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.
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 Early Modern and Modern artists reflected the paradigmatic shift brought on by urbanization, alienation and the rapid growth of industry.
  • Analyze how philosophical ideas and cultural practices changed during the period after World War II.
  • 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: Modernity (from cubism and expressionism to jazz and film), the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, the Atomic Age, Post-Colonialism (India, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East), Post-Modernity, and the Digital Age. Class discussions, projects, and lectures address the development of worldviews, moral and ethical values, and the arts in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa throughout the 20th century and beyond.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Engage in critical, creative, and independent thinking
  2. Stimulate curiosity about intellectual and artistic life
  3. Broaden perspectives on the diversity and dilemmas of human experience and knowledge
  4. 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
  5. Explain the relationship between art, social organization, and political institutions in both Western and non-Western contexts
  6. Use diverse historical periods and cultural traditions as a framework for a more complex understanding of the contemporary world
  7. Analyze cultural production as both instruments of social control and ideological change
  8. Develop the habit of learning and responding to new ideas and challenges
  9. Think through moral and ethical problems and examine one's own assumptions
  10. Improve both oral and written communication, especially through critical reading and analysis

Course Content

  1. Toward the Modern Era
    1. Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism
    2. Nietzsche and the Freudian Revolution
  2. India, China, and Japan
    1. India: Mughal Conquest to British Rule
    2. China: Ming and Qing Dynasties
    3. Japan: Feudal rule, Edo Period, modern Japan (the Meiji)
  3. Modernism
    1. Literary Modernism
    2. Cubism, Expressionism, and Dada
    3. Jazz
    4. Photography and film
  4. The impact of African culture on the West
  5. Art and politics
    1. Socialist Realism
    2. Holocaust representation: at the limits of reason
  6. Post-Colonialism
    1. The Middle East
    2. Africa
    3. Latin America
  7. The global culture
    1. Post-war angst: Existentialism, theater of the absurd, and the Cold War
    2. Quest for equality: ethnic, sexual, and gender identity
    3. Post-Modernism: information, communication, and the Digital Revolution

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

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

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

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Fiero, Gloria. The Humanistic Tradition, Book 6, 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:
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Virginia Wolfe, A Room of One's Own: Shakespeare's Sister.
Franz Kafka, A Hunger Artist.
Jean Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism.
Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California (Poetry).
Art Spiegelman, Maus I.
Isabel Allende, House of Spirits.
Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths.
Audre Lorde, From a Land Where Other People Live.

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

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