Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26; not open to students with credit in HUMN 5.
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

  • "Discuss consequences of the European Age of Exploration for the lives of indigenous peoples worldwide.
  • Explain how stylistic and thematic differences in aesthetic representation between Southern and Northern Renaissance artists reflected the paradigmatic shift brought on by the Reformation.
  • 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 China's Qing Dynasty, the people and Empires of North, South and Central America, the Renaissance, the Age of Encounters, the Enlightenment, the Ottoman Empire, the Romantic Period and the Industrial Revolution. As an honors course, this is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading and research assignments, student class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

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

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

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Systematic and continuous participation in the course.
B. Three or more one-page response papers.
C. Development of research project in the representation of trauma.
D. Demonstration of critical, analytical research and writing skills.
E. Final examination.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition, Book 4 & Book 5. 7th ed. McGraw Hill, 2015.
Excerpts from primary texts, such as:
Pico Della Mirandola, Oration on the dignity of Man
Machiavelli, The Prince
Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
Michel de Montaigne, On Cannibals
Rene Descartes, Discourse and Method
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Voltaire, Candide
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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

A. Philosophical and literary critical readings (15-50 pages) designed to familiarize students with ongoing debates and perspectives related to the the intersection of religion, culture and politics.
B. Bi-weekly 1-3 page essays requiring summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of both original and secondary texts.