Introduction to HumanitiesProfessor Will Adams • Wadams5@valenciacollege.edu
Office hours by appointment • Building 1, Room 104
Mondays & Wednesdays, 7:30 – 8:45 AM
I think it would be a good idea
- Mahatma Gandhi, when asked about western civilization
Introduction to Humanities is a three credit hour course that familiarizes the student with the
world of humanities. Students will explore the essential concepts, historical evolution, and
fundamental nature of art, religion, architecture, music, language, politics, and philosophy.
These concepts will be presented and dissected by the professor so that the student will
understand how they continue to impact the contemporary world.
To understand the continuation and evolution of the human experience by thinking
critically about humanity’s artistic, cultural, and intellectual development.
To learn of diverse civilizations’ contributions to the spheres of politics, religion, and art; as
well as to analyze how and why those contributions helped shape the contemporary
To learn skills essential to critical thinking and synthesis of thought by carrying out
scholarly research and authoring thoughtful essays.
To attend cultural events in order to recognize the continued relevance of the sometimes-
ancient ideas being discussed throughout the class’s duration.
To analyze the philosophical development of humankind as a civilization and how that
may apply to today’s societal ideals.
Gloria K. Fiero, Landmarks in Humanities
Additional readings as assigned by instructor
1. Attendance & Class Participation 25%
Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting, and count as part of
the attendance & participation grade.
The professor should hear each student’s voice at least once per class meeting.
Tardiness of more than 15 minutes after the scheduled beginning of class constitutes an
Please be aware that, under Valencia’s Attendance Policy, there is no such thing as an
2. Cultural Event with Written Evaluation 10%
You will be required to attend one cultural event throughout the class’s duration.
The instructor, throughout the class’s duration, may suggest various events to you, but
it is ultimately your own responsibility to find and attend an approved cultural event.
Proof of attendance at said event must be furnished (i.e. ticket stub, program, souvenir,
A two-page “reaction” (i.e. non-research) paper is required. Be sure to answer the
following questions: What did I do? What did I think of it? What did I learn?
3. Research Project 20%
One four-five page written research project is required.
Proper MLA style citation should be used for all written assignments.
One draft may be turned in for the professor’s review two weeks prior to the due date.
Wikipedia = A grade of zero. No exceptions.
All research projects should be stapled or bound by the student. This is not the
A detailed research project description will be distributed at a later date.
4. Quizzes 15%
Four short-form quizzes will be administered throughout the course of the class.
These quizzes will not be announced beforehand
The format in which the quizzes are presented may vary.
5. Examinations 30%
Four long-form examinations will be administered, once at week 3, once at midterm,
once at week 11, and once at final class meeting.
Examinations will not be cumulative in their subject matter.
You will be given a study guide for exams, at the instructor’s discretion.
100 – 90% = A
89 – 80% = B
79 – 70% = C
69 – 60% = D
59 – 0% = F
Schedule of Class Meetings
Monday, August 26
Distribute & discuss syllabus
Proust Questionnaire homework
Read for next class: Pages 1 – 5
Wednesday, August 28
Connecting with the Cosmos: Art of the Stone Age lecture
Cave art class activity
Read for next class: Pages 6 – 13
Monday, September 2 LABOR DAY HOLIDAY
Wednesday, September 4
What The Water Gave Us: Ancient Mesopotamia & The
Invention of Writing lecture
Translation in-class activity.
Read for next class: Pages 13 – 20
Monday, September 9
Architecture of the Afterlife: Embalming & Tombs in Ancient
Sarcophagus Lid homework assignment
Read for next class: Pages 29 – 35
Wednesday, September 11 Enthroned Upon Olympus: The Mythology of Ancient Greece
Monday, September 16
Begin watching O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Read for next class: Pages 41 – 58
Wednesday, September 18
Conclude watching O Brother Where Art Thou?
