University of Central Florida

HUM 2211H

Honors Humanistic Traditions


Instructor: Bruce Janz

Term: Fall 2005

Time: Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:15

Room: BHC 131 (Burnett Honors College)

Phone: 407-823-2273

Credits: 3

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

Office: Department of Philosophy, Colbourn Hall 411E

Office Hours: Click here

Email: janzb@mail.ucf.edu


This course will be an interdisciplinary, multicultural, historical survey of central ideas and questions raised by human thought and representation (art, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, religion) up to 1500. Students will be required both to recognize ideas and examples of cultural and intellectual production, and understand their meaning and significance. Students will also be encouraged to apply these ideas to larger questions of the nature of human existence. The course will have honors content.

Specific Objectives:

Required Texts:

  1. Fiero, Gloria. The Humanistic Tradition. Vols. 1-3. 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  2. Web-based Resources, available on the course web page.


This is a Gordon Rule course, as mandated by the State of Florida. This means that each student must write a minimum of 6000 words* to meet the class and Gordon Rule requirements. This course provides reinforcement in these college level academic skills:

  1. Literal and critical reading comprehension;
  2. Essay skills (e.g., selecting a subject, formulating a thesis, providing supporting details, revising for clarity and conformity);
  3. Writing skills (e.g., sentence structure and punctuation).

Failure to submit a major writing assignment will prevent Gordon Rule credit from being awarded. Students must earn a C in the course for the Gordon Rule to apply.

*Minimum on the writing assignments in this course is 6250 words. Maximum is 8500 words.

1. Identifying Important Questions: (2% x 10 = 20%, Due at the latest at the beginning of the week in which the chapter is assigned) Over the term, you will develop 10 central questions in the humanities that arise from the texts. These questions should be ones which address some issue of human concern connected with the cultural and historical material in the chapters (ideas, images, writings, historical events), and may connect the past with the present, and one culture with another. Each discussion should state the question, connect it to the course material, and analyze it to determine its meaning. The discussion might also connect the question to contemporary issues, as well as suggest disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to addressing the question. I am not asking you to give a definitive answer to the question, but rather give it context as well as a research program. There will be more discussion of this in class. Each of these should be between 200 and 300 words long (please include a word count on your paper). These are due at the beginning of the week in which the chapter is assigned in class (or before, if you wish). If two chapters are listed for a given week, both questions would be due at the beginning of that week.

2. Developing Important Questions: (15%, Due Nov. 10) Take three of the questions you have written about. In 750-1000 words (please include a word count), expand the research on those questions. Do some background reading to determine what has been written about the questions.

3. Writing Important Questions (Final Paper): (20%, Due Nov. 29) Take one of the questions you developed, and write a 2000-2500 word paper (please include a word count)in which you develop an answer to the question. This paper should use at least four scholarly sources.

4. Midterm Tests: (10% each) There will be two midterm tests: Sept. 22 and Oct. 25. They will be based on the readings, the web resources, and the class discussions.

5. Final Exam: (25% of final grade, Thursday Dec. 8, 10:00 a.m., in the classroom).

Grade Distribution: I will record the assignment grades based on the percentage of the course grade during the term (that is, the midterm will be recorded as a grade out of 20, although it may be marked out of another number). 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

Weekly Reading and Assignment Schedule

Week 1: Aug. 23, 25

  • Reading: Fiero intro, I

Week 2: Aug. 30, Sept. 1

  • Reading: Fiero 2, 3

Week 3: Sept. 6, 8

  • Reading: Fiero 4

Week 4: Sept. 13, 15

  • Reading: Fiero 5

Week 5: Sept. 20, 22

  • Reading: Fiero 6, 7
  • First Midterm Sept. 22

Week 6: Sept. 27, 29

  • Reading: Fiero 8, 9

Week 7: Oct. 4, 6

  • Reading:Fiero 10, 11

Week 8: Oct. 11, 13

  • Reading: Fiero 12

Week 9: Oct. 18, 20

  • Reading: Fiero 13, 14

Week 10: Oct. 25, 27

  • Reading: Fiero 15
  • Second Midterm Oct. 25

Week 11: Nov. 1, 3

  • Reading: Fiero 16

Week 12: Nov. 8, 10

  • Reading: Fiero 17
  • Developing Important Questions Due Nov. 10

Week 13: Nov. 15, 17

  • Reading: Fiero 18

Week 14: Nov. 22

  • Reading: Fiero 19

Week 15: Nov. 29, Dec. 1

  • Review
  • Writing Important Questions Due Nov. 29

The Fine (but Important) Print

STANDARDS FOR PAPERS: I expect papers to be typewritten, in essay form (that is, not point form). They should be in 12 point Times New Roman font, with one inch margins, and double-spaced. Pages must be numbered, and the paper should be single-sided (that is, do not use both sides of the sheet of paper when printing). There should be a title page which includes the title of the paper, the name of the author, the date, the course, and the name of the professor. DO NOT put the paper in a folder, binder or plastic sleeve. I will be taking grammar, spelling, and structure into account - good ideas cannot be communicated with poor form. If the grammar or structure in a paper is severely flawed, I reserve the right to give a paper back to the student for revision without a grade (or with a reduction in grade), or fail the paper. As for citation style, I will be using the MLA format. For citing electronic sources in MLA, go here. I am open to other recognized formats (e.g., Chicago, Turabian), but whatever format you use must be used consistently. Note that the library has obtained a site license for a number of good citation programs, such as Endnote and ProCite, which can aid in proper citation form. See the library's home page for these. For information on documentation styles, see http://www.uwc.ucf.edu/Writing%20Resources/writing_resources_home.htm#documentation

