University of Central Florida

HUM 3255

Modern Humanities

Instructor: Bruce Janz

Term: Spring 2005

Phone: 407-823-2273

Room: CL1 318

Office: Colbourn Hall 411E

Time: 10:30-11:20 MWF

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

Email: janzb@mail.ucf.edu

Office Hours: Click here


This course will chart the rise of modernism, as understood by various disciplines, from the Renaissance and Reformation to the middle of the 20th century (although we will mainly focus on the period after about 1750). We will engage in a thematic history which will address such areas of human experience and expression as art, architecture, literature, music, science, philosophy and religious thought, and political and social theory. The central themes of the course will be: Inhabiting the modern: the rise (and fall?) of the modern conception of the self; Engineering the modern: the rise of science and technology and its impact on human society; Constructing the modern: art, landscape, space, and cartography; Living in the modern: Social organization in the modern age; and Representing the modern: Representations of the human spirit.

Required Texts:

  1. John Jervis, Exploring the Modern. Blackwell Publishers, 1998.
  2. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. Perennial Books, 1965.
  3. Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis. Norton, 1961.
  4. Wolfgang Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther. Viking, 1989.
  5. Soren Kierkegaard, The Present Age. Perennial Books, 1977.
  6. Ludwig Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future. Hackett, 1986.
  7. Web-based Resources, available on the course web page

Requirements: (subject to change - this is not official until the first day of classes)

Readings: Each assigned reading must be completed prior to the class meeting. This is to facilitate class discussion. Please bring your textbooks to class - it is difficult to refer to a passage or an image if you don't have them in front of you. Other readings may be assigned during the course, and may be included in any quizzes or tests.

Midterm (20%): Monday, March 4, in class. Both the midterm and the final will be comprehensive, covering as much material as the syllabus indicates we have covered. "Material" includes lectures, readings, films, guest speakers, or web-based resources that are part of the course. The midterm and final will test your ability to think as well as your ability to remember or recognize elements of modern culture. More will be said about the midterm and final in class.

Modernity Assignment (20%): Due Friday, Feb. 11. Write a five page (1000-1200 word) paper which introduces a concept, a person, an artifact (such as a work of art, a building) or a practice in the context of the modern world. Specifically, you are to answer the question "What is modern about...?" In other words, you should think about your example in terms of what contributes to or typifies modernity. You should not choose an example which we spend a great deal of time on in class (so, not Freud or Goethe, for example).

Final Paper (30%): Due April 18; Prospectus due March 21. 8-10 page (2000-2500 word) thesis defense research paper on an aspect of the course. A prospectus is due a month earlier than the paper - this is simply a statement on what you intend to write about, the position you intend to take on your topic, and the resources you will use. The prospectus will be taken into account in the overall grade for the paper. For more on the prospectus, go here.

A thesis defense research paper is one in which you state a position on some topic and present evidence to defend that position. It is not a topic, nor is it a question (although you cannot have a thesis without having a question - the thesis is the answer to the question). The evidence you present is gathered through research in scholarly sources. Examples of topics will be given in class, but part of the exercise will be for you to work out a topic yourself, with my help. The topic must relate to the material and themes of the course. On choosing a topic, go here.

Final Exam (30%): Monday, May 2, 2005, 10:00-12:50 in class room.

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

Reading & Assignment Schedule

Readings must be done for the beginning of the week in which they are assigned. For the Jervis text, only the chapter number is given.

(subject to change - this is not official until the first day of classes)

Introduction: What Does "Modern" Mean?

Week 1: Jan. 10, 12, 14: Reading: Jervis, Introduction

Inhabiting the Modern: rise (and fall?) of the modern conception of the self.

Week 2: Jan 19, 21: Reading: Jervis 1, 2

Week 3: Jan 24, 26, 28: Reading: Jervis 6; Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther

Week 4: Jan 31, Feb. 2, 4: Reading: Kierkegaard, The Present Age.

Engineering the Modern: the rise of science and technology and its impact on human society.

Week 5: Feb. 7, 9, 11: Reading: Jervis 8, Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis

Feb. 11: Modernity Assignment Due

Week 6: Evening meeting, to watch a movie. This will be arranged at the beginning of the term.

Living in the modern: Social organization in the modern age.

Week 7: Feb. 21, 23, 25: Reading: Huxley, Brave New World

Week 8: Feb. 28, March 2, 4: Reading: Jervis 3, 4.

Midterm Exam March 4

Week 9: March 7, 9, 11: Reading: Jervis 9; Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future.

Constructing the Modern: art, landscape, space, and cartography.

Week 10: March 21, 23: Reading: Jervis 5

Prospectus for final paper due March 21.

Week 11: March 28, 30, April 1: Reading: Jervis 10

Week 12: April 4, 6, 8: Reading: Jervis 7

Representing the modern: Representations of the human spirit.

Week 13: April 11, 13, 15: Reading: Jervis 5, 11

Week 15: April 18, 20, 22: Reading: Jervis 12

Final paper due April 18

Week 16: April 25: Review

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. 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. 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.

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 will not change 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.

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.

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 Spring 2005 is March 4.