University of Central Florida

HUM 2020

Encountering the Humanities


Instructor: Bruce Janz

Term: Spring 2007

Time: MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Room: COMM 116(Classroom Building 1)

Phone: 407-823-2273

Credits: 3

Course Page & Resource Page: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~janzb/courses/

Section: 0001 Number: 10498

Office Hours: Click here

Office: Department of Philosophy, Colbourn Hall 411E – Moving in February to new Psychology Bldg.

Email: janzb@mail.ucf.edu

The Fine (But Important) Print


This course is an introduction to humanities ideas, research methods, and approaches to scholarship and creative work. Students will be introduced to diverse tools and approaches for critically examining intellectual, cultural, and creative human expression. By the end of this course, the student should be able to clearly articulate what the humanities are and what a humanities approach to knowledge and human experience is. The student should also have a basic understanding of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. More practically, the student will gain experience in writing and research, and will learn the difference between high-quality work and mediocre work in the humanities. The course will have a unifying example: this term, the example will be "The City". This theme will be examined from various points of view by several faculty members, and students will be guided to think about the ways in which the humanities can provide a rounded, comprehensive understanding of complex human issues. This course serves as the core introductory course for all Humanities majors at UCF.

Required Texts:

  1. Robert DiYanni, Writing About the Humanities, 2nd Edition. Prentice Hall, 2004.
  2. Witold Rybczynski, City Life. New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1995.
  3. Colette Brooks, In the City: Random Acts of Awareness. W. W. Norton & Co., 2002.
  4. Reserve readings in the library.
  5. Web-based Resources, available on the course web page.


1. Library Research Assignment: 10%, due Feb. 12 This assignment will be connected with the library research section of the course. It will also require that you research some issue in the humanities related to the central substantive theme of the course, The City.


2. Midterm: 20% Friday, Feb. 23. You will be tested on the content and skills developed in the first half of the course.


3. Exercises, Reading Summaries, Quizzes: 10%, due at various times throughout the term.


4. Extended Prospectus: 10%, due March 23. This is a proposal for your final paper, related to the central substantive theme of The City. In it, you will need to identify the central topic, question, and thesis of your paper (this may change as you do more research, but it needs to be stated here). This should be 750 words long.


5. Presentation of work: 5%, last few classes. These presentations will be in small groups of about 5 people, as organized by me. Each student will present the research for the final paper to the group, and the others will make suggestions for improvement in the research and the reasoning. Students will be graded on a combination of their presentations (notes will have to be handed in to me) and their suggestions. Students will also grade each other on their presentations as part of their suggestions.


6. Final Paper: 20%, due April 23. This paper is based on your prospectus. It should be 2000-2500 words long.


7. Final Exam: 25%. Monday, April 30, 10 a.m. -12:50 p.m., in the classroom.

Grade Distribution: I will record the assignment grades based on the percentage of the course grade during the term. The letter grade will be calculated only at the end of the course, based on full course grade. The distribution will be as follows:

A: 93-100

B: 83-86

C: 73-76

D: 63-66

A-: 90-92

B-: 80-82

C-: 70-72

D-: 60-62

B+: 87-89

C+: 77-79

D+: 67-69

F: 0-59

Course Schedule: Topics, Readings, Assignments

Readings must be done for the first class of the week in which they are assigned.Each part is scheduled for roughly two weeks' duration. Various faculty members will be involved, and there will be plenty of examples of how to approach the humanities in each section.

Part One: Introduction: What Are The Humanities?

Week 1: Jan. 8, 10, 12

Week 2: Jan. 17, 19 (No class Jan. 15, MLK Day)

Part Two: The Basics: Succeeding as a Humanities Student

Week 3: Jan. 22, 24, 26
Week 4: Jan 29, 31, Feb. 2

Week 5: Feb. 5, 7, 9


Part Three: Classical Humanities

Week 6: Feb. 12, 14, 16

Week 7: Feb. 19, 21, 23


Part Four: Multi-Cultural Humanities

Week 8: Feb. 26, 28 March 2 (Withdrawal by March 2)

Week 9: March 5, 7, 9


Mid-term break, March 12-16

Part Five: Critical Humanities

Week 10: March 19, 21, 23
Week 11: March 26, 28, 30

Week 12: April 2, 4, 6


Part Six: Interdisciplinarity

Week 13: April 9, 11, 13

Part Seven: Presentations and Conclusion

Week 14: April 16, 18, 20

Week 15: April 23

Click Here for The Fine (but Important) Print (details, guidelines, and parameters for the course)