during the film, take notes; at the end of class, turn in a brief written response to the film addressing something in its contents, at least 50 words. Do not "review" the film; discuss its ideas.

 

22: Music Lecture Video #2 [r472]: Bach. Do assigned writing in class—at least 50 words—and turn it in at the end of class.

 

24: Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary: have the following articles read and notes taken about them to turn in at the beginning of class, at least 50 words: Egalite, Enthousiasme, Etat, gouvernements, Fanatisime, Foi, Guerre, Liberte de pensee, Prejuges, Secte, Theiste, Tolerance, Tyrannie. Using the online study guide, write answers to some of the study questions, at least 50 words total.

 

29: Library session, introduction to the research paper.

 

Sign up for library research topics. Be sure to attend. This is not a general library orientation, but a specialized presentation on sources you will need to use for doing this assignment. Look at "Suggested Research Topics for Humanities 303" online before coming to class and tentatively identify two or three topics you would like to work on. You may make up your own topic with my permission. See me first.

 

Although it is aimed primarily at off-campus students, you will also find much useful information in the Web page "Research Paper Assignment" http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/research.html.

 

* First paper due, on Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, 600 words. Be sure to read "Helpful Hints for Writing Papers" before beginning this assignment. Design your own topic or choose one of the following, using details from Voltaire which demonstrate your understand of his writings: freedom, free will and determinism, religion, tolerance, government, relativism. You may argue with him, but only if you present fully all relevant evidence on both sides. You must use material from two or more articles. If you have trouble choosing a topic or are uncertain whether your topic is acceptable, ask for help!

 

31: Read the Introduction to Romanticism  at  http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/romanticism.html and write 50 words about the information and ideas on that page to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

Using the online Faust Study Guide, read Job: Chapters 1 & 2; Goethe: Faust: Introduction, Prologue in Heaven. Write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

February

 

5: Video: The Art of the Western World, 6: An Age of Reason, An Age of Passion [12396] (Antoine Watteau: Departure from Cythera, Robert Adams, Francois Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, Jacques Lemercier: Palais-Royal, Charles Perrault: Colonnade of the Louvre, Germain Soufflot: Pantheon, Giambattista Piranesi: drawings of Paestum, Jacques-Louis David: Death of Marat & The Sabine Women, Vignon: La Madeleine, Dominique Ingres: Odalisque, Jean-Antoine Gros, Francisco de Goya: The Horrors of War, Gericault, Eugene Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, Theodore Gericault: The Raft of the Medusa) Take notes during videotape, turn in 50 words about the art at the end of class.

 

7: Goethe: Faust: Night, Before the City Gate, both scenes titled "Study." Using the online study guide write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

12: Music Lecture Video #3 [r485]: Mozart, Beethoven. Take notes during presentation, turn in 50 words on the music at the end of class.

 

Research paper proposal and annotated bibliography due: a paragraph outlining the topic and a list of sources to be used, with comments for each explaining why the sources will be useful to you. Be sure to include all three elements: the proposal itself, the list of sources, and the comments. If you have not already done so, read "The Research Paper" online at http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/research.html.

 

14: Goethe: Faust: Witch's Kitchen, Street, Evening, Promenade, The Neighbor's House, Street, Garden, A Garden Bower, Wood and Cave, Gretchen's Room, Martha's Garden. Use study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

19: Video: "The Artist Was a Woman" [VHS 18321]. Take notes during presentation, turn in 50 words on the music at the end of class.

 

21: Goethe: Faust: At the Well, City Wall, Night: Street in Front of Gretchen's Door, Cathedral, Walpurgis Night, Dismal Day, Night, Open Field. Using the study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

26:  Note: during the next week and a half, you have little homework other than to write your paper on Faust. This is the time that you are expected to use to also read Zola's Germinal. Because it is a long book, you may want to start reading ahead now and not put it off until the week when it is due.

 

Goethe: Faust: Dungeon, Charming Landscape, Open Country, Palace, Deep Night, Midnight, Large Outer Court of the Palace, Entombment, Mountain Gorges: Forest, Rock and Desert. Using the online study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

28: Before class, read the online Study Guide for La Traviata.