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF PAPERS: It is usually preferable to submit your paper electronically to me. It should be sent to janzb@mail.ucf.edu as an attachment. The paper needs to be in Word (preferred), Adobe Acrobat (pdf), Rich Text Format (rtf), or WordPerfect format (wpd). It must appear identical to how it would look if you were to hand it in as a physical document (in other words, with a title page at the beginning and reference list at the end). You will receive typed comments on the paper, and it will be returned electronically in the same format as it was sent. Do not include .exe files or anything that might contain a virus, and please scan your document with a virus program before you send it. Please identify yourself and the course in the subject line of the message (e.g., "<Your Name>, <Paper title> for <course name and number>"). Please make sure as well that I can reach you at the email address that you use to send the paper, in case the file does not open. NOTE: You will receive a return email from me when you send your paper in. If you do not receive an email, please assume that the paper was not received, and try contacting me again. If you do not receive confirmation, the paper may not have arrived, and so you will not receive a grade for it. The only proof that I received a paper is an email response from me. Claiming later that you sent it is not good enough, because I don't know whether you really did or not.

WRITING HELP: The University Writing Center (UWC) is a free resource for UCF students. At the UWC, a trained writing consultant will work individually with you on anything you're writing (in or out of class), at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing. Appointments are recommended, but not required. For more information or to make an appointment, visit the UWC website at http://www.uwc.ucf.edu, stop by MOD 608, or call (407) 823-2197.

ATTENDANCE: I expect regular and prompt attendance from members of the class. If you cannot be at a class, let me know before-hand. I reserve the right to not accept assignments from students either if attendance has been a problem, or if a paper is seriously late without a legitimate (in my opinion) reason. This includes any paper or graded activity in the course, including the final paper and the final exam. I will only inflict this measure after having given a warning; however, if you simply never come to class, do not expect to get much sympathy at the end of the term when you want to hand in assignments.

LATE PAPERS: On late papers in general: The due dates are firm. There will be penalties for late papers. If there is a legitimate reason for a paper being late, I am willing to consider it and waive the late penalty. Illegitimate reasons include "I had too much work" (you could have started earlier); "My computer deleted my file" (make back-ups); "I'm on a team and we were away" (work that out with your coach, not me); "I couldn't think of a topic" (come & see me early). This, of course, does not exhaust the list of reasons that will not succeed. Plan ahead, and save yourself problems. Having said that, I recognize that there will sometimes be factors beyond a person's control. I will deal with these cases on an individual basis. Giving an extension in one case in no way obligates me to do it in others. The most successful appeal will a) have an argument for why an extension is justified, and b) suggest a way that the assignment will be made better by the extension.

EXAM RULES: I discourage make-up exams, as they tend not to be fair to the whole class, but I recognize that there are circumstances that are unavoidable. It is important to talk to me beforehand. I will not change final exam dates simply to accommodate travel schedules. I am especially unsympathetic if someone buys a plane ticket first, and comes to me later saying that I have to change an exam date to accommodate it. If there are other reasons that you think might be legitimate, please see me. Remember, I have to ensure fairness for the entire class, and I also have to ensure that questions do not leak out to the rest of the class prior to the scheduled final exam.

COMMUNICATION OF GRADES: The university does not allow the communication of grades to a student by email (including embedding them in documents, which means they cannot be placed on a paper emailed to me), or by posting them outside a professor's door. This is a confidentiality issue. Please do not ask me for your grade by email. I will tell you your grade in person, in class, or over the phone, as long as I can be certain that you are who you say you are. If this is a course in which we use WebCT, grades will be available there. Final grades will be available on your MyUCF account a few days after the last day of exams.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: We will discuss the nature of academic honesty in class, but a note here is warranted. Basically, your work should be your own and original to this class, and when you are drawing on the words, images, or ideas of others, this should be properly noted. What should be avoided?

The university writing center has many useful handouts on writing, including handouts on properly handling citations. If you have any question about how to properly complete an assignment, please see me. On occasion I may submit student papers to Turnitin.com, a website that checks for plagiarism. Papers submitted to that site become part of their database. Submitting a paper in this course gives consent for your paper to be added to their database.

WITHDRAWAL: It is the student's responsibility to drop or withdraw from the course if there is an unavoidable conflict or if the need should arise for another reason. Students who fail to drop before the deadline established in the curriculum catalogue will receive an F for the course. The withdrawal date for Fall 2005 is October 14.