For Love of Wisdom: Ancient Greek Philosophy lecture
Read for next class: Pages 73 – 83
Monday, September 23
We Who Are About To Die Salute You: The Coliseum’s Bloody
History & Its Legacy lecture
Watch Where Did It Come From? Ancient Rome & The
Read for next class: Pages 130 – 137
Wednesday, September 25
The Calm Before the Storm: Feudalism, The Manor, &
Medieval Cities lecture
Read for next class: Pages 147 – 156
Monday, September 30 Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Black Death lecture
Read for next class: Pages 125 – 157
Wednesday, October 2
The Majesty of Monasticism: Preserving the Past for
Read for next class: Pages 167 & 170
Monday, October 7 The Inquisition: Investigating the Human Soul lecture
Read for next class: Pages 157 – 165
Wednesday, October 9
Notre Dame: Crown Jewel of Cathedrals lecture
Stained glass activity
Monday, October 14 EXAM #2
Wednesday, October 16 RESEARCH PROJECT ASSIGNED & LIBRARY VISIT
Read for next class: Pages 173 – 182
Monday, October 21
Fooling the Eye: Brunelleschi, Alberti, & Linear Perspective
Two-point perspective activity
Two-point perspective homework
Read for next class: Pages 183 – 188, 219 – 222
Wednesday, October 23 Will in the World: Shakespeare & Elizabethan Theatre lecture
Monday, October 28 Begin watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wednesday, October 30 Conclude watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Read for next class: Pages 226 – 235
Monday, November 4
The Noble Stillness: Baroque Still-Life Painting lecture
Read for next class: Pages 269 – 275, 277 – 280
Wednesday, November 6 The Palace of Versailles: Seat of an Absolute Monarch lecture
Monday, November 11 EXAM #3
Begin watching Marie Antoinette
Wednesday, November 13 Conclude watching Marie Antoinette
Read for next class: Pages 293 – 303
Monday, November 18 “L’Etat C’est Moi”: Louis XIV’s Absolutist Rule lecture
Wednesday, November 20 RESEARCH PROJECT PRESENTATIONS
Read for next class: Pages 306 – 308
Monday, November 25 The Triumph of Liberty: The Enlightenment, Modern
Democracy, and the American & French Revolutions lecture
Wednesday, November 27 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Monday, December 2
The Triumph of Liberty: The Enlightenment, Modern
Democracy, and the American & French Revolutions lecture
Read for next class: Pages 326 – 337
Wednesday, December 4
CULTURAL EVENT DUE
Seeking The Divine: The Three Major World Religions
Monday, December 9 FINAL EXAM – 7:30 AM
GUIDELINES FOR WRITTEN WORK
All written work should be set in Times New Roman 12 point font, with double spacing and
standard 1” page margins.
Additionally, each written assignment (with the exception of the research project) should
begin with the following header, placed at the top, left side of the first page:
Your First & Last Name
HUM1020 – 7:30 AM
Prof. Will Adams
Assignment Due Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
Minimum page totals for any written assignment require that the written page be filled in
its entirety to count as one page.
In other words, if a written assignment requires 2 pages, but the student only writes 1.5,
the student will not earn all possible points for the assignment.
Finally, the student must staple assignments of more than one page; the instructor will
not provide a stapler.
EXTRA CREDIT POLICY
Each quiz or test throughout the class’s duration will include one extra credit question
equal to 10% of the quiz or test’s total point value (i.e. A five point extra credit question
for a fifty point test).
In addition, extra credit may be earned by writing more than the required number of pages
for any written assignment. Extra credit for extra written work will be given up to a
maximum of 15% of the assignment’s total point value.
No other extra credit opportunities will be available.
LATE WORK & MAKE-UP POLICY
No late work will be accepted.
Quizzes or exams must be taken on, or before, the date assigned – and only with the
instructor’s explicit consent.
The final exam must be taken on the date published for final exams.
Students are expected to attend every class. Attendance will be taken and will count as a
portion of the final grade. After the FOURTH absence, a student has missed two full weeks
of class. A notice of Excessive Absences may be issued and the student may be withdrawn
at the professor’s discretion.
It is always the student’s responsibility to contact the professor about issues that may lead
to excessive absences.
It is also the student’s responsibility to arrange to receive class notes or handouts from
missed classes from the blog or fellow students. Do not contact the instructor for this
information without viewing the blog or contacting your classmates first! Please note that
there is no such thing as an “Excused Absence” (even with a doctor’s note, death in the
family, etc.) under Valencia’s Attendance Policy.
Plagiarism is intellectual theft and will not be tolerated. Presentation of the ideas and words
of others as if they are your own work constitutes plagiarism. Direct use of another author’s
words or ideas, as well as paraphrasing must be cited. Plagiarism in any work will result in a
grade of zero for that assignment.
Conduct yourselves with maturity and respect for others.
COMPUTER & EQUIPMENT USE POLICY
Use of computers in the Business, IT, and Public Service classrooms at Valencia
Community College is restricted to those activities designated by the instructor to enhance
the class materials. Any other use is strictly forbidden. Inappropriate use includes, but is
not limited to:
Use of computer to send E-mail or access Internet sites not specifically assigned in class.
Use of computer for job, internship, homework or other activities not assigned in class.
Modifying any hardware or software system configuration or setting.
Use of computers in the departmental open lab is limited to those activities involved with
preparing homework or coursework in this department and is subject to the same
restriction as listed above.
Computer use is remotely monitored; any student using computers inappropriately may be
subject to dismissal from class or banishment from the lab. Subsequent offense may be
sent to the campus administration for further disciplinary action.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a
notification from the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) and discuss specific needs
with the professor, preferably during the first two weeks of class.
The Office for Students with Disabilities determines accommodations based on appropriate
documentation of disabilities.
This outline may be altered, at the instructor’s discretion, during the course of the term. It is
the responsibility of the student to make any adjustments as announced.
Introduction to Humanities
I, ____________________________________, have read the course syllabus for
Fall/Spring/Summer semester 20_____, understand my responsibilities as a student in this
course, and agree to abide by the policies and deadlines outlined herein.