Humanities 303-01: History and Culture
M/W 11-12.15 in HUM 582
Sean Connelly Contact: email@example.com
Office location/ hours in HUM 416 on M 1-2, Tu and by appt.
Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. This is an upper division course. First and second year students need instructor permission to enroll.
Note: the hyperlinks that follow are pdfs.
Avoiding the narcotic of presentism, we will analyze works from a variety of genres– primarily the novel but also including film, poetry, popular music, photography, and painting. Subject to the “common sense” of a determinate situation, how are we to interpret the artifacts and practices of our own time and those of prior periods? How do those meanings change over time? To do so we will develop a vocabulary of keywords including ideology, narrative, dialectics, and the bolded terms in this syllabus.
Modernity— as a historical period, a Civilizational project, and a social experience mediating our relationship to the world– lies at the heart of this course, though we will be focusing on that concept in some very particular ways.
For example, in contradiction to many moderns’ sense of themselves as rational subjects governed by Enlightenment principles, we will investigate the chaotic and irrational currents animating the Modern Era from the early 19th century to the present. As European Romantics and Congolese intellectuals alike have argued, the quest for knowledge as a form of mastery over the natural world and the anarchic forces this project unleashes possesses an incoherent, paradoxical aspect. Despite an often unquestioning conviction that “capital P “Progress“ governs the development of societies, there is abundant evidence that the trajectory of historical change can curl back on itself or jump the tracks altogether. The tempos of modern life hiccup and syncopate, challenging our framework for understanding the world.
Students who do the work will complete the semester with a general knowledge of the Modern, a solid foundation in narratology and film analysis, and a basic critical toolkit with which to analyze cultural production and semiosis.
ARRIVE ON TIME, work completed, with a hard copy of the assigned text. All assignments should be typed and include name/date/course. Only documented absences for medical or legal reasons are excused.
On its own, a cell phone is not an adequate tool with which to pursue a college education. Surely by now everyone knows this. The course blog, for example, is best viewed on a computer. Unless I specifically request it, NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES SHOULD BE USED DURING CLASS.
CHEATING DESTROYS trust between teacher and student. If you can’t trust your teacher, then you deserve a new one. If you can’t trust your students, etc.
As a general rule any ideas/words that are not your own should be cited. Yet intellectual honesty encompasses more than actively avoiding plagiarism. For example, reading a wikipedia entry rather than an assigned novel or allowing others to do your work for you are examples of cheating.
If there’s anything I should know about you as a student, please talk to me RIGHT AWAY and I’ll do my best to help. See also: Disability Program and Resource Center (338-2472 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The SAFE Place – (415) 338-2208; http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/
Counseling and Psychological Services Center – (415) 338-2208; http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/
Additional information on rights and available resources: http://titleix.sfsu.edu
The Work: Grading Rubric
Effort and Engagement (Attendance, verbal participation, in-class work) 25%
Writing Sample 5% (9/4)
3 Keyword Tests 5% each for a total of 15% (9/25, 10/16, 11/4)
Film Presentation (group presentation and written formal analysis) 30% (12/2, 12/4, 12/9)
Final Exam 25% (12/11)
9/2: Labor Day. No class.
9/16: Last day of Drop/Add
*9/25: KW1/ PG COMPLETE
10/14: Yankee COMPLETE
10/21: CR/NC Deadline
*11/4:KW3/ GH COMPLETE
11/11: Veterans’ Day. No Class.
11/20: AGW COMPLETE
12/2, 12/4, 12/9: Film Presentations
12/11: FINAL EXAM
BUY HARD COPIES of the right books! Read with a pencil. Flag significant passages. Always look for patterns. Talk about what you read.
Balzac, Pere Goriot (France 1834) 9780199538751
Baum, Grand Hotel (Austria 1929) 9781590179673
Ngugi, A Grain of Wheat(Kenya rev. ed. 1987)
Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (USA 1889) 9780199540587
Fulcher, Capitalism (excerpt): Cap
*Hawkes, “Faust Among the Witches”: FaustWitches
Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto: ManifestoSec1
Marx, “The Fetishism of the Commodity”: fetishism
Marx, “The Power of Money”: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/power.htm
Taylor, From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation (pp. 191-219): From_BlackLivesMatter_to_Black_Liberation-2
Williams, “Dominant, Residual, Emergent”: WmsDRE
(note: this schedule of readings and screenings is subject to revision. )
First Assignment: Take the Political Compass test. Print a hard copy of your results and bring them to class. This is a graded assignment.
Due: Hard copy of Political Compass test results.
Assignment: Complete part two of the Political Compass Assignment (writing sample)
LABOR DAY NO CLASS
Due: Writing Sample; “Dominant, Residual, Emergent”
Handout: “Green Light”
Due: PG to page 43
LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD
Due: PG to page 82
Due: PG to page 149
Due: PG to page 206
Due: PG to page 263 COMPLETE
Keyword Test #1
Due: Yankee to page 80
Due: Yankee to page 138
Due: Yankee to page 219
Due: Yankee to page 293
Due: Yankee to page 356 COMPLETE
Due: GH to page 47
Keyword Test #2
Due: GH to page 91
Due: GH to page 138
Due: GH to page 178
Due: GH to page 221
Due: GH to page 270 COMPLETE
Keyword Test #3
Due: AGW to page 46
VETERANS’ DAY NO CLASS
Due: AGW to page 124
Due: AGW to page 195
Due: AGW to page 243 COMPLETE
Due: AGW COMPLETE