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/W 1-2 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.

Though many moderns view themselves as rational subjects governed by Enlightenment we will investigate the chaotic and irrational currents animating the Modern Era from the early 19th century to the postcolonial present. Despite a widespread and often unquestioning conviction that “capital P Progress” governs societies’ development, 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. In its broadest sense art is an effort to contend with this confusion.

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

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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)

Baum, Grand Hotel (Austria 1929)

Ngugi, A Grain of Wheat (Kenya rev. ed. 1987)

Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (USA 1889)

Title: Der Totentanz (Dance of Death); Image ID: SS35559_35559_26074659

Creator: Hasemann, Arminius (German sculptor and printmaker, born 1888); Date: 1926; Material: woodcut (process); Measurements: 15 1/4 x 15 5/8 inches; Repository: Wriston Art Center Galleries, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; Accession Number: 65.009

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

Eagleton, “What is a Novel?”: EagletonNovel

Fearing, “Greenlight”: greenlight

Fulcher, Capitalism (excerpt): Cap

Gray, “An Illusion with a Future”: GrayIllusion

*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

FRANCE - HONORE DE BALZAC

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850). Daguerréotype de Louis-Auguste Bisson (1814-1876). Paris, Maison de Balzac.

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 PolComp303 (writing sample); Print and read Williams, “Dominant, Residual, Emergent”

In-class: Group work on part one of Polcom assignment. Discussion.

WEEK TWO

9/2

LABOR DAY NO CLASS

9/4

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

Handout: “Green Light”

Clip:

WEEK THREE

9/9

Due: NKWModern; Eagleton, “What is a Novel?”

Clip: Heartbeat

9/11

Due: PG to page 82

Clip: Ragtime

WEEK FOUR

9/16

LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD

Due: PG as much as you can. Try to finish it.

9/18

Due: PG as much as you can. Try to finish it.

WEEK FIVE

9/23

Due: PG as much as you can. Try to finish it.

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

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