Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T, or ESLL 26; not open to students with credit in HUMN 1B.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Define the cultural significance of the Islamic Golden Age apart from its significance to science.
  • Analyze how certain religious values return in the artistic expressions of the Middle Ages.
  • Synthesize critical thinking, imaginative, cooperative and empathetic abilities as whole persons in order to contextualize knowledge and make meaning.


An interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the history of human culture and ideas. Major eras covered include India's Pala Empire; China's Song and Ming Dynasty; the Mongol Empire; Japan's Muromachi period; culture, people and empires of North, Central and South America; the Islamic Golden Age; and the European Middle Ages. Class discussions, projects and lectures address the development of worldviews, moral and ethical values and the arts in civilizations across the globe and throughout time.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. engage in critical, creative, and independent thinking.
B. stimulate curiosity about intellectual and artistic life.
C. broaden perspectives on the diversity and dilemmas of human experience and knowledge.
D. apply critical approaches to the analysis of various modes of cultural production in relation to the political, economic, social, and religious context of the time.
E. explain the relationship between art, social organization and political institutions in both Western and non-Western contexts.
F. use diverse historical periods and cultural traditions as a framework for a more complex understanding of the contemporary world.
G. analyze cultural production as both instruments of social control and ideological change.
H. develop the habit of learning and responding to new ideas and challenges.
I. think through moral and ethical problems and to examine one's own assumptions.
J. improve both oral and written communication, especially through critical reading and analysis.

Course Content

A. India and China's empires
1. Pala Empire
2. The Mongol Empire
3. Song and Ming Dynasty
B. Japan
1. Muromachi period
C. Societies and empires in Africa
1. Efe
2. Berbers
3. Mutapa
4. Yoruba
5. Kingdom of Ghana
6. Kingdom of Mali
7. Kingdom of Benin
8. Almoravid Empire
D. Culture, people and empires in the Americas
1. The Anasazi
2. The Olmecs
3. Mayan civilization
4. Aztec and Inca civilization
E. Islamic Golden Age
F. European Medieval culture
1. Scholasticism
2. Gothic architecture
3. The Crusades
4. Dante and the birth of world literature

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Three or four objective/subjective mid-term exams
Three or more one-page response papers
One term paper
Final examination

Method(s) of Instruction

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Fiero, Gloria K.. The Humanistic Tradition, Book 2, 7th ed.. 2015.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

Excerpts from primary texts, such as:
Quetzalcoatl: The Feathered Serpent
Huitzilopochtli: The God of sun and War
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
Ibn al-Nafis, Theologus Autodidactus
Renga poetry
Otogizoshi (illustrated short stories)
Analects of Confucius
Confucius, The Great Learning
The Journey to the West
Song of Roland
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Note: The texts listed above are classics that are no longer under copyright protection and thus freely available on the internet, in various anthologies and countless editions.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading textbook and other material, including web: 30 pages a week
B. Continuous essay questions relating to the SLOs: 25-30 pages of writing per quarter