FA19:HUM303-01

SDavis1912Chinatown

Humanities 303-01: History and Culture

FALL 2019

M/W 11-12.15 in HUM 582

Sean Connelly Contact: connelly@sfsu.edu

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.

The Project:

Note: the hyperlinks that follow are pdfs.

HUM303: History and Culture introduces students to critical perspectives on the relationship between culture and history.

How do texts and context. How do texts  “express” the social values and material conditions of their historical contexts?

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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.

 

Basic Etiquette

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.

Electronic devices

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.

Intellectual Honesty

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.

See http://www.sfsu.edu/~vpsa/judicial/titlev.html

Accessibility

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 dprc@sfsu.edu).

Resources

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

GrandvilleOmnibus.jpg

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)

Important Dates

9/2: Labor Day. No class. 

9/16: Last day of Drop/Add

*9/25: KW1/ PG COMPLETE

10/14: Yankee COMPLETE 

10/16: KW2

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

Required Texts

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

eReader
Abbott, “Defining Narrative”; “Glossary”: abbottdefnarr AbbottGlossary

Bennett et al, eds. Capitalism; Class; Commodity; Fetish; Ideology; Modern; Narrative; Postmodernism; Race; Society ; TextUtopia from New Keywords : A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society

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

Schedule

(note: this schedule of readings and screenings is subject to revision. )

WEEK ONE

8/26

Introduction

First Assignment: Take the Political Compass test. Print a hard copy of your results and bring them to class. This is a graded assignment.

8/28

Due: Hard copy of Political Compass test results. 

Assignment: Complete part two of the Political Compass Assignment (writing sample)

WEEK TWO

9/2

LABOR DAY NO CLASS

9/4

Due: Writing Sample; “Dominant, Residual, Emergent”

Handout: “Green Light”

Clip:

WEEK THREE

9/9

Due: NKWModern

Clip: 

9/11

Due: PG to page 43

WEEK FOUR

9/16

LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD

Due: PG to page 82 

9/18

Due: PG to page 149

WEEK FIVE

9/23

Due: PG to page 206

9/25

Due: PG to page 263 COMPLETE

Keyword Test #1

WEEK SIX

9/30

Due: Yankee to page 80

10/2

Due: Yankee to page 138

WEEK SEVEN

10/7

Due: Yankee to page 219

Clip:

10/9

Due: Yankee to page 293

WEEK EIGHT

10/14

Due: Yankee to page 356 COMPLETE

10/16

Due: GH to page 47

Keyword Test #2

WEEK NINE

10/21

CR/NC DEADLINE

Due: GH to page 91

10/23

Due: GH to page 138

WEEK TEN

10/28

Due: GH to page 178

10/30

Due: GH to page 221

WEEK ELEVEN

11/4

Due: GH to page 270 COMPLETE

Keyword Test #3

11/6

Due: AGW to page 46

WEEK TWELVE

11/11

VETERANS’ DAY NO CLASS

11/13

Due: AGW to page 124

WEEK THIRTEEN

11/18

Due: AGW to page 195

11/20

Due: AGW

WEEK FOURTEEN

FALL BREAK

WEEK FIFTEEN

12/2

Due: AGW to page 243 COMPLETE

Film Presentations

12/4

Due: AGW COMPLETE

Film Presentations

WEEK SIXTEEN

12/9

Film Presentations

12/11

FINAL EXAM