Great basin college course syllabus

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HUM 101: Introduction to the Humanities (3 cr.)

Spring 2009

Instructor: Dale Griffith, Ph.D. (Pahrump site)


Office:  Pahrump Valley Ctr. #101A

                        Phone: 755-727-2008; Fax: 775-727-2014




Office Hours (Note: PVC refers to the campus at 551 E Calvada; Basin refers to the campus at 1541 E Basin)

Monday: 3-4 pm Basin
Tuesday: 2:30-4 pm PVC
Wednesday: 3-4 pm Basin
Thursday: 2:30-4 pm PVC
And by appointment

Texts and Materials:   Perry, Marvin, Sources of the Western Tradition, 3rd. Vol. 1. (required). Please note that the cheapest way to purchase this book is through either or I do not care which edition a student purchases, simply try to get the cheapest one available (we are smart enough to work with several different editions in class!). Some important readings are not in this volume of the source book, and these will be sent to students via fax.


Catalog Description:

This course is an introduction to the humanities through a study of seven major arts including film, drama, music, literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Each of these arts is considered from the perspective of historical development, the elements used in creating works of art, meaning and form, and criticism and critical evaluation. Prerequisite: ENG 101 reading level


Course Policies:

Because Humanities 101 is a hybrid course, we will be meeting via IAV and online. The weeks that we do not meet IAV, you will be expected to contribute to online discussions. Your participation in these discussions will be graded.


Reading and Observation Assignments:

Preparation for class discussion requires out-of-class reading, please try to keep abreast of the reading assignments.


Student Evaluation:


The final grade will be determined by the following criteria:

  • Regular class attendance

  • Participation in class discussions (20%)

  • Mid-term (40%)

  • Final examination (40%)



Following is the breakdown of percentages and letter grade equivalents.

100-95      A  

94-90        A-

89-86        B+

85-83        B

82-80        B-

79-76        C+

75-73        C

72-70        C-

69-66        D+

65-63        D

62-60        D-

59 and below  F


The College uses a grade system which awards +’s and –‘s and gives a W until the 13th week of class, after which an F will be given. A failing student must formally withdraw before the Friday of the 13th week to avoid earning an F for the course. According to the policy established by the College, to receive and Incomplete, a student must have completed at least ¾ of the course with a grade of C or better, but be unable to complete the class for good cause.



The ability to read texts critically and to be able to discern the presuppositions and implications and to evaluate their effectiveness

Classroom discussions; mid-term and final exam

The ability to appreciate different literary and artistic forms and to perceive the development of cultural forms

Classroom discussions and presentations

An awareness of how the present is lined to the past through formative ideas

Ability to express ideas effectively in both written and oral form

Mid-term and final examination
Classroom discussions, presentations, written examinations


 Policy of Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to be honest in all their academic endeavors. If ideas are borrowed, the source must be given credit using standard MLA documentation rules. Internet sources are subject to documentation as well. Plagiarism violates the standards of intellectual honesty. Students who violate such standards are subject to punishment ranging from failing the class to dismissal from the College.


Grade Appeal of Professional Conduct:

Any student with concerns or academic problems, or needing special assistance, may discuss such matters firstly with their instructor---and as soon as possible. Please see page 50 of the General Catalogue 2006-2007 on the procedure which deals with such issues.


Student Conduct:

Students are expected to observe the conventions of common courtesy: no cell phones in class prompt attendance, courteous listening, and attention to due dates.



Regular attendance is critical to success in this course. GBC’s attendance policy allows up to three absences in a three-credit class without penalty, but those should be used to cover emergency absences. In a 3-credit class held once a week, the absences should not add up to more than three total hours. Instructors may drop students for excessive absence. (See page 49 of GBC’s General Catalog 2007-2008 for the complete attendance policy.)


ADA Statement

GBC supports providing equal access for students with disabilities. An advisor is available to discuss appropriate accommodations with students. Please contact the ADA Officer (Julie Byrnes) in Elko at 775.753.2271 at your earliest convenience to request timely and appropriate accommodations.

Reading list for Humanities 101

I do know that students, especially if you have purchased used copies, will have differing pages for the readings, so I am simply entering the title of the selections. Besides the introduction to the chapter, please read each individual introduction to the specific readings. The readings for week fourteen will be sent to students as well as a selection of art work.
Week 1: Chapter 1: The Near East. Please read the following selections:
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Guidelines for the Ruler

The Assyrian Empire: Inscription of Tiglathpileser I

Week 2: Chapter 2: The Hebrews. Please read the following selections:

The Humaneness of Hebrew Law

The Age of Classical Prophecy (read only “Isaiah: Peace and Humanity.”)
Week 3: Chapter 3: The Greeks. Please read the following selections:
The Expansion of Reason; (Please read the full section including: “Hippocrates: The Sacred Disease”; “Thucydides: Method of Historical Inquiry”; “Critias: Religion as a Human Invention.”)
Week 4: Chapter 3, cont.
Socrates: The Rational Individual (Read only the introduction)

Plato: The Philosopher King
Week 5: Chapter 3, cont.
Plato: The Republic
(Read only “The Cave,” which begins with the editors blurb, “Plato said that genuine philosophers are…”)

Aristotle: Science and Politics (Read only introduction); Aristotle: History of Animals and Politics (Read section “Politics” only)
Week 6: Chapter 4. The Roman Republic. Please read the following selections:
Lucretius: Denunciation of Religion

Cicero: Advocate of Stoicism

Cato the Elder; Hostility to Greek Philosophy

Chapter 5: The Roman Empire: Please read the following section:

Roman Stoicism (Please read: “Seneca: The Moral Epistles”; Marcus Aurelius: Meditations”)
Week 7: Chapter 6: Early Christianity. Please read the following selections:
The Teachings of Jesus (Please read all selections in this section)

Christianity and Greco-Roman Learning (Please read: “Tertullian: What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?” and “Clement of Alexandria: In Defense of Greek Learning”)

Athenagoras: Sexuality and Family Life:
Week 8: Chapter 7: The Early Middle Ages: Please read the following selection:
The Byzantine Cultural Achievement

Theophylact Simocattes: The Value of Reason and History

(This reading is not in the 5th edition, please let me know if you have this edition so that I can send a copy)

Week 9: Chapter 9: The Renaissance: Please read the following selections:
Human Dignity

Pico della Mirandola: Oration on the Dignity of Man

Break with Medieval Political Theory

Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince

Week 10: Chapter 11: Early Modern Society and Politics: Please read the following selections:

Justification of Absolute Monarchy by Divine Right

James I: True Law of Free Monarchies and A Speech to Parliament

A Secular Defense of Absolutism

Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

The English Declaration of Rights
Week 11: Chapter 13: The Enlightenment: Please read the following selections:
The Enlightenment Outlook

Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment?

Political Liberty

John Lock: Second Treatise on Government

Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence

Voltaire: A Plea for Tolerance and Reason
Week 13: Chapter 13 cont: Please read the following selections:
Rousseau: Political Reform

Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract

On the Progress of Humanity

Marquis de Condorcet: Progress of the Human Mind
Week 14: The following readings are not in the book and will be sent to students:
Friedrich Nietzsche: The Will to Power

Friedrich Nietzsche: The Antichrist

Stalingrad: A Turning Point: William Hoffman: Diary of a German Soldier

The Holocaust: Hermann Graebe: Slaughter of the Hews in the Ukraine

Lev Razgon: True Stories: The Routine of Execution
Week 15:

Overview for final examination

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