 

Music Lecture Video #5 [r521]: Romanticism: Berlioz, DVD: Verdi: La Traviata, beginning, turn in 50 words on the opera and another 50 words on the other music at the end of class.

 

March

 

4: Verdi: La Traviata (conclusion) [11765], turn in 50 words on the opera at the end of class.

 

6:. Women Composers. Listen to presentation, turn in 50 words about the music at the end of class.

 

* Second paper due, on Goethe's Faust, 1200 words. Counts 20 points. Design your own topic or choose one of the following:, remembering that you will be expected to define your topic further, since most of these are very broad: Faust and Mephistopheles, Faust and Gretchen, Thought vs. Action, Religion, Humor, Music, Magic, Classical Mythology. Again, if you have trouble choosing or defining a topic, ask for help.

 

18: Read "Realism and Naturalism" and turn in 50 words about it at the beginning of class.

 

Zola: Germinal: Parts 1-3. Use Study Guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

20: Zola: Germinal: Parts 4-6. Use Study Guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginnning of class.

 

25: Zola: Germinal: Part 7. Use Study Guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginnning of class. Video: Mary Cassatt [14390]. Write 50 words in class about the video, to be turned in at the end of class.

 

27: Read "19th Century Russian Literature" and write 50 words about it to be turned in at the beginning of class.

 

Dostoyevsky: Notes from Underground: Part One. Use the study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

April

 

1: Dostoyevsky: Notes from Underground: Part Two. Use the study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class..

 

3: Videotape: The Art of the Western World, 7: A Fresh View Impressionism and Post-Impressionism [12397] (Courbet, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Whistler, Pissarro, Sargent, Cassatt, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh, Signac, Bernard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Valadon, Cezanne), Impressionist art show. Write 50 words about the presentations to be turned in at the end of class.

 

* Research paper due. 20 points; required revised version due April 29.

 

8: Read "The Influence of Nietzsche," taking notes, write 50 words about this page to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Translator's Preface, beginning through "On the Three Metamorphoses." Use study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

10: Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Teachers of Virtue" through "On the Flies of the Marketplace." Use study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class.

 

15: Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On Chastity" through through the end of the First Part ("On the Gift-Giving Virtue." Use study guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in at the beginning of class..

 

Music Videotape Lecture 6 [r559]: Impressionist Music: Debussy & Ravel. Turn in 50 words on the music at the end of class.

 

17: Read "Misconceptions, Confusions, and Conflicts Concerning Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism" online. Turn in 50 words about it at the beginning of class.

 

Read "Introduction to 19th-Century Socialism" online. Turn in 50 words about it at the beginning of class.

 

Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto: Prologue, Section 1 . Use Study Guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

22: Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto: Sections 2 & 4. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto: Section 2. Use Study Guide, write 50 words answering some of the study questions to turn in.

 

24: Music Video Lecture 7 [r569]: Early 20th Century music.

 

29: * Third paper due, on Zola, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, or Marx, 1200 words minimum. Counts 10 points. If you wrote on one of these authors for your research paper, choose a different one to write on for this assignment. Sample topics on Germinal: Women, Changes in the Miners, Sexuality and Nature, The Mine as Monster. Sample topics on Dostoyevsky: The UM's Assault on the Enlightenment, The Concept of Freedom, Self-Hatred, Fear of Love. Sample topics on Nietzsche (be sure to use more than one passage from the book): Relativism, Freedom, Principal Characteristics of the Overman, Nietzsche and Christianity, Romantic and Enlightenment Aspects. Sample topics on Marx: The Nature of Class Struggle, The Role of the Bourgeoisie in Transforming History, Marx's Answers to his Critics, Advantages and Disadvantages of Communism as Described in the Manifesto.

 

* Final date for cultural event report.

 

* All revised papers due, including revised research paper.

 

Course Work

 

Papers:

 

For this course you will be required to write a series of brief papers. Note the length specified by your course syllabus, which does not include notes or list of sources. Minimum paper lengths are so extremely short in this class that anyone desiring a high grade would be advised to write a somewhat longer one. Any paper shorter than the minimum assigned will receive a 0 for an incomplete assignment. Except for meeting the very low minimum number of words, don't concentrate on length, but try to make your papers as detailed, well-organized, and interesting as possible.

