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 5H.
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

  • Explain how stylistic and thematic differences in aesthetic representation between Southern and Northern Renaissance artists reflected the paradigmatic shift brought on by the Reformation.
  • Discuss consequences of the European Age of Exploration for the lives of indigenous peoples worldwide.
  • 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 the Renaissance, the Age of Encounters, the Enlightenment, the Romantic period, the Industrial Revolution and the dark legacy of colonialism. 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. The Renaissance
1. The re-birth of humanist culture
2. Florence in the twelfth century and the multi-talented individuals it produced
B. Northern Renaissance and Reformation
1. The schism within Christianity
2. The Counter-Reformation spirit
C. The Age Of Absolutism
1. The establishment Of centralized European monarchies, with special focus on Louis XIV and the culture of Versailles
2. Baroque art, music and architecture
D. The Age of Encounters: the Americas
E. The Enlightenment
F. Revolution And Romanticism
1. The French Revolution and its legacy
2. The outbreak of emotionalism and individualism
3. Romantic heroes (Napoleon, Byron and Beethoven)
G. The Industrial Revolution
1. The cultural consequences of the ambiguities of progress
2. The growth of feminism and class conflicts
3. Social criticism in the arts
H. The dark legacy of colonialism

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, Vol. II, 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:
Giovanni Boccacio, The Decameron
Pico Della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man
Machiavelli, The Prince
Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
Michel de Montaigne, On Cannibals
William Shakespeare, Sonnets
Rene Descartes, Discourse and Method
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Voltaire, Candide
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
Henry David Thoreau, Walden; Or, Life in the Woods
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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