 

If you have trouble with your printer, you may bring in the paper on a disk or removeable drive or send it to me by e-mail attachment. Printer problems are never an excuse for not getting a paper in on time.

 

Regular papers are not necessarily research papers, and it is possible to receive maximum points on a paper without doing research for it, although papers incorporating good library work will normally receive higher grades. Suggested topics are listed on your syllabus. You should choose a topic you are particularly interested in, not try to guess what I want you to write. When I can learn something new from a paper, I am pleased. If you have difficulty thinking of a topic, see or call me. I am also happy to look over rough drafts and answer questions about proposed topics. In addition, one paper per semester will be a required library research paper incorporating information gathered from scholarly books and articles (not just Web pages and reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias). For more details on how to write papers for this class, see "Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers." For details on how to write the research paper for this class, see the page entitled "Research Paper Assignment".

 

Papers are due at the beginning of class on the day specified in the syllabus. Do not cut class to finish a paper. Papers may always be submitted before the due date if you wish. There is no midterm or final examination in this class.

 

The following elements are taken into consideration when I grade your papers: 1) You must convince me that you have read and understood the material involved. 2) You must have something interesting to say about it. 3) Originality counts—easy, common topics tend to earn lower grades than difficult ones done well. 4) Significant writing (spelling, punctuation, usage) errors will be marked on each paper before it is returned to you. If there are more than a few you must identify the errors and correct them (by hand, on the same paper, without retyping it) and hand the paper back in before a grade will be recorded for you. 5) I look for unified essays on a well-defined topic with a clear title and coherent structure. 6) I expect you to support your arguments with references to the text, often including quotations appropriately introduced and analyzed (but quote only to make points about the material quoted, not simply for its own sake). 7) You must do more than merely summarize the plot of the works you have read. See "Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers" for more information.

 

Research papers are especially graded on proper use of sources and coherence. Research papers when first handed in must be the complete product: minimum length, notes, bibliography, etc. If you want to have me look at an incomplete rough draft before the due date, I will be happy to do so. Your research should be complete before the due date for the first draft.

 

Late Papers:

 

If you think you have a valid excuse (medical, etc.) for not getting a paper in on time, let me know in advance (phone) if you can. Choosing to work on other classes rather than this one is never an acceptable excuse for handing in a paper late. Because of my make-up policy (see below), it almost always makes more sense to send in even a poorly-done, rushed paper than none at all. Papers sent in late with no excuse will not receive a passing grade. To pass the course you must hand in all assigned papers. Do not assume you will be allowed to hand in work late. Pay careful attention to due dates on the syllabus.

 

Revised Papers:

 

You may not make up a paper which you have failed to hand in. However, if you do hand in a paper and are dissatisfied with your grade, after consulting with me, you may revise your paper and have your grade raised if it is significantly improved. You are required the revise the research paper once unless your first draft earns an A. Other revisions will be handled on an individual basis, and limits will be set as to the number of revisions allowed and the time allowed to hand them in. Simply substituting phrases that I have suggested to improve your writing does not result in an improved grade. You have to make the sort of substantial changes I suggest in the note I make at the end of your paper.

 

Cultural Event Assignment:

 

Humanities 303 students will attend a cultural event relating to the 18th or 19th centuries and report on it in a 600-word paper which will be graded like the other papers in the course (worth 10 points).

 

Announcements of qualifying events will be posted online. If you want to attend an appropriate event elsewhere during Spring break, check it out with me in advance.

 

Study Questions:

 

For each of the reading assignments, the study guide online contains a series of study questions which I want you to think about. It is your assignment to mentally answer as many of these questions as you can while you read, and to write at least 50 words answering some of them to turn in at the beginning of the class in which we discuss the assignment. When an assignment that you are to write a number of words, it means that is the lower limit. You can always write more.

 

Make sure you can discuss all parts of each week's assignment—not just the beginning. Show that you are thinking seriously about these questions. These study question assignments are graded pass/fail (I will let you know quickly if you have done an inadequate one). You must miss or fail no more than five of these Speakeasy discussion assignments to pass the course.

 

Exams:

 

There is no midterm or final examination in this class.

 

E-mails:

 

I will be sending out occasional class announcements via e-mail using the WSU system. However, this means that you must have a valid e-mail address that you actually use listed in the WSU directory. To make sure you are listed in the directory go to http://www.wsu.edu/and click "People," and search for your name (last name first, no comma). If the Email field is blank or lists an address other than the one you actually use, you need to log into "myWSU" and create an account.

 

If you do not wish to use your wsu.edu address to read your mail, set up mail forwarding in "myWSU"to forward your official mail to whatever e-mail address you prefer.

 

Grading

 

Again, to pass the course you must complete all papers. The research paper especially is not optional. Note that you will not receive a letter grade on your research paper until after it has been revised in response to my initial comments on it.

 

Grading of daily writings

 

Attendance and participation in the course are measured by the notes you turn in at the beginning of class. Together the written contributions count as 20% of your grade. Contributions are graded on a pass-fail basis. Assume they have been counted unless I make a response to what you have written saying it is inadequate.

 

The number of points for each paper is indicated on the syllabus with the paper assignment. For a 10-point paper, 9.5 or above=A, 9.0-9.4=A, 8.8-8.9=B+, 8.3-8.7=B, 8.0-8.2=B-, 7.8-7.9=C+, 7.3-7.7=C, 7.0-7.2=C, 6.5-6.9=D, anything below 6.5=F. Double these numbers to get the appropriate scale for a 20-point assignment.

 

Course Work       Points    Percent of Final Grade

Voltaire paper                                      10             10%

Faust paper                                             20             20%

Third paper                                            20             20%

Research paper                                     20             20%

Cultural event report                        10             10%

Daily Writings                                     20             20%

TOTALS                                                    100           100%

 

Grade    Points             Grade    Points

A              9.5 or above                   C      7.3–7.7

A–            9.0–9.4            C–            7.0–7.2

B+            8.8–8.9            D              6.5–6.9

B               8.3–8.7            F               6.5 & Below

B–            8.0–8.2                               

C+            7.8–7.9                               

 

Standards for grading papers:

 

All assigned papers must be turned in to pass the course.

 

A

Topics are challenging, often original; papers are well organized, filled with detail, and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with detailed attention being paid to opposing arguments and evidence. Papers receiving an "A" are usually somewhat longer than the minimum assigned, typically a page or so longer, though this all depends on the compactness of your writing style—a paper which is long and diffuse does not result in a higher grade and a very compact, exceptionally well-written paper will occasionally receive an "A." The writing should be exceptionally clear and generally free of mechanical errors.

 

B

Topics are acceptable, papers well organized, containing some supporting detail, and demonstrate an above-average knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with some attention being paid to opposing argument and evidence. Writing is above average, containing only occasional mechanical errors. A "B" is given for above-average work.

 

C

Topics are acceptable, but simple. Paper are poorly organized, containing inadequate detail, demonstrating only partial knowledge of the topic (focusing only on one short passage from a work or some minor aspect of it). Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is average or below, and mechanical errors are numerous. Paper does not appear to have been proofread carefully. A "C" is given for average work.

 

D

Inappropriately chosen topic does not demonstrate more than a minimal comprehension of the topic. Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is poor, filled with mechanical errors. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. A "D" is given for barely acceptable work.

 

F

Paper is shorter than the minimum length required. Topic is unacceptable because it does not cover more than an incidental (or unassigned) portion of the work or does not reveal a satisfactory level of knowledge . Generalizations are unsupported with evidence and opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is not of acceptable college-level quality. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. An "F" is given for unsatisfactory work.

 

Statement on Disabilities

 

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC). All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Room 205). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.

 

Academic Integrity

 

As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. To maintain the academic integrity of the community, the University cannot tolerate acts of academic dishonesty including any forms of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication. Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty.

 

Anyone plagiarising in this class will fail the course and be reported to student conduct.

Posted by Paul Brians January 5, 